Newsweek hates, then loves, the iPad

March 27, 2010, 6:31 PM UTC

The author of Newsweek‘s glowing iPad cover story sang a different tune at the unveiling

Image: Newsweek

“Some say the iPad heralds a new era of computing, and I’m inclined to believe them,” writes Dan Lyons in the lead story of Newsweek’s April 5 cover story. “The interface is so intuitive — navigating with your fingers rather than a keyboard and mouse — that it will change what we expect from our computers.”

That’s interesting. Because when Lyons was interviewed immediately after Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad to the press last January, he was, to say the least, underwhelmed.

Lyons is better known in tech circles — and probably better read — as the formerly-anonymous author of The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs.

Either this week’s story was heavily edited, or Lyons has learned an important lesson about writing for a newsweekly: The magazine can love or hate the thing it puts on the cover, but it can’t do both.

Below the fold: Lyon’s initial reaction to the iPad, captured on videotape by Om Malik, founder of the GigaOM blog network.

WARNING: Lyons describes the iPad in language not suitable for polite company.

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UPDATE: For readers who have been defending Lyons, citing the sentence in this week’s story in which he describes his sudden change of heart (“Then I got a chance to use an iPad, and it hit me: I want one.”), this is what he wrote about the iPad on Jan. 28 — AFTER he’d had a chance to use it: In iPad We Trust: Why Apple’s tablet isn’t the second coming — yet.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]