IPad buzz turns to skepticism 

Apple fans peered through a window of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts hoping to catch a glimpse inside as Apple CEO Steve Jobs demonstrated the new iPad tablet released Wednesday morning.

“My boss told me to come here and try to sneak in,” said John Cooper, a San Francisco programmer. “I’ve heard it’s Steve Jobs’ baby.”

Gadget geeks sat around outside on benches perusing blogs and discussion forums about the new tablet, a wider, flatter and bigger iPhone with a backlit display that makes it easier to watch movies, videos and read. The aluminum-and-glass device has a 10-hour battery life, which some said isn’t ideal for an e-reader. But its 9.7-inch screen is attractive.

“The idea of a larger screen is appealing,” said Jesse Byler, who took a break from work to hover outside the event. “I like to read on my iPhone, but the screen is too small.”

The multimedia device has especially created a buzz among Apple iPhone users who are drawn to the iPad’s touch screen. But that’s not to say they are planning to run out and buy the tablet, which is priced at $499.

“I already have an iPhone, which is more useful for portability,” said Carl Gorringe of San Francisco. “I’m going to wait and see what else comes out.”

Of course, there were those who were more disappointed by what they learned, calling the tablet a “glorified iPhone.”

Rafael Vega said he came from Berkeley just to see what all the “hustle and bustle” was about. He stood outside the arts center watching demonstrations of the tablet though the window.

“I’m not impressed,” Vega said. “I was expecting something that felt more precise.”

Evan Baach was visiting San Francisco from Chicago, and he made a point to stop by the Yerba Buena Center to see what more he could learn about the tablet. Although Baach describes himself as a “PC,” he was attracted to the size of the iPad.

“It’s small so it will fit in my suitcase, and that’s key,” he said.

 

iPAD BITS

Size: 9.7-inch touch screen, half-inch thick

Weight: 1.5 pounds

Memory and price: 16, 32 or 64 gigabytes ($499, $599 and $699) flash memory storage

Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in

Battery life: 10 hours

AT&T data plan: $14.99 a month for 250 megabytes of data, or $29.99 for unlimited usage. No long-term service contract. 3G iPad models will cost more — $629, $729 and $829.

— AP

First takes:


“My boss told me to come here and try to sneak in. I’ve heard it’s Steve Jobs’ baby.”
— John Cooper


“The idea of a larger screen is appealing. I like to read on my iPhone, but the screen is too small.”
— Jesse Byler

“I already have an iPhone, which is more useful for portability. I’m going to wait and see what else comes out.”
— Carl Gorringe


“I’m not impressed. I was expecting something that felt more precise.”
— Rafael Vega


“It’s small so it will fit in my suitcase, and that’s key.”
— Evan Baach

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

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