It has been a while since niche consumer electronics manufacturer Apple launched an entirely new product, rather than revision recycles of already existing lines. Today marks the entrance of the Apple iPad, a touchscreen tablet PC that the company says will revolutionize the market.
In terms of technical specs, the device is actually rather impressive compared to many tablets currently available. In the typical fashionable Apple design, the unit itself is only a half inch thick, weighs just 1.5lbs and boasts a 9.7inch capacitive IPS LCD touchscreen. On the hardware side of things, it is powered by a 1GHz Apple “A4″ chip developed by P.A. Semi that does dual duty for both processing and graphics, along with a variety of storage options from 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. Battery is toted as up to 10 hours in use and a month of standby.
With its slim design comes the obvious sacrifice of external connections; aside from the dock and single audio connector there are none, no USB, Firewire, eSATA. All forms of connectivity will have to be wireless with integrated Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi 802.11n. Initially 3G capabilities were not listed at the launch event, however updates have come across the wire stating that a second Wi-Fi/3G model will in fact be available.
Apple will offer a 30-pin to USB cable so you may sync the tablet to your PC to transfer files and data.
The operating system is based on the current iPhone OS, and thus can utilize the App store and all current iPhone apps. Street price has been listed as starting at $499 USD for the basic model, and $829 for the 3G capable 64GB version. The phone will ship unlocked directly from the Apple online store and authorized Apple resellers.
Lets be honest, in reality it sounds like one big iPhone (minus the phone), but with over 40 million units sold, Apple is banking on the fact that people adopt the idea that “big is better”.