The top tech reviewers were given an iPad to fool around with days before the rest of us will have to wait in long lines to procure one. And even the most ardent Mac enthusiasts absolutely hated it.
OK, that's a lame April Fool's joke. So far, their verdicts are unanimously glowing, with the anticipated reservations about the lack of Flash support, absence of earbuds, inability to multitask or to take photos or video. All are pleasantly surprised that the battery life is actually longer than advertised.
But those are minor details compared to the collective zeitgeist-rocking hyperbole that abounds in their critiques, which are so notably asbent of criticism that one wonders if Apple even needs to invest in its own advertising campaign. (New York Times tech guru David Pogue offers a two-in-one review -- one for the notoriously cynical hardcore techies, and one for the rest of us.)
If the iPad is even half as good as they say, you'll want one -- not just for what it can do, but for what it's destined to deliver. We imagine a day in the not too distant future when journalists and visual artists will take full advantage of the iPad's multimedia potential and bring us new hybrid forms of visual storytelling that we have yet to dream of. Like the blossoming TV sets in the 1940s, it's a big fancy box waiting to be filled. Or, more accurately, a conduit for transmitting and sharing news, information, stories, visions, ideas, emotions ... in new and exciting ways.
So here's a quick roundup of professional first impressions. While you're queueing up at your local Apple Store on Saturday, you can look at these on your tiny handheld device... for the last time. (Except for those Flash videos below, which won't show up on iPods or iPads!)