Apple unveils iPad tablet computer | iLounge News

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Apple unveils iPad tablet computer

Apple today unveiled its new iPad, an iPhone OS-based slate tablet computer capable of running “almost all” of the apps available in the App Store, as well as new apps tailored specifically for the device. The iPad physically resembles an oversized iPod touch, with a 9.7-inch, 1024-by-768-pixel screen dominating the front and a black bezel surrounding it. The back is made from a solid piece of aluminum, with a 30-pin dock connector and speaker on the bottom, and volume, sleep/wake, and headphone ports around the other sides.

“iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price,” said 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.”

Photos of the new iPad tablet computer can be found in our Flickr photostream. Also available is a standard 10-minute Apple iPad interface walkthrough video on YouTube, or watch a higher-resolution, 12-minute version of the video on Vimeo. We’ve posted a third version of the video in 720p HD on Vimeo!

The device runs an advanced version of iPhone OS that allows it to run most of the apps currently available on the App Store, as well as modified apps that take advantage of the higher-resolution screen. Non-optimized iPhone applications can be run as coded in a small box in the middle of the screen, or can be run in “2X” mode, with the iPad scaling their resolution up to match the larger screen. The slide to unlock screen remains largely unchanged, while the main home screen has been enhanced to offer user-selectable backgrounds and an OS X-like reflective dock for the bottom row of applications. In on-screen demos, apps have pop-up menus, resembling those on the iPhone, but enclosed in their own hovering boxes as to not obstruct the rest of the screen. The iPad also employs an on-screen QWERTY keyboard that is described as “almost life-sized,” and, as with the iPhone and iPod touch, most specialized applications work in both vertical and horizontal orientation.

The iPad will offer enhanced versions of apps controlling its music, photo, video, and mail features, with the music app now resembling iTunes more than ever, complete with a selection of playlists and Library selections off to one side and differing views in the main column. Similar upgrades to the photo, video—which now includes both standard- and hi-definition YouTube—and mail applications were also shown. Apple also announced iPad-specific versions of its iWork applications, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, which are discussed more in-depth in a separate article. Also unique to the iPad is the new iBookstore, which offers a number of titles, both consumer and educational, all presented full-screen with page-turning animations and selectable font and size.

The iPad’s hardware includes the 9.7-inch IPS LED-backlit LCD display, an internal battery good for up to 10 hours of battery life, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 EDR wireless networking, a speaker, microphone, compass, accelerometer, and a custom 1GHz Apple A4 processor, which helps boost the battery life. Apple will be offering 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions of the iPad, both with and without microGSM 3G networking, for $499, $599, and $699, respectively, for the non-3G versions, and $629, $729, and $829, respectively, for 3G-enabled models. The 3G versions will support speeds up to 7.2 Mbps on HSDPA networks, and will also offer assisted GPS location capabilities. In addition, the company has worked out a deal with AT&T to offer no-contract 3G wireless data at the price of $15/month for up to 250MB of data, and unlimited data for $30 per month, either of which can be activated directly from the device. Wi-Fi-only models of the iPad will be available in 60 days, or at the end of March, while 3G-equipped models will be available in 90 days, or near the end of April.

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Comments

21

iPad really looks like a typical first-generation Apple product. I’m holding off.

Posted by Luis Velázquez on January 27, 2010 at 4:33 PM (CST)

22

Prediction - Coming in Summer 2010:
1) 128gb Ipad 3G for $799 (boy do I hate that name)
2) redesigned/tweaked ipad/ipodtouch/iphone UI
3) Verizon iphone deal

Posted by nanotech on January 27, 2010 at 4:34 PM (CST)

23

Prediction:
Coming in Summer 2010:
1) 128GB iPAD 3G for $799
2) Iphone for Verizon (no 4G)
3) redesigned/tweaked UI for iphone/ipad/ipodtouch

Posted by nanotech on January 27, 2010 at 4:35 PM (CST)

24

Hey Jamie…things aren’t going well between Apple and ATT…that is why Apple is getting a good deal on 3g data plans with no contracts for the ipad.  I was in No-Cal last week for work…and I was next to the Apple campus…3 dropped calls in 30 minutes…and 1 failed-to-connect call. Apple knows this and it is the same reason they shopped around for ipad service deals before raking ATT over the coals for their lousy service…and Apple continues talks with other service providers to let ATT know they will open up when contractually able (from the phone side).

I have 6 computers at home…2 of them are MBPs and my wife and I have iphones.  So, I can say I buy the best device for the job…and I am bummed at the ipad.  I’m hoping v2 or v3 is much better.

When the ipad has the following I will buy.
- GPS
- Minimum of 192GB flash memory
- Real web browsing (with flash)
- cam for videoconferencing
- multitasking (duh) - this unfortunately is a limitation brought on by the iphone OS, not the h/w…apple needs to allow this in iphone OS so the iphone and ipad can have it
- Bluetooth and/or WiFi sync’ing with iTunes
- if I’m paying for 3g, then I should be able to make calls on it
- If I’m already an ATT customer, should be incremental cost for ipad data plan…$5 or $10 added to unlimited plan
- much better battery life…because we all know 10-hours is not true…unless you have wifi off, 3g off, screen off and you let the ipad sit for 10 hours.
- $500 max price point…this isn’t difficult…it’s double of decent netbooks today…and which I get most of the above wishes already.

All the above wishes should be fairly easy to do…except the $500 price point…but I’m willing to wait for all the suckers out there to drive down the price of the engineering and h/w to get it to the right price with all the features that would make it worthwhile.

I am an ex-software and hardware engineer now doing technical marketing and I’m embarrassed by the words ‘revolutionary’ and ‘magical’ that are being used for this device.  Apple has done a lot of good things lately…this is definitely not one of them.  The iPhone has been a home run for Apple and its customers (sans AT&T of course)...all they had to do was make a 10” screen iPhone and the ipad would have been killer.

Sorry apple, me and my family and anyone else I can convince will be spending our gadget money on something else for the next couple years.

Posted by psyclone on January 27, 2010 at 4:37 PM (CST)

25

Priced $200.00 less for each version (3G, wifi) with a starting pricepoint of $300.00 would have had the makers of the Kindle jumping out of their office building windows today.  Priced as it is…this will go the way of the ipod Hi-fi

Posted by ArtVandelay on January 27, 2010 at 4:51 PM (CST)

26

reminds me of last weeks Favre interception

Posted by Chaim on January 27, 2010 at 4:55 PM (CST)

27

Its a really nice e-reader.  What more should it be? A laptop?
Amazons comparable reader is 499 this is in color more memory and better os.
It will be great for magazines and comic books. Which is why i want it. Im tired of my iphones small screen. And my laptop, because the screen is landscape makes comics look small.  I am the market for this device, not everyone is.
Just my 2cents.  And is does have a GPS

Posted by donald on January 27, 2010 at 5:07 PM (CST)

28

Wow. It is amazing to me how everyone expects Apple to create the iPod and iPhone over and over. Most companies would kill for just one revolutionary product.

No doubt the iPad (the name is really bad) will improve, but I would rather have this than a netbook or lugging around a laptop. It does what I need it to and nothing more. It is exactly what Steve said it was - a device in the middle. And for a society that craves/demands to be entertained all the time. this product fits perfectly.

Posted by Seth D. on January 27, 2010 at 5:10 PM (CST)

29

I’m with you Donald. I’m anxious to view comics on the thing too.

I need to actually use the item before making a decision. I did a lot with my ancient Palm Treo, but nothing compared to my iPhone. I use laptops and netbooks, but don’t really like them. I think the iPad has potential of finding a nice place between my iPhone and my computer. I hope the iPad works as fast and easy as it looks. If so, I might own one in a year or so.

Posted by Lance on January 27, 2010 at 5:10 PM (CST)

30

The question I have is, what is the Apple A4 processor? Is it like the “Snapdragon” 1 Ghz processor that are coming out in newer cell phones? Faster? Slower? Obviously the processor speed is the same, but how do they compare?

There are too many of these comments that portray the problem with the “Apple rumor mill”; expectations and hype get people’s hopes up too far, and then there’s disappointment. Apple came out with a solid (not great) device at a much more affordable price than I’d expected. It’s in large part a high def iPod Touch (iPhone) with a book reader.

Does it command the price points it has? No. Is it missing features? Definitely. Will it be improved over time? Yes. Is there a real market for this? I’d say yes; between techies with a little extra money to throw around, travellers and some students, this is an excellent compromise for having a laptop. As the price comes down, it should be more appealing to everyone.

Posted by Dave on January 27, 2010 at 5:14 PM (CST)

31

I don’t get the appeal of this. It’s basically a bigger version of the ipod touch. What does it do that I can’t already do on a touch or a laptop? Why would I spend $700 (or $829) on the 64 GB version of this when another $300 would get me a Macbook or I could buy a full out PC for the same price, both of which are far superior in functionality?

And where would I use this thing? It’s too big to carry around all the time like an ipod touch, and if I’m going to carry something in a backpack, why wouldn’t I want to bring my laptop instead? If I’m at my house, why would I ever want to use the iPad instead of my laptop or desktop computer, especially since I can’t easily multitask on the iPad’s App-based interface like I can on a computer? And how is there no Flash video support on this when 99% of internet video these days is Flash?

The 3G option has no appeal either because I could get a 3G card or USB attachment for my laptop for far less money. This thing does nothing 2 devices I already own can do better.

Aside from the “cool” factor, I don’t know why anyone would have a real reason to buy this. It doesn’t really bring any USEFUL, NEW concepts to the table. It doesn’t do anything that would make most people I know say “I’ll pay $700 for that!” It’s also out of the price range of most college age people, who are a large part of Apple’s most successful demographic.

Posted by Ghost of Billy Mays on January 27, 2010 at 5:17 PM (CST)

32

“It’s a really nice e-reader”

It is? In what universe? It’s got a max battery life of 10 hours at the entry price of $500. Meanwhile the Kindle 2 manages 4 days of battery life with wireless on and 2 weeks of battery life with wireless turned off AND lifetime wireless coverage just about anywhere included for $360.

This is why Apple can put this product out there and still turn a profit. Even when it is clearly made of fail based on products that have been out for months or even years, there’s somebody who actually thinks it’s a good product based on who knows what basis.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on January 27, 2010 at 5:23 PM (CST)

33

The thing about a tablet is that it is just a laptop without a keyboard and a hinge, but adds a touchscreen. So they wind up costing the same as a laptop and people make the decision that if they are going to spend as much as they would on a laptop, they might as well get a laptop (that’s the decision I made two years ago when looking at a Pepper Pad).

So you have to find a way to come up with something less expensive than a laptop, which Apple has done. People may say they want Flash and the real Mac OS and tons of memory and whatever, but the cost would be astronomical at Apple’s profit margin. So a stretched Touch was all this was going to be, and all it can be if it is going to be successful (which I kind of doubt). I might get one if I was looking for an internet appliance for around the house (depending on how well text entry works), but I already have a laptop.

Posted by brted on January 27, 2010 at 5:25 PM (CST)

34

I think the revolutionary aspect that people are missing here is that this is the first device that has the potential to be the real-world iteration of a Star-Trek-style PADD device (even the name “iPad” seems to conjure up that image).

Essentially, Apple is trying to completely re-invent the mobile computing paradigm in a manner similar to what they did with the iPhone.  People who need a laptop class of computer will still buy one, but for many *average* users (not the tech-savvy) this device can adequately replace the function a laptop/netbook for on-the-go computing.

As with the iPhone, it’s not going to be a question of what the device does (or doesn’t do), but rather how it does it.  In terms of raw features, the first-generation iPhone was absolutely nothing special, and didn’t even have half the “features” of its major competition. What made it special is that the few tasks that it did perform, it performed unbelievably well, both in terms of visual presentation and user interface.

For this reason, the iPhone brought the whole “smartphone” concept into the hands of the average user—it wasn’t built for people already toting Blackberry or Palm devices, but rather for those average cell phone users who had previously thought a Smartphone to be “too much” for their needs in terms of either features, price, or complexity.

In the same way, I suspect the iPad is not targeted at existing laptop/netbook users, but will instead appeal to the much larger majority of folks who never even considering buying a laptop or netbook because their on-the-go computing needs aren’t nearly that sophisticated.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on January 27, 2010 at 5:25 PM (CST)

35

from Dave (#32): “between techies with a little extra money to throw around, travellers and some students, this is an excellent compromise for having a laptop. As the price comes down, it should be more appealing to everyone.”

No, that product is already out there, it’s called the netbook, and at $250 is a far better performer than the most expensive iPad.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on January 27, 2010 at 5:27 PM (CST)

36

nothing like i was hoping for, the thing is a hideous, useless and expensive monstrosity.  a big iphone? 64 gigs?  at&t? really? give me something i can use. apple is sure to tank after this.

Posted by David Cisco on January 27, 2010 at 5:32 PM (CST)

37

@Jesse: if that comes to pass, I weep for the species. When spending $500 and up for what this thing does is reasonable for the non-techie crowd, I cringe at wondering how they amassed that much disposable income in the first place.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on January 27, 2010 at 5:33 PM (CST)

38

Some other points in response to the questions of “what can this do that an iPhone/iPod touch can’t?” ...

The larger screen size is an obvious win when you really think about it, and the new OS is designed to take advantage of that in different ways—split screen capabilities, resolution independent applications, video that can in a window instead of full screen.

Likewise, a full-size keyboard on the touchscreen might make it possible to actually touch-type on the thing.

The external keyboard itself bears some mention. For people who actually want to do some real writing (ie, bloggers and writers) this has some potential in that regard as well, although in my opinion we’re admittedly getting into the crossover for laptops/netbooks at that point.

The external display capabilities also offer some promise. From what I’ve seen, the video out will do far more than just allow for video playback—applications will actually be able to use the external screen, either as a mirror of the iPad screen itself, or as a secondary display.

It would appear that the whole text entry system has been seriously revamped, including support for custom fonts and rich-text capabilities.

Likewise, I’ve heard some murmurings that this device will also support actual file sharing capabilities in some form or another, rather than just having to mess around with cloud or Wi-Fi syncing to get your documents on and off of the device. In a similar vein, inter-app document sharing would also likely be a possibility.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on January 27, 2010 at 5:34 PM (CST)

39

The messages here are what’s underwhelming to me.
I simply have to laugh at what are either trolls, or those that lack the vision to see that this v1.0 product indeed DO change things.
It will sell like crazy.  And I’m one on board.
It was exactly what I thought it would be, and what I need.
The same jokers were out after the iPod and then the iPhone.
Well, we know how that story ended.  Which is why I own and have owned AAPL.

Posted by sb on January 27, 2010 at 5:50 PM (CST)

40

I think the problem people will have will be the support of Flash is still not available if it is built on the same OS.  At least, I would want that. In addition, only 64GB is the largest?  Why not at least provide an SD slot so we can expand because for 829.00 for the Wi-Fi and 3G and you only get 64GB is not enough for me….

Posted by Zacreth on January 27, 2010 at 5:54 PM (CST)

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