Apple Messiah Steve Jobs has announced the iPad, the firm's long rumoured tablet device. Jobs said that there is room for a third device between the smartphone and the laptop, but it has to be better than both of them at tasks such as web browsing, email, photos, e-books and videos.
"Some thought that netbooks were the answer, but they aren't better at anything," proclaimed Jobs.
The iPad is powered by a 1GHz Apple A4 processor, which is probably based on ARM technology, but Jobs didn't elaborate. In terms of wired connectivity, there's a 30-pin dock connector, as well as speaker and microphone sockets.
When it comes to wireless connectivity, the iPad includes 802.11n wireless and Bluetooth 2.1 support. Some models will also have built in 3G capabilities - UK pricing hasn't been announced, but it'll be $14.99 for 250MB per month or $29.99 for unlimited data and there's no contract in the US. Instead, you can activate directly on your iPad and the tariffs also include free use of AT&T wireless hotspots.
It weighs 680g and is half an inch thick, but battery life hasn't been compromised - you'll get 10 hours in use and over a month in standby. There's a 9.7in capacitive touchscreen too with a high-quality IPS LCD panel. There's also an accelerometer built in, which means Apple considers the iPad as much of a gaming platform as the iPhone and iPod touch - you tilt the iPad to control games.
The interface is very similar to the iPhone's and looks to be running a modified version of the iPhone OS - we'll have to wait and see if there's a new version of iPhone OS announced later in his keynote. As a result, it runs all of the 140,000+ applications in the App Store right from the get go - what's more, you'll instantly be able to use applications you've already purchased for your iPhone. These can either run in a window pixel-for-pixel or be zoomed to 200 per cent in full screen mode.
Developers can also target the iPad's screen size directly if they want, thanks to the introduction of the new iPhone OS SDK which is released today.
It'll come in 16, 32 and 64GB storage capacities. Prices will start at $499 for the 16GB WiFi-only model, going up to $599 for the 32GB and $699 for the 64GB model. With built in 3G, prices are $629, $729 and $829.
Worldwide availability will be in 60 days for the WiFi model and 90 days for 3G models.
In terms of accessories, there are two that Apple is announcing today - the first is a standard dock, the second is a keyboard dock and the third is a case.http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/laptops/275416/steve-jobs-unveils-apple-ipad-tablet