Ask Anything Live: The iPad

Got any questions about the iPad? You can ask anything about it in this new weekly live section called Ask Anything. Just email your question to me here, and I will answer it.

Is it really easy to smudge up the screen? Will you have to keep wiping it clean? It gets dirty with skin oils like any glass, but it's easy to wipe it off thanks to the oleophobic surface.

How do you feel about the keyboard? Keyboard works good. One of the keys is not waste time correcting mistakes (just like the iPhone) and let the thing correct them for you. It's quite fast.

Does the 4:3 screen hinder watching widescreen movies for you? Haven't had time to watch any movie yet. More on this later today.

How does it feel in your hands? Did they strike a good balance between size and weight? It feels amazing. Yes. The hardware looks and feels gorgeous.

Have you tried the Adobe Ideas iPad app yet? Looks pretty sweet, and free! Jason says it's great, here.

Can you show us how notifications work? Just like the iPhone or the iPod touch.

Might be a stupid question, but can you change the wallpaper on the iPad? Yes.

Why would I spend a arm and leg for an iPad when my laptop works fine? If your laptop works fine, keep using it.

My iPod Touch feels wafer thin. Do you get the same feeling from the iPad or more of an iPhone proportionality (not too small/big)? It feels thin and light, but very solid in your hand. I just made a quick poll among the people here: Everyone says it feels perfect in their hand.

Is the iPod now rendered useless? If not, how can the iPhone/Touch increase the functionality of the iPad? Of course your iPod Touch is not useless. The iPad will probably replace many consumers' laptops, but ultra-portable devices like the iPhone and the iPod Touch won't be replaced.

How bad is the online porn viewing experience hurt by the lack of Flash? Well, that depends on what sites you like. Most porn sites support the iPad and the iPhone/iPod touch because they use standard MPEG4 video. You can watch our guide for porn on the iPhone here.

Does Mobile Safari on the iPad display alt/title text for images? For example, if you visit [xkcd.com]and hover/tap/etc on the image, do you see the alternate punchline? No.

Have you done any real typing on the iPad, and would you say it's unbearably slow? No, it's not slow at all. Typing with it flat on a table is not bad at all (I'm typing more like that, looking for stuff as I write down these answers). But when you are holding it on your lap, it's fast and accurate. If you are on sofa or leaning on a chair, it feels great (just like the ads show - clearly, that's why they always show it that way in the ads.

Will 16GB be enough? We have discussed about it here, and I think you will run out of space fast. We don't think it will be enough if you are planning to load a lot of games, music and video (doh!). However, if you are planning to use it with a handful of favourite applications, you will be fine. If you are planning on using Netflix and Hulu - for those looking for movies and series - then 16GB would be enough too. Streaming and the cloud are going to be the key here.

What are the key differences between the iPad and iPod Touch (aside from size, of course) that would justify me setting aside the Touch for the pad? The key is the size. People keep saying that it's just "an oversized iPod touch". And it is: A bigger iPod touch with much powerful hardware. And THAT is precisely the difference. The moment you see and feel the possibilities of the larger format, it's the moment you realise this thing is amazing. One of the first things Matt Buchanan said - while going from app to app - was: "It truly feels like you are handling the future in your hands." Once you try it, there's no way back.

How much better will the second generation iPad be than the first one? Nobody knows. My bet is that the second generation will include a front camera, but that's just speculation.

How long does the battery really last? We are trying this right now, but according to all reviews, it matches or surpasses Apple's announced 10-hour mark.

If you've been in a Best Buy today, have you noticed that the third-party demo apps are upscaled versions of iPhone apps? Why? Were there no apps natively designed for iPad ready for opening day? Best Buy people must be dumb. There are hundreds of apps optimised for the iPad already. We are reviewing them here, live.

Does Spotlight search also within Keynote and Pages? Since it might get difficult to flick through, say, a hundred documents inside the applications themselves. I'm downloading them right now. Will update this info later (we will be reviewing these apps shortly, too). Update: In my initial test, it doesn't. More later.

Is it a good alternative to a real laptop? It will depend on the kind of work you do. It feels like it will be for many people. We will tell you more about this in a few days, as we get into our daily lives.

While reading a PDF document, can you add annotations and print out the document to a LAN printer? Not with the built-in applications.

Is the iPad just a "new thing" or is it actually going to open up some untouched and new horizons for tech? I think it opens new horizons, yes. Everyone here in the Gizmodo bullpen can't stop saying "ooooooh" and "aaaaah". It really feels like the future of computing for consumers. I'm trying SketchBook, Pages and dozens of apps, and I'm wet with its creative possibilities too. For an extended reply on this, check my "iPad Is The Future" feature.

Will I have any issues with Customs/Airport Security in either location? No, you won't. The iPad is just like a laptop.

How are the iPad's built-in speakers? Also, where is it located? They are below the home button. They sound OK (there are two of them). Loud enough to watch a movie or play a game, but don't expect Hi-Fi quality. If you want top banana quality, use your headphones.

I see a small button next to unlock slider in portrait mode pics. What's that for? It will turn it into a digital photo frame, feeding from your iPad Photo library.

Silly question: Does the iPad come with a dust-free cloth? No, but it does come with the usual snazzy Apple stickers.

Does the onscreen keyboard still come up when it's connected to a keyboard dock or Bluetooth keyboard? No, it does not come up automatically.

What's reading like on it? Comfortable, so far. I spent a brief - ahem - bathroom break with the iPad and found it pleasant to hold and read. If you're wondering about eye strain and fatigue, that's something we'll sort out during a longer reading session.

Do you crave a bigger iPad? Does the thought of a bigger iPad make you feel geeky inside? No. The iPad feels huuuge when first held and leaves my iPhone feeling puny and insignificant in comparison.

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