Our sister publication PC Authority got its hands on Cupertino's "magic" touch-screen creation. Here's a sneak peak at what they found.
Beautiful hardware, and a magnet for dust
When you first handle an iPad you're struck by how elegant it looks, the silver and black styling reminiscent of the original iPhone 2G. It feels perfectly balanced in either hand. Solid but not heavy; big but not cumbersome.
Unfortunately, it's a magnet for fingerprints and dust.
And as with the iPhone, the iPad's display is exquisite making it hard not to fall in love with the device at first sight. Images and colours are deep and vibrant plus the iPad's extra grunt under the bonnet makes menus and animations silky smooth.
But the iPad's kryptonite is direct sunlight. Get it outside on a bright day and even at full brightness you can barely see the screen for your own reflection (similar to the new LED-backlit MacBooks). The reflection is far worse than the reflection from an iPhone 3G.
Sunlight also shows up every little fingerprint on the iPad, making the device all but useless unless you constantly wipe off the screen. The terrible screen glare is a major blow to those who envisioned the iPad as the ultimate device on the go.
Fire up the iPad and it asks for iTunes 9.1 and setup is straightforward.
PC Authority's first look discusses the iPad's keyboard and tells you why the device is more than a big iPod touch.