It’s been a long, rumor-filled road, but today Apple has finally revealed a tablet, called the iPad. Steve Jobs seemed genuinely thrilled to demo the iPad, which weighs just 1.5 pounds, is a half-inch thin, and has a 9.7-inch capacitive touchscreen IPS display. More interesting, Apple has built their own custom 1GHz processor, called the Apple A4 chip, to power the iPad. According to Jobs, the A4 chip “just screams,” and as a result, the iPad boasts a 10-hour battery life, with a full one month of standby time. You’ll be able to get one in 16, 32, or 64GB sizes,
prices listed below. Bluetoth, 802.11n Wi-Fi, speaker, microphone, and dock connector round out the offerings.
One of the big draws of the iPad is that all current iPhone apps will run just fine on it, and you can choose to run them at the original resolution, or in a pixel-doubled mode for fullscreen on the iPad. Apps can also be optimized for iPad to take advantage of the full screen resolution, as well as enhanced gestures. A new iPhone SDK, which includes iPad support, will be released later today.
The goal with the iPad is to do the tasks like web browsing, email, photo viewing, video watching, and e-book reading (Apple is including a new ereader app called iBooks) better than a netbook ever could, but also better than a smartphone ever could. The iPad has a “gorgeous” keyboard that actually looks very easy to use, and the actual built-in applications look more like the full version of OS X than what you’d find on the iPhone or iPod touch. In fact, you even get full-featured applications like iPhoto, iTunes, iBooks, and even Pages, Keynote, and Numbers in iWork for the iPad.
As far as 3G data plans, the iPad has two plans available from AT&T in the US. $14.99 per month for up to 250MB of data, or $29.99 per month for unlimited data. The best part? There are no contracts. You pay on a pre-paid month-to-month basis, so there are no cancellation fees. You activate your plan directly from the iPad, with no reason to hit an AT&T Store. All iPad 3G models are unlocked and use GSM micro SIMs, so in theory, you could get a better plan of your own elsewhere and just use that.
Let’s talk pricing - each model of the iPad is available as a Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi + 3G configuration. 16GB is $499 / $629, 32GB costs $499 / $729, and the 64GB model will be $699 / $829. As far as availability, iPad without 3G will start shipping at the end of March, while the 3G models will start shipping at the end of April. Choose wisely!
Okay, we know that Apple will be launching their new tablet device at their January 27th event next week, and the hype for the device is unlike anything we’ve experienced in the tech world, and that includes the pre-iPhone hype. We just wanna get a gauge on what you guys are thinking right now. So tell us, would you pre-order the Apple Tablet/iPad/iSlate today if you could, with no concrete knowledge of what exactly it does or how it will work?
Our pals over at Boy Genius Report are saying they’ve received some inside information about the iPhone OS 4.0, which is heavily rumored to debut, and possibly even be released, at the Apple event on January 27th. Here’s what they are saying about iPhone OS 4.0:
- There will be multi-touch gestures OS-wide. (Would make sense for that as the rumored OS for the iTablet is close if not the same as the iPhone)
- “A few new ways” to run applications in the background—multitasking.
- Many graphical and UI changes to make navigating through the OS easier and more efficient. We haven’t had this broken down, but we can only hope for improved notifications, a refreshed homescreen, etc.
- The update will supposedly be available for only the iPhone 3G and 3GS, but will “put them ahead in the smartphone market because it will make them more like full-fledged computers” more than any other phone to date. Everyone is “really excited.”
- The last piece of information is the most vague, but apparently there will be some brand new syncing ability for the contacts and calendar applications.
As far as we’re concerned, we think that a graphical and UI interface refresh is definitely needed for the iPhone, which hasn’t really seen any major interface changes since it launched. Of course, we will be bringing you all the new on January 27th as it happens.
Okay, gang, Apple has finally sent those press invitations out to an event they are holding on January 27th, and if there is one thing we can surmise from this one, it’s that we will be seeing the release of a new product. Whether you want to call it the iSlate, iPad, Apple Tablet, MacBook touch, or whatever else, we’re putting all our money on a brand new multitouch tablet device, with Apple aiming to change the world yet again. Oh, and updated MacBook Pros as well.
The event starts at 10:00AM Pacific time and comes to you from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco. Join us then, because we’ll be hitting you with the news as it happens.
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