New iPad draws interest in Lexington

Apple Inc.'s latest gadget, the iPad, drew steady interest from early adopters in Lexington Saturday morning as the notebook-sized touch-screen computer first went on sale.

Employees at the Nicholasville Road Best Buy — the only retailer in Lexington selling the iPad — handed out more than 30 tickets early Saturday to eager customers who showed up before the store opened at 10 a.m.

"I'm going on a trip soon, and I wanted something to have on the trip, mostly to watch videos," said Andy Donovan, 34 of Lexington, as he picked up a ticket for a 32 gigabyte iPad at 8:30 a.m.

His friend, Chad Amos, 35, reserved a 64GB iPad.

Donovan and Amos were among those who missed the deadline to pre-order the iPads from Apple. UPS delivered the advance-ordered ones Saturday morning.

The Best Buy had 45 iPads — 15 each of the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models — in the store to start the day. A UPS truck with at least 45 more arrived shortly before 9 a.m.

The iPads range in price from $499 for the 16GB to $699.

Josh Kirk, a Best Buy sales specialist, said a dozen customers were lined up in front of the store when he arrived at 7:30 a.m. Some, who had been there as early as 5 a.m., were sitting in lawn chairs. But no tents were put up, Kirk said.

Owen Cropper, 49, of Lexington said he was pleasantly surprised that he so easily reserved a 32GB iPad less than an hour before the store opened. He said he heard the Best Buy would only have a few and was preparing to drive to the Louisville Apple store.

"I was one of the guys who sat out here when the first iPhone came out," he said, adding that the iPad will likely replace the family laptop computer.

While Best Buy started with at least 90 iPads, the store still was waiting Saturday for the accessories to come in, such as cases, docking station, and the cord to connect the iPad to external monitors, Kirk said.

By 5 p.m. all but "a few" 32GB had been sold, a manager said.