The Lowdown: A pre-loaded Harry Potter iPad

The gap between the last Harry Potter film and the latest, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows seemed like ages. I don’t know about you but before watching it I wanted to reconnect with the previous ones and remind myself what they were all about and give myself a chance to think about where this next one would go. What better way to do this, than on an iPad preloaded with all six of the Harry Potter films? Fortunately a very kind PR company leant us just that.

For someone like myself who isn’t a computer geek, the iPad looks a bit like something from Harry Potter itself. It’s like the photographs in the films which have moving images inside them. It felt like I had a little bit of magic in my hands. For Harry Potter fans this may be an ideal gadget, because not only can you watch films on it but you could load it up with the audio books, the Kindle book and the Lego game.

First impressions were about how light and thin it was – ideal for carrying around. Secondly it’s really easy to use, it kind of reminded of one of those touch toys you give to toddlers. Within three clicks I’m there, with access to all six films. It couldn’t be more convenient.

My only complaint with the iPad would be trying to position it if you are sitting on the sofa or lying in bed. I know you can buy stands for it, so that would definitely be something to invest in.

And the experience of watching the films themselves on the iPad? It was as good, if not better than watching them on a laptop.

Let me give you a brief outline of the movies so far..

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

This is when Harry first finds out he is a wizard at the age of eleven from Hagrid the half giant. During the course of the film Harry discovers he is in fact a very famous wizard, because he survived an attack form the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, who killed his parents.

Harry begins his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and becomes close friends with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Together they go on the hunt for the Philopher’s Stone which is somewhere in the school.

Watching this film again now,it is pretty amusing seeing how young they all look and there aren’t so many special effects as there are later.

2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Harry returns to Hogwarts with Ron and Hermione, but they’ve got rather a lot to deal with as The Chamber of Secrets opens, causing everyone to be absolutely petrified. Harry steps in to save the day, which involves finding a mysterious diary and realising he can speak Parseltongue. And it’s the first time we meet the much loved house elf, Dobby.

This second instalment is pretty slow moving, although it’s true to the book it really does drag a bit unless you’re a hard-core fan.

3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Again it starts with Harry returning to Hogwarts. The convicted murderer Sirius Black escapes from Azkaban Prison and Dementors are sent to protect the school. Harry learns more about his past and also what his relationship to Sirius is.

This one really steps up, it is visually stunning, exciting and there’s hints of a darkness that just isn’t present in the first two. It’s also quite amusing and touching at the same time, as Harry comes to terms with who he is.

4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

It’s Harry’s fourth year at school already and it’s time for the Triwizard Tournament, which is amazing in the book. Three European schools take part in the tournament and have to compete against each other in deadly tasks. The Goblet of Fire selects the players and for some reason picks four instead of three, the final of whom is Harry.

The films are just getting better. The characters are getting more mature, and there is a great mix of drama, danger and the magic we all really loved from the first films.

5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

Things turn nasty for Harry, as the Ministry of Magic are in denial that Lord Voldermort has returned. Harry is dealing with Professor Umbridge and his rejection by the other students, while being a big part of the Order of the Phoenix, an organisation fighting against Voldermort.

Again it’s pretty dark but it feels like there might be something missing from this one. It’s as if it’s just rehashing the previous films.

6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

Voldermort and the Death Eaters will step up their reign of terror this year. Dumbledore and Harry join forces to find a way to get rid of the Dark Lord once and for all. Meanwhile Draco Malfoy is trying to carry out a task that Voldermort has given him.

The sixth film has a much more mature feel to it, there is even romance in it. It looks great, but goes on a bit.

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