Before Dana Stevens gets to the good part—what it's like to watch a movie on the iPad—she had to settle on a film, specifically an "Oh, you really have to see that on the big screen" film. First choice Apocalypse Now wasn't on iTunes, and downloading The Matrix took three hours and four calls to tech support people, she reports for Slate. "Following Morpheus' advice to 'free your mind,' I tried to forget about the delivery medium and just get lost in the movie. And for the most part, it worked." That is, as long as the room has no natural light.
Otherwise "the super-glossy screen shows every smudge and fingerprint" and she found herself staring at her own reflection. In the dark, "the image is crisp and deep," and the iPad's portability can't be beat—it's no more cumbersome than holding a hardcover book. "But the iPad's book-ness can be a downside, too: If you want to keep watching while doing something with your hands, like eating, you have to prop it up." "For watching outside the house—on a plane, say—I'd just as soon use my laptop," writes Stevens. "There's one place you can watch a movie without worrying about propping, or smudges. It's called a theater, and Steve Jobs hasn't improved on it yet."