Last month the rumor that Apple was
holding the launch event for this new device in January lit up the
internet and sent
Apple stock soaring upwards. A couple weeks ago Apple
confirmed this event, delivering invitations to the press. The
launch event was held today January 27 in San Francisco, California,
as the Apple faithful watched and waited.
today announced the iPad, a promising new tablet device which the
electronics manufacturer swears will revolutionize the mobile
computing industry, much as its iPhone did. The new device runs
a modified version of OS X similar to the iPhone. Unlike the
iPhone there's a background wallpaper and an added bottom dock,
similar to stock OS X (except with chiclet icons).
features a full screen touch keyboard. It has built in email
and photo browsing interfaces similar to the iPhone. Apple says
the device is perfect for web browsing and viewing online videos.
The device has a slide unlock mechanism similar to the iPhone.
States Apple CEO Steve Jobs, "It’s so much more intimate than
a laptop... [It's] a truly magical and revolutionary product."
As for the specs, its worthy of the Apple
brand reputation of pushing the envelope of hardware packaging.
It features a 9.7-inch IPS display which Mr. Jobs says has a "great
angle of view". At the same time it is a mere 0.5"
thin and weighs 1.5 lb., putting the most sleek netbooks to
The device comes with multi-touch hardware support and
is powered by an 1GHz Apple A4 chip (an ARM processor), and has 16GB
to 64GB of flash storage. The processor marks a continued
of the ARM architecture on the x86 architecture's personal
computing stronghold. It also is packed with 802.11n wireless
internet, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, a 30-pin connector, a speaker, a
microphone, an accelerometer and a compass.
It gets 10
hrs. of battery life and Apple assures its environmentalist fans will
without toxic materials like arsenic, brominated flame
retardants, or PVC.
You can run any iPhone app on the device,
including in a new mode dubbed "double pixel", which runs
the app at the same resolution, but doubled image size vertically and
horizontally -- essentially making it full screen. Developers
can also develop apps specifically for the larger screen, using an
enhanced version of the SDK.
The tablet comes with some
intuitive, but nice perks, such as a relatively strong (by the looks
of it) painting suite named Brushes, which should handle your
strongest finger painting urges. Graphically, games on the
tablet fall somewhere between a PC and a mobile device like the
iPhone or PSP in quality.
The new product did have its hang
ups during the demo. Mr. Jobs made some mistakes when typing on
it. Also, some web pages had noticeably missing content in
Safari (notably Flash while browsing the New York Times website),
raising the question of whether Apple's lack of support for the
iPhone is extending to the iPad. And some are unhappy with the
overly large bezel Apple put around the screen, limiting the screen
size (this likely gave it room to pack the electronics in the thin
The iPad syncs with your Mac or PC
using a 30-pin cable just like an iPhone or iPod touch. All of your
apps, contacts, bookmarks, and backups are accomplished in exactly
the same way.
Some iPad models will also be
integrated with 3G wireless (AT&T, for better or worse). Data
plans will range from $15/month for 250MB of data to $30/month for
unlimited data -- no contracts are required.
The 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models cost
$499, $599, and $699 respectively. Choosing an iPad with integrated
3G will cost you $629, $729, and $829 respectively. Standard models
will ship within 60 days, 3G models will ship within 90 days.
Accessories for the iPad will include a dock and keyboard for those
that don't want to be bothered with the onscreen keyboard.