12 Days of Christmas: Apple iPad Wi-Fi (16GB)

We're nearly there - meaning both the end of our 12 Days of Christmas on Pocket-lint and the big festive day itself. We appreciate that it's almost impossible to ever be ready for it but we've been doing our best to help you out with some solid gold gift ideas over the last few weeks.

As we hit Day 11 we reach a product that was bound to turn up sooner or later. Obvious it may be, but it would have been churlish to miss it out. Give this present to a loved one this year and guaranteed they'll have the biggest smile around the tree.

Apple iPad Wi-Fi (16GB)

What is it?
Revolutionary tablet PC

Who’s it for?
Anyone

How much is it?
£429

Delivery speed?
2/3 days

It won Best Computer 2010 in the Pocket-lint Awards

A gadget that wins a Pocket-lint Award is always going to be worth having. A panel of elite judges, the tech journalists of the world and all our readers can’t be wrong. You can argue that it’s not a computer but if it still beat all the traditional notebooks and desktops to the prize, then you have to give it some credit.

You can use it without feeling like you’re working

At the end of the day when you’re done with the daily grind, there’s something that can feel slightly odious about browsing the internet on your laptop on the sofa. The keyboard is some kind of reminder of the work that this tool represents and, for some, there’s even the temptation to do a little extra when it’s in front of them. The iPad doesn’t have that stigma attached to it.

But you can work on it if you really must

All the same, there are a whole bunch of productivity apps you can get for it in the shape of the iWork software, so, if you really must, you can do your spreadsheets, documents and presentations.

The soft keyboard is surprisingly good

One criticism leveled at the device was that these productivity apps might be available for it but that doesn’t mean that it’s a decent user experience. Surely the soft, on-screen touch keyboard is no match for a hard QWERTY. Well, no one’s going to say that it’s as good but the iPad keyboard actually does the job surprisingly well.

You can accessorize

No other gadgets have quite the level of accessories as anything made by Apple. The company itself makes some decent ones in the shape of the dock and keyboard but there’s a tonne of third party bits and bobs out there to give yours that extra special edge. There’s also, of course, a world of other devices that are made to attach to it.

It’s nearly perfect for consuming content

The combination of the touchscreen, the content apps and the internet connection just make it a fantastic device to browse everything from videos to education software. There’s a book store for it and one could easily see it as the real future for magazines and newspaper subscriptions. Just a shame it won’t work with Flash.

It’s perfect for flying

Watching your own films on your smartphone is one thing but when the screen’s two or three times as big -  as it is on a tablet - it just makes watching a movie on the go the perfect thing to do. And what better place to sit back, relax and kill some time than on a flight?

You can play Angry Birds on the big screen

Angry Birds is a great game but it’s a little frustrating and much harder to play when you can’t fit the whole level on one screen. Step up the iPad and the larger version of this hit from Rovio and suddenly you can get a full landscape view of exactly where each of those pigs are hiding.

It’s something that’s hard to justify buying for yourself

At the end of the day, no one actually needs an iPad. It’s a luxury device. So, shelling out for one when you really ought to be saving your pennies for car insurance or university education is a a hard thing to justify. So, what better idea for a present than buying something that your giftee wouldn’t get round to for themselves?

Because the 3G is expensive and pointless

Most people usually feel too self-conscious to get the iPad out on a bus and, 9 times out of 10 when you go to use it on the move, you’re in a cafe equipped with Wi-Fi or are somewhere that you can’t get a mobile connection anyway. What’s more, there’s the monthly contract cost to contend with as well. So, all in all, the Wi-Fi only version is the way to go.

It’s a piece of the future

The iPad is basically the cutting edge of consumer technology right now. It is the future. Anyone who’s ever watched Star Trek will understand how cool it is to be passing computer tablets around with different bits of information to read - although we recommend keeping just your hands on yours at least until a non-materialistic federation of planets is forged.

Everyone wants one

Everyone wants one. They do. There’s no two ways about it. Even people who say they don’t actually do too. They might be an Android fan, they may hate Apple but only the most stubborn of people could pretend not to be pleased to unwrap one on the 25th.

FULL REVIEW

Share you thoughts on hot gift tips for Christmas 2010 in the comments below and don't forget to take a look at the other 11 days of Christmas on Pocket-lint.



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