Apple on Wednesday finally unveiled its tablet computer, called the iPad, at an invite-only event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in downtown San Francisco. The device, which looks like a larger version of Apple's iPod Touch will be available in two to three months, and starts at $499.
Read on to get a quick overview of everything that was announced, and why it matters.
New hardware: The iPad
Proving rumors right, Apple unveiled the iPad, a device that looks akin to a large iPhone or iPod Touch. It sports a 9.7-inch LCD touch-screen display, which makes use of the same multitouch technology found on the iPhone, Apple's Magic Mouse, and its notebook trackpads. It also has the same in-plane switching display technology that made its debut in the latest crop of iMacs.
Like the iPhone and iPod, it sports a finger-friendly OS with an on-screen QWERTY keyboard, and an accelerometer that can detect whether the device is in portrait or landscape mode. It has a 30-pin dock connector, built-in Wi-Fi, and a home button that jumps users back to the main screen of the OS. It also has a volume rocker and a mute button--just like the iPhone.
Along with a big screen, it's sporting a 1Ghz custom Apple chip (from its pick-up of PA Semi back in 2008). Apple says it can get 10 hours of video, which is about four more than the iPod Touch and the same as the latest generation iPhone. This translates to "a month" of standby time. The iPad will come in 16, 32, and 64GB capacities for $499, $599, and $699, respectively. That's just the Wi-Fi version though. Apple will also be selling a version of the iPad that includes both Wi-Fi and a 3G wireless modem built in.… Read more