Apple has just unveiled it’s long anticipated tablet device, named the iPad. iPads will start shipping in about 60 days. Here’s the rundown on it:
- 1/2″ thick
- a featherweight 1.5lbs
- 9.7″ IPS display
- full multitouch touch-screen
- Comes in 3 storage sizes: 16GB ($499), 32GB ($599) and 64GB ($699)
- WiFi 802.11n & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. Some models will have 3G. Monthly data contracts available with AT&T. 3G models cost $130 more than WiFi-only models.
- 10 hrs battery life, 1 month in standby
- view in any direction – landscape or portrait and from any side.
The iPad is geared to be a Web surfing and multimedia device, so it can handle photos, iTunes, movies, TV, e-mail, and even video games. There is on-screen soft keyboard for those apps that need it. Unfortunately, like the iPhone, there is no Adobe Flash.
The iPad can run any app that runs on the iPhone and Apple has also updated the iPhone SDK so that apps can be developed for this sized display. Another key feature is the iBooks app that works with the newly created iBook Store, although Apple only has agreements with 5 publishers so far.
This is about what we’d expected despite the hype and rumor mill. It’s not a ‘wow’ device. They’ve positioned it as something between a smartphone and a laptop, but much better than a netbook. I don’t agree with that assessment, as the price point is probably going to be a huge differentiator and detractor if it ends up being twice as expensive as the average netbook.
A pure touchscreen isn’t enough for some games, so I don’t see this being much more than a bigger screened iPhone gaming device.
Regarding the soft keyboard, it requires you to have the iPad in your lap, or on another surface to type with both hands. But what if you want to hold it one hand and type with the other? The keyboard may be too large for that. It’d be nice if you could resize it.
The lack of Adobe Flash is another huge drawback if this is supposed to be a Web-surfing gadget. Sure, HTML5 is starting to make some waves, but let’s face it – there are entirely too many websites that depend on Flash to hum.
This isn’t going to be a device that everyone wants or needs. If you’re already a laptop owner, you’re probably not foaming at the mouth for one of these. Sure a touchscreen is nice, but is it nicer than having Flash support in your Web browser? As much as Steve Jobs claimed that the iPad is ‘better’ than a netbook, netbooks will very likely end up being the iPad’s main competition.