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The iPad launches in The Netherlands, and other places outside the US, in 8 days time. Which is why the sight of my neighbour walking down his garden path with an iPad in his hand came as something of a surprise. Apparently, he had just bought ten! Or at least, his employer, KLM, where he is an IT manager, had just bought them. In no time there was an impromptu gathering of the neighbours on both sides to admire it.

First impressions: a bit bigger than I expected, the screen is double the height and width of the iPhone but the bezel is much bigger. The display was nice and, even in the sunshine. The finish was beautiful, as you would expect. I liked the rounded back plate and it felt very comfortable in my hand. Screen response was good, even when changing orientation. The larger keyboard looked much easier to use than the pecking motion the iPhone requires.

Will I be getting one? No. Lovely as it is I am always cautious of version 1 of anything (remember, I held out until the fourth iPhone iteration, the 3GS). The main shortcoming that I see is the lack of a front facing video camera which would make Skype video calls possible, with that it would be the perfect device to sit on our coffee table for my wife to use. I think we will only have to wait until next year.