I pick up the Apple iPad for a full test. Here are my initial thoughts of the iPad...

This morning I arrived bright and early at Apple’s flagship store on London’s Regent street. I was there to pick up a review sample of the iPad and was already far too excited. The Apple expert, Ned, sat me down and handed me a pristine box, still in its foil. Opening up a new product for the first time is a special moment, and something that has even led to the hugely popular ‘unboxing’ videos.

The packaging for the iPad is as impressive as the product itself, and in keeping with all other Mac products. Ned gave me an overview of the iPad’s functions and best bits – something that is offered to everyone buying one in-store. Along with the iPad I would be testing the new Camera connector kit, which includes an SD card reader and a USB adapter, allowing you to import from your iphone or direct from camera using the USB lead. The screen quality of the iPad really is excellent and even shots imported from my iPhone were looking impressive.

Once back in the office I settled down to downloading some applications. There are already hundreds, if not thousands available via the app store, including over 250 photography-based applications and even magazine readers, such as Zinio that allow you to buy virtual copies of What Digital Camera. My first venture was ColorSplash, an application that allows you to produce selective colour shots by masking certain areas of the image – pretty effective.

Look out for my full review of the iPad in the August issue and online soon.