As expected, Apple yesterday unveiled a new tablet PC, the iPad, that looks a lot like a bigger version of its popular iPhone. The new device even excludes features that are not yet avaiable on the smartphone.
These include a lack of camera or USB ports on the device, as well as an inability to read memory cards.
The new iPad can also run only Apple-sanctioned applications, while it will only be able to access on iTunes videos and music. While it is being touted as an education tool, and opposition to Amazon's Kindle e-Book reader, this facility is currently available only in the US.
However, users have reacted positively to the device (although the name has raised some eyebrows), which has been hailed as a new way of browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more.
The iPad’s high-resolution Multi-Touch display lets users physically interact with applications and content.
And the iPad is just 0.5 inches thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds— thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook.
“iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price,” says Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.”
iPad features 12 Multi-Touch applications. Every app works in both portrait and landscape, automatically animating between views as the user rotates iPad in any direction. The precise Multi-Touch interface makes surfing the web on iPad an entirely new experience, dramatically more interactive and intimate than on a computer. Reading and sending email is fun and easy on iPad’s large screen and almost full-size “soft” keyboard. Import photos from a Mac®, PC or digital camera, see them organized as albums, and enjoy and share them using iPad’s elegant slideshows. Watch movies, TV shows and YouTube, all in HD or flip through pages of an e-book you downloaded from Apple’s new iBookstore while listening to your music collection.
iPad runs almost all of the over 140 000 apps on the App Store, including apps already purchased for the iPhone or iPod touch.
iPad syncs with iTunes just like the iPhone and iPod touch, using the standard Apple 30-pin to USB cable.
The intelligent soft keyboard pioneered on iPhone takes advantage of iPad’s larger display to offer an almost full-size soft keyboard. iPad also connects to the new iPad Keyboard Dock with a full-size traditional keyboard.
iPad is powered by A4, Apple’s system-on-a-chip that provides exceptional processor and graphics performance along with long battery life of up to 10 hours.
iPad comes in two versions—one with Wi-Fi (available in the US in March) and the other with both Wi-Fi and 3G (available from April in the US).
Pricing for the iPad starts at $499.00.