iPad

The iPad is designed to define a new market between laptops and smartphones. It works like an oversized iPod touch, but new and updated apps have been modified for its larger 1024 x 768 display. For instance, when you to go email, the onscreen keyboard automatically appears - and it's large enough to type on.


The iPad is just 0.5" thick.

The 9.7" screen is large enough that you can view a monthly calendar meaningfully - the text isn't so small that you have to click to read it. Of course, iTunes is built in, and there's support for HD YouTube videos.

The iPad is just 0.5" thick, weight 1.5 to 1.6 lb., and its LED backlit display has full capacitive multitouch support. It's powered by Apple's own 1 GHz A4 CPU - processor, graphics, I/O, and memory controller on one chip - and includes 16 GB to 64 GB of flash memory. 802.11n WiFi is included, and battery life is rated at 10 hours - or a month in standby mode. It's got the same dock connector as the iPod and iPhone.

The iPad has stereo speakers and a built-in microphone.

The iPad is very green: no arsenic, BFR, mercury, or PVC, and it's highly recyclable. It can run all iPhone apps out of the box, either at native size or scaled up ("doubled") to full screen. Online reports indicate that using the "2x" button makes apps look blocky.

A new feature is iBooks, Apple's ebook reader that uses the ePub format. iBooks can be purchased through Apple's iBookstore. You can change the typeface and size, and Apple promises that textbooks will be available.

Next, there's iWork for the iPad, which has a whole new user interface. It includes Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, just like the Mac version. Price is $9.99, probably per app, not for the iWork suite.

There will be different versions of the iPad, including some with 3G wireless. AT&T has a $30/month unlimited data plan, or $15 for 250 MB of data. Both plans include free use of AT&T WiFi hotspots. Best of all, these plans are prepay with no contracts! The 3G iPad supports UMTS/HSDPA and GSM/EDGE networks.

Prices: 16 GB, no 3G, $499; 32 GB, $599; 64 GB, $699. 16 GB with 3G, $629; 32 GB, $729; 64 GB, $829.

Unlike the iPhone, the iPad is unlocked and uses new GSM micro SIMs. Apple hopes to have worldwide data support available in June or July.

The WiFi models will ship wordlwide within 60 days, and the wait is up to 90 days for 3G models, which still need FCC certifiction. Apple has a dock to hold the iPad upright when charging or docked to your computer. Put your iPad in the dock, and it acts as a digital picture frame.

For serious keyboarders, Apple has a full size mechanical keyboard that uses a dock and supports the iPad in vertical/portrait mode. There's also a case that can be used as an easel to display the iPad in horizontal mode.

If you already have an iPhone or iPod touch, you can use your existing apps with the iPad - no need to buy them again.

Like the iPhone and iPod touch, no multitasking unless you upgrade to iOS 4. There is no built-in camera, so no video chat without accessories.

Specifications

  • announced 2010.01.27; non-3G version available 2010.04.03; 3G availability late April 2010; replaced by iPad 2 in March 2011
  • requires iPhone OS 3.x or later
  • CPU: 1 GHz Apple A4
  • RAM: 256 MB
  • Level 2 cache: 512 KB
  • performance: Geekbench
    • overall: 470
    • integer: 373
    • floating point: 470
    • memory: 707
    • stream: 343
  • display: 9.7" 1024 x 768 LED backlit, 132 ppi resolution
  • video out: with adapter
  • flash drive: 16, 32, and 64 GB
  • ports: Apple dock connector, 3.5mm stereo headphone jack, SIM card tray (3G model only)
  • WiFi: 802.11n
  • Bluetooth: 2.1 + EDR
  • G3: UMTS/HSDPA and GSM/EDGE
  • sensors: accelerometer, ambient light sensor, digital compass
  • microphone: built in
  • Battery: rated at 10 hours, one month on standby
  • size: 9.56 x 7.47 x 0.5" (242.8 x 189.7 x 13.4 mm)
  • weight
    • WiFi: 1.5 lb. (0.68 kg)
    • 3G: 1.6 lb. (0.73 kg)

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