Head to Best Buy for your iPad

If you’re on the hunt for an Apple iPad head to your local Best Buy store.

I headed back to the Summerlin Best Buy store at 10:30 a.m. and found three people testing out the demo models. Sitting beside the table was a cart loaded with iPads. I asked the Best Buy associate how many iPads they had, and his reply was: "When?"

He told me there were 20 iPads under lock-and-key when he left the store Friday night. He said another 70 units arrived via UPS delivery 9 a.m. They have all three models of the WiFi version available. The only difference is the amount of on-board flash storage — 16, 32 or 64 gigabytes. Prices start at $499.

He asked me if I was interested in buying 16 of them. "Not yet," I told him. I’m waiting for the next version.

I chatted with another shopper who felt as I do. He was disappointed by the iPad’s inability to play flash video, which is the format used on roughly 80 percent of sites offering video feeds. I played with the iPad for about 20 minutes, and found "format not supported" messages when I tried to watch video on CNN.com and other sites. The only video that played on the device was on YouTube.com, which formats their video to make it compatible with iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads.

I was also somewhat disappointed by the look of many of the applications loaded on the demo models. It was obvious they were iPhone apps running on the larger screen. The text was rough and the images a bit pixelated, as apps stretched to fit the the larger iPad screen didn’t hold up.

There were more than 1,000 apps offered specifically for the iPad, and those look great on the 9.7-inch screen. Again, it’s another reason I’m waiting to buy my iPad. I’ll let the early adopters chime in and wait for Apple to get to work on improving what looks to be a promising device.

If you have early-adopter fever, I’m pretty sure the Best Buy store hasn’t sold out. The folks who had been waiting in line at 9 a.m. were long gone and the sales folks were waiting for customers.

I’m anxious to hear how people are using their iPads, so please leave comments below if your gizmo shelf now includes the iPad.



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