It’s the first hands-on review of the Apple Tablet!
NOTE: This review not to be released until January 28.
Fire. The wheel. Barbers. The moveable printing press. Whiskey. The automobile. The personal computer. Walt Mossberg.
The iPhone. And now, finally, the iSlate.
We refer to the time before Jesus came to earth as fundamentally different from the time after, and today, after my close, personal friend Steve Jobs’ beautiful keynote in which he gave the world the iSlate, we have reached another fundamental shift in our perception of time, and of the world around us.Welcome to the first day of the new era, my friends.I’ve been lucky enough to have access to this wondrous device for some time now, I’ve had a multitude of prototypes over the past few years, and I use it every day, but it still feels so startlingly good to hold on to. Ohhhhhhh, it’s like a brushed-aluminium orgasm.
Ordinarily in my reviews I go on and on about specifics, or features, or some crap like that, but with the iSlate, I just can’t. It’s goddamn magical. It’s got internet connectivity, somehow, but I never gave it my wifi password and I didn’t have to sign up for any 3G account. I’m just online, and it’s the fastest browsing experience I’ve ever had in my life. Also, there are two cameras on this thing, one facing me, one facing away, but I can’t see them. Can you see them? I have no idea where the cameras are on this thing, but they’re here, and they work amazingly! It’s magic!
The iSlate runs a greatly enhanced version of the iPhone OS, which is a crippled version of Mac OS X, and it’s gorgeous. I mean, just look at this! The home screen has been completely retooled, and it’s breathtaking: the time shows larger, there’s the temperature, there, information on media you’re consuming, recent messages from your contacts … there’s even a space where you can put your own custom photo. It’s amazing!
I’d list all of the ways the applications from the iPhone have been upgraded for this magnificent device, and all of the new apps that have been added, but doing so would leave you exhausted and spent, and you need to have enough energy to go out and buy the device as soon as you’re able.
Multitouch on the iSlate is a revelation. You were all expecting improvements over the way the iPhone works, but this … this is nearly too much for an old man’s heart to handle. There’s now a complicated vocabulary of gestures to control the device with; you can shake things at it, scoop, it recognizes other objects near itself, so you can pretend you’re a less idiotic Tom Cruise from Minority Report. Also, the entire case of the device is touch sensitive, just like the magic mouse, which means you can control it on the back. Check it out, I’m sending an e-mail to my close personal friend Steve Jobs from the backend of the iSlate.
Oh, good lord, I love touching the backend of this thing.
Anyway, this device is everything you’ve been waiting for, but so much more. There’s a sophisticated AI in here that knows which user is holding it, so if you hand it off to a family member, it switches user accounts AND starts making them coffee. There’s even a button in one of the menus that if you press it — I have no idea how this works — a unicorn comes to your door with your favorite kind of pizza. It’s incredible. There’s not even a power button ANYWHERE on the device; it just senses your intent and turns itself on when it thinks you want to use it. Also it’s got, like, voice control, and the interface of every app actually reshapes itself to what it thinks you’re going to ask it to do, and then does it! And you know what? It’s never wrong!
[Gets distracted for a moment, marveling over how wonderful it is, muttering to himself. Sounds like he’s seducing it. Catches himself after a moment or two]
Here’s a protip: If you rub the iSlate all over your body, it feels so Goooooood!
Oh, man, I could go on and on about this device — and I’m sure I will, for years — but in closing let me say that you need to buy this thing, right now. Buy five. Put one in every pair of pants that you own. This is insanely good; it’s probably the first completely perfect product that’s ever existed.
Thank you, Steve Jobs, for giving this to the world. I … I love you, Steve. You complete me, and every time I touch the iSlate, up here [gestures to his head] I’m touching you.
This has been Walt Mossberg; shut up!