iPad Video FAQ: How Good is the Web Surfing?

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It's here and we'll be bringing you our full review soon, but we're just as excited as you are to share some of our first impressions. We're starting with web surfing and will soon provide our take on typing, games, and more.

Apple says that using Safari on this tablet is like holding the Web in your hand and it's indeed immersive. Plus the scrolling and zooming are fast, thanks to that 1-GHz A4 processor. Check out the videos below to see what the web is like on an iPad and how both page load times and the overall experience stack up against a netbook.

The first video is a comparison of web browsing using the iPad and an Acer Aspire netbook.


The second video is a speed test loading CNN.com on the iPad, iPhone, and an Acer Aspire netbook load nytimes.com.


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Author Bio
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief on
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  • Robert Says:

    Certainly comparable when using Internet Explorer, however I replaced using IE sometime ago as it can be rather sluggish especially on netbook type devices. Also, as with Safari based browsing in general the iPad doesn't seem to cache pages you've been to before. Everything has to be downloaded again when you return to a previous page, for example.

    Of course, Apple won't let you run alternative browsers on the iPhone or iPad because they are seen as competing (- Apple would say to avoid duplication) but without competition on the PC I doubt Microsoft would have done as much work on Internet Explorer.

    The other area that would have been helpful mentioning in your video IMO would be switching web pages from one site to another. Are you allowed separate tabs on the iPad, are you allowed separate instances of the web browser or do you have to close down one in order to switch to another? I tried the New York Times and CNN websites on my comparably priced Acer timeline 1810T utlraportable (11.6" 1366 x 768 display) and both opened in a few seconds - cached versions opened even quicker i.e. when you return to the site. I also tried the same experiment on my older Samsung NC10 netbook and despite being not as quick as the timeline it was still noticeably quicker than the timings you were getting for the iPad. Naturally, it's hard to do direct comparisons because network traffic and Internet connection speed are a big factor (- both my tests were over 11g wi fi and from the UK)

    I do agree that the iPad is super slick scrolling around pages and zooming though - Netbooks are a somewhat painful experience, but then they are considerably less expensive and run the millions of PC apps just not the 140,000+ app store apps. So I would say that if you are happy to tie yourself into the Apple mentality plus are mostly consuming content rather than producing your own then the iPad might be a good choice especially for the non techy user. I think you have to tread a line somewhere between the Apple hype of "magical" and "evolutionary" to a much more settled viewpoint which will only come once the iPad has been out for a while.

  • tand Says:

    I agree with AP above. You are obviously biased towards ipad. Have you ever heard about PagDown and PagUP keys and shortcuts?

  • AP Says:

    You are obviously biased towards ipad. Are you a representative of Apple? Have you found anything negative about ipad? How much it weighs? Can you hold it in your hand for long time if you are reading a book like Kindle without your hand getting tired. Give us some unbiased facts.

  • soylo Says:

    why would i want a giant ipod touch!!?? no multitasking!! no Flash. no card reader.. NO THANKS!!!!

  • Dave Fales Says:

    (Private note to editor: The sound level on the pre-roll ad in your videos are too loud compared to the sound level of your editorial video that follows. Suggest you increase your editorial volume level.
    There's no need to post this comment.)

  • Dave Fales Says:

    Thanks for these quick vids of your hands-on first impressions with iPad. Very interesting. Actually, more useful than trying to wade into the insanity of a live demo at Apple stores.

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