Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apple Unvails the "iPad" Today...

Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs unveiled a much-anticipated tablet computer TODAY, "the iPad," defining it as something that's "better than the laptop, better than the smart phone." The iPad, which appears similar to an iPhone but with a bigger screen, Mr Jobs said the device would have a wide range of uses, from emailing and web browsing to viewing video and reading e-books to playing music to playing video games.

Apple's much-anticipated event took place this morning (Wednesday), West Coast time, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. It was perhaps the most-hyped event in Apple's recent history, thanks to the intense speculation surrounding the tablet launch.

According to Mr. Jobs, the iPad is about half an inch thick, weighing 1.5 pounds, with a 9.7-inch screen. Apple claims the device has about 10 hours of battery life. It handles multi-touch input, meaning users can interact with it using more than one finger on the screen at the time. It runs on a 1-gigahertz chip, and comes with between 16 and 64 gigabytes of flash storage. Among its capabilities are wi-fi, Bluetooth, speakers, an accelerometer and a compass.

As anticipated, the iPad is similar to the iPhone in appearance, but larger. The screen unlock mechanism is identical to Apple's phone, and the system is integrated with iTunes, allowing for access to Apple's arsenal of content, ranging from applications to high-definition movies. Like the iPhone, the tablet also recognizes finger gestures on the screen as a means of inputting commands.

The device also contains a virtual keyboard that stretches across the screen. The screen switches from landscape to portrait depending on how the user holds it.

Mr. Jobs' presentation was squarely focused on presenting the iPad as a home entertainment device.

But ultimately, what separates the iPad from its iPredecessors is its more powerful computing ability, something that plays out in the realm of high-definition content. Mr. Jobs was quick to showcase the tablet's ability to play high-definition video from sites such as Youtube.

Jobs did not say how much the iPad will cost or when it will be made available to consumers but word on the Internet is having the iPad's to start at $499 US. Apple will also launch via itunes, Ebooks, which is a book store where users can purchase books and download them to their iPad.

UPDATE: 01/27/2010
There will be six models available, ranging from US$499 to US$829 depending on storage capacity and whether they have Wi-Fi or 3G wireless connections. The Wi-Fi models will be available internationally in 60 days (end of March) while the 3G models will be available in 90 days (end of April)

The most-basic iPad is US$499, for a model that connects to the Internet only through Wi-Fi and has 16 gigabytes of storage. That's a little more than C$530 with today's exchange rate.
A 16-gigabyte model that can access 3G mobile networks sells for US$629. The priciest iPads are US$699 for a 64-gigabyte Wi-Fi model and US$829 for a 64-gigabyte 3G model.

See the video below showcasing the new "iPad"...