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 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.
- 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)
- WiFi: 1.5 lb. (0.68 kg)
- 3G: 1.6 lb. (0.73 kg)
- iPad perfect for handheld computing, John Hatchett, Recycled Computing, 2010.02.05. You can hold the iPad in one hand and operate it with the other, giving it real advantages over a laptop computer.
- Touch shifts the Apple empire, Tim Nash, Taking Back the Market, 2010.02.05. Apple dominates mobile computing, and it will be difficult for competitors to match the value of the iPad.
- iPad targets netbook users, iPad 'flaws' don't matter, in-page search for iPhone Safari, and more, iNews Review, 2010.02.05. Also FSF considers iPad 'iBad' for freedom, Touch Mouse app turns iPhone into wireless keyboard and trackpad, privacy screen for iPhone, and more.
- iPad should support a stylus, CoolBook quiets MacBooks, Puppy Linux for PowerPC Macs, and more, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2010.02.03. Also the iPad as a genie in a bottle, Eudora Classic 6.2, notebook battery life, and more uses for 'obsolete' technology.
- Is the iPad Apple's true successor to the 12" PowerBook?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2010.02.02. The iPad has the same 1024 x 768 display as generations of G3 PowerBooks, iBooks, and the 12" PowerBook G4 - but it offers a whole lot more than any laptop ever has.
- The iPad shows the failure of journalism, Jason Walsh, Mac Life, 2010.02.02. Tech pundits latch on to every perceived shortcoming of Apple's iPad while looking to it to save the publishing industry.
- iPad a better choice than a netbook, Kev Kitchens, Kitchens Sync, 2010.02.01. Apple's iPad is a new category of product explicitly designed for getting work done on the go.
- The iPad changes the mobile game, John Hatchett, Recycled Computing, 2010.01.29. The iPad goes beyond Apple's Newton and iPod touch legacy to create a new and compelling mobile platform.
- iPad score card, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2010.01.29. Apple's iPad is almost everything expected, but there are areas where it comes up short.
- iPad to kill off laptops?, office app with Google Docs integration, SpotACop app, and more, iNews Review, 2010.01.29. Also iPad pros and cons, AutoPark helps avoid parking tickets, WhiteHouse.gov: Anywhere, Dragon Dictation reviewed, first iPad bags announced, and more.
- iPad priced from $499, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2010.01.27. The 9.7" iPad has a custom 1 GHz Apple CPU, runs iPhone apps, ships in 60 days, and defines a whole new category of products.
- Making the computer even more personal, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2010.01.25. Portability and wireless networking make computing on the go easier and more personal than ever.
- Why I didn't wait for the Apple tablet, Jason Walsh, Mac Life, 2010.01.20. Jason Walsh explains why he bought Dell Mini and made a 'Hackintosh' of it rather than waiting for Apple's new mobile computer.
- iPad Technical Specifications, Apple.
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