iPad Reviews Are In

10:35 AM -- The reviews are in as anticipation builds for this weekend's grand unveiling of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPad. And they're overwhelmingly positive.

The big ones:

  • USA Today's Edward C. Baig declared the device a "winner." "Apple's freshly conceived slate-style computer promises to influence the media, mobile entertainment and publishing industries the way its close cousin the iPhone has affected wireless."

  • The Wall Street Journal's Walter S. Mossberg said the iPad is "pretty close" to being a laptop killer. "After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly."

  • The New York Times's David Pogue wrote that the iPad is "basically a gigantic iPod Touch," but also said "the simple act of making the multitouch screen bigger changes the whole experience."

Not to mention, ABC sitcom Modern Family is also excited for the release... Last night's episode of the show was "half-sitcom and half-advertisement for the iPad," Gizmodo says.

In other iPad-related news:

  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) will be available as a free app on the iPad immediately upon the device's launch this Saturday. iPad users who are Netflix members will be able to watch movies and TV shows instantly on the device, the App Advice blog reports.

  • Hulu LLC is building an app for the iPad, The New York Times reports. And, NYT suggests, it might use this app to test out a subscription model, something the joint venture of Fox, NBC, and Disney has long been considering for its site.

  • Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has reached new pricing deals with two major publishing houses, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins. They will now operate under an "agency pricing model," with some bestsellers still priced at $9.99 but most now costing $12.99 to $14.99. The terms of these deals are similar to those of Apple's iPad e-book deals, which Amazon has been under increasing pressure to match since the device was announced.

    — Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Light Reading Cable

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