Apple today introduced the 9.7-inch iPad, a “revolutionary” device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more. The iPad features a responsive high-resolution Multi-Touch display lets users physically interact with applications and content. The iPad is just 0.5 inches thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds—thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook. iPad includes 12 new apps designed especially for the iPad, and will run almost all of the over 140,000 apps in the App Store. The Wi-Fi model iPad will be available in late March, the 3G model will be available in April.
“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.”
iPad features 12 next-generation Multi-Touch applications. Every app works in both portrait and landscape, automatically animating between views as the user rotates iPad. The Multi-Touch interface gives users the ability to use an almost full-size “soft” keyboard. Images can be imported, and organized as albums; audio can be played through iTunes; and movies, TV shows and YouTube videos can be viewed in High Def. Users can also read through the pages of an e-book downloaded from the new Apple iBookstore.
Launched with the iPad is the new Apple iBooks app for iPad, which includes Apple’s new iBookstore. The iBookstore will feature books from major and independent publishers.
Apple also introduced a new version of iWork for iPad, a desktop-class productivity suite designed specifically for Multi-Touch. With Pages, Keynote and Numbers users can create formatted documents, stunning presentations with animations and transitions, and spreadsheets with charts, functions and formulas. The three apps will be available separately through the App Store.
iPad syncs with iTunes just like the iPhone and iPod touch, using the standard Apple 30-pin to USB cable so users can sync all their contacts, photos, music, movies, TV shows, applications and more from a Mac or PC. All the apps and content downloaded on iPad from the App Store, iTunes Store and iBookstore will be automatically be synced to your iTunes library the next time the iPad is connected with the users’ computer.
The iPad features a stunning 9.7-inch, LED-backlit display, with an ultra-wide 178 degree viewing angle. The intelligent soft keyboard pioneered on iPhone takes advantage of iPad’s larger display to offer an almost full-size soft keyboard. iPad also connects to the new iPad Keyboard Dock with a full-size traditional keyboard.
iPad comes in two versions—one with Wi-Fi and the other with both Wi-Fi and 3G. iPad includes the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi, and the 3G versions support speeds up to 7.2 Mbps on HSDPA networks. Apple and AT&T announced breakthrough 3G pre-paid data plans for iPad with easy, on-device activation and management.
Other features: built-in storage uses flash media; built-in 25Whr rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that is rechargeable via USB or AC adapter; inputs/outputs include dock connector, headphone jack, built-in speakers and mic, and Sim Card tray (on the 3G model).
Optional accessories include the iPad Keyboard Dock, iPad Case, iPad Dock, iPad Camera Connection Kit and iPad USB Power Adapter.
iPad will be available in late March worldwide for a suggested retail price of $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, $699 for the 64GB model. The Wi-Fi + 3G models of iPad will be available in April in the US and selected countries for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model. iPad will be sold in the US through the Apple Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers.
— Diane Berkenfeld