US media raves over Apple iPad

The few blessed by Apple to receive review copies were clearly smitten with the notepad-sized gadget
Guests play with the new Apple iPad during an Apple Special Event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in January 2010 in San Francisco, California. US media outlets Thursday gushed over the Apple iPad in early hands-on reviews ahead of its much-anticipated sales launch at the weekend.

US media outlets are gushing like star-struck lovers over the Apple iPad in early reviews as software makers hustle to ready programs for its much-anticipated sales launch on Saturday.

The few blessed by Apple to receive review copies of the iconic California firm's latest creation were clearly smitten with the notepad-sized gadget.

"This beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop," said the , calling it a "game changer."

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs billed the iPad as "revolutionary" when he unveiled the device in San Francisco in late January, saying it will carve out a home between smartphones and laptop computers.

The USA Today newspaper agreed, like most other media outlets: the "stunning" iPad is "rewriting the rulebook," it said.

"The iPad is not so much about what you can do -- browse, do email, play games, read and more -- but how you can do it," said tech reporter Edward C. Baig.

"Apple's tablet is fun, simple, stunning to look at and blazingly fast," he added.

New York Times' business columnist David Carr effused so lovingly about iPad in comments fired off on that gossip website Valley Wag playfully likened it to romance.

"Killer apps: maps, books (so sexy!), YouTube (freaky pretty), plain old surfing," Carr tweeted at the microblogging service before evidently slipping off for some private time with his iPad.

"Threshold of devices that you can take to the bathroom has been crossed," he said in a subsequent message. "Not a good bath read, but works well with other appliances."

Carr went on to contend that the iPad makes surfing "far less monogamous."

The Valley Wag story about the tweets bore the headline "David Carr is Having Intimate Encounters with his iPad."

"Between the iPad drooling and April Fool's Day nonsense, I am boycotting the Internet for remainder of today," former Wall Street Journal reporter turned independent journalist Heidi Moore vowed in a tweet Thursday.

The 9.7-inch touch-screen devices allow users to watch video, listen to music, play games, surf the Web or read electronic books.

The iPad also runs most of the 150,000 applications made for the iPod Touch and the iPhone.

The iPad model featuring Wi-Fi wireless connectivity will be available in Apple's US stores from Saturday, and the model that offers both Wi-Fi and 3G cellular connectivity in late April.

Prices for iPads range from 499 dollars to 829 dollars depending on features.

"Not only does it threaten to turn the digital publishing and electronic reader market on its head," said Scott Steinberg, head of technology consulting firm TechSavvy Global.

"The iPad aims to provide a more comfortable and casual means of consuming audio, video and photo content as well as playing games."

Software makers behind applications that have been hits on iPhones and iPod Touch devices have been scrambling to adapt programs to the larger screens and beefier processors in iPads.

"Once the specifics were finally known, our team began putting together our plans for the device the same day," said Michael Murphey, chief executive of iVerse Media which tailored a digital comic book for the iPad.

Porn studio Pink Visual on Thursday launched a website optimized for viewing adult content on the iPad.

"We're total Apple product nerds here at Pink Visual," said studio product manager Kim Kysar.

"As soon as unveiled the iPad, we got to work on the site."

Family-oriented entertainment giant Walt Disney Company has built an iPad version of its flagship website and promised applications for viewing online content from all its businesses.

"The provides a very compelling consumer experience, and we are pleased to have new forms of original, interactive content on this great device," said Disney chief executive Bob Iger.

Among Disney's iPad-focused entries are applications for TV shows, video games, interactive books and even a finger-painting feature to allow children to draw on the screen, according to the Washington Post.

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