Apple iPad is Now a Reality

It’s finally official: Apple is releasing their very own tablet computer. The sleek little iPad boasts a 9.7 inch display that is a fully-functional multi-touch screen. It’s only half of an inch thick, and weighs just over a pound. You can purchase one of these with anywhere from 16 GB to 64 GB of storage. The device will support WiFi, and some models will allow 3G connections – via AT&T, of course. There’s a built-in speaker and mic, much like the iPhone has. The battery life is purported to be about ten hours! All of this sounds fantastic on the surface, doesn’t it? However, there are a few very large drawbacks that I have to point out.

  • AT&T – While the pricing for the 3G support on the iPad isn’t bad (no contract, and only $30 a month for unlimited access), why are we once again being forced to turn to AT&T? Apple would have fared much better during today’s unveiling if they had named any other company in this capacity. It’s a well-known fact that AT&T has struggled greatly with the 3G issues on the iPhone. How, then, are they going to handle yet another device?
  • No SD Card slot nor USB ports – I’m not joking. These two highly-demanded – and very important – add-ins are not… well… added in. The iPad doesn’t come with either of them. Don’t worry, though! You can shell out extra money and buy adapters from Apple in order to have these necessary additions. Not a slick move there, Apple.
  • No Flash – iPhone owners have griped long and loud about the lack of Flash support on their devices. As I watched the live event from Apple earlier, I swear I heard a loud groan go up when Steve Jobs clicked onto a screen that showed no Flash support on the iPad, either. People want Flash, Steve! We need to have that capability, and it’s beyond comprehension why you refuse to include support for it.

There are some excellent points and features, as well. The pricing came as a huge surprise to many, myself included. The WiFi version with 16 GB of memory will cost only $499! The 32 GB version will be $599 and the 64 GB model will be $699. If you want the fancy one with 3G capabilities, it will run you $829.00.

Another strong selling point is the fact that almost all existing Apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch will work on the iPad out of the box. Apple also released a new SDK today, so that developers can create one App from here on out that will work across all three devices. That’s great news for developers and App junkies alike!

The iPad comes with a new App called iBook, and will allow you to purchase books in the ePub format from the new iBooks Store, where they have already partnered with five publishers to bring you as many titles as possible. iBook allows you to quickly and easily flip through pages, and it supports pictures, videos and other types of graphics!

The iPad isn’t going to start shipping until sometime in March, apparently. I’d love an opportunity to get my hands on one to test out and review before passing actual judgment on the device. I can clearly see both the drawbacks and the positive points. However, until one actually uses something, it’s all a guessing game.

What are your thoughts on the huge announcement out of the Apple camp today? Are you excited about the iPad, or are you skeptical? Do you plan to purchase one of these as soon as humanly possible, or are you hanging onto your money?

  • tuxmaster

    My desire for this type of a device is a ebook reader. From what I can see it will provide that function. I never really did get a Itoch becouse it was trying to sell itself as this type of device.

    The lack of flash is a bit of consern to me but it is getting less and less due to HTML5. I am a bit conserned with the adoption of HTML5 though due to proprietery conserns.

    From what I can see it will fit very well for my uses. I do have some conserns about the use life of the battery. Ipods that I have owned have only lasted 2-3 years. At 500 a device I hope that the battery would last at least 5 years. If the battery does not last that long I hope that the replacement of the battery is not too expencive.

    In addition to that the downside that SD cards are not supported is a big downer for me. 64 GB is large but for some pepole I think not large enough for the amount of media some want to put on the device.

  • tuxmaster

    My desire for this type of a device is a ebook reader. From what I can see it will provide that function. I never really did get a Itoch becouse it was trying to sell itself as this type of device.

    The lack of flash is a bit of consern to me but it is getting less and less due to HTML5. I am a bit conserned with the adoption of HTML5 though due to proprietery conserns.

    From what I can see it will fit very well for my uses. I do have some conserns about the use life of the battery. Ipods that I have owned have only lasted 2-3 years. At 500 a device I hope that the battery would last at least 5 years. If the battery does not last that long I hope that the replacement of the battery is not too expencive.

    In addition to that the downside that SD cards are not supported is a big downer for me. 64 GB is large but for some pepole I think not large enough for the amount of media some want to put on the device.

  • Dino

    As always Kat, you have the gift of journalizing the technology!

    I remember when Windows 98 was being announced, Hewlett-Packard help a seminar on the OS. They also included a new hardware line that was directed toward emergency services. I remember one of them was the pad device that first responders would carry with them to the accident or disaster site to get real-time information about the situation.

    The iPad reminds me of that device, and I think it gives the tablet PC (or tablet Mac) new life. At this point, it's a gimmik tool until the usefulness is defined - as you stated, there is no USB, SD-Card, or Flash capabilities, so it is an incomplete product as far as I am concerned.

    You can use it for other things, but at $500 for the mid model, I want it to be ready with the technologies that are in play.

    I'll wait to see how the reaction is when it is in play.

    On another note, it is interesting to read that At&t is having 3G issues with the iPhone. We have several people here at work in the PacWest who use the iPhone. I've never heard an issue from them. However, I'm not surprised at Apple's decision to stick with one cell vendor - Apple has always been cautious of who they partner with. It is one of the reasons, if not the main reason, why they generate good products. I'll bet it will be a month or sooner and the iPad will be jailbroken.

  • Dino

    As always Kat, you have the gift of journalizing the technology!

    I remember when Windows 98 was being announced, Hewlett-Packard help a seminar on the OS. They also included a new hardware line that was directed toward emergency services. I remember one of them was the pad device that first responders would carry with them to the accident or disaster site to get real-time information about the situation.

    The iPad reminds me of that device, and I think it gives the tablet PC (or tablet Mac) new life. At this point, it's a gimmik tool until the usefulness is defined - as you stated, there is no USB, SD-Card, or Flash capabilities, so it is an incomplete product as far as I am concerned.

    You can use it for other things, but at $500 for the mid model, I want it to be ready with the technologies that are in play.

    I'll wait to see how the reaction is when it is in play.

    On another note, it is interesting to read that At&t is having 3G issues with the iPhone. We have several people here at work in the PacWest who use the iPhone. I've never heard an issue from them. However, I'm not surprised at Apple's decision to stick with one cell vendor - Apple has always been cautious of who they partner with. It is one of the reasons, if not the main reason, why they generate good products. I'll bet it will be a month or sooner and the iPad will be jailbroken.

  • Heres a better look at it..

    [url]http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Technology/Pix/pictures/2010/1/27/1264617046255/Apple-iPad-001.jpg[/url]

    I dont know if this post takes BBC or HTML but theres a link.

  • Heres a better look at it..

    [url]http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Technology/Pix/pictures/2010/1/27/1264617046255/Apple-iPad-001.jpg[/url]

    I dont know if this post takes BBC or HTML but theres a link.

  • This is a cool device, but do you think it will hit the mass appeal apple is looking for?

    They control too much: software, content, etc

    Could be fun for games, drawing, music/art controlling software but here in Canada, the 3g will be too expensive. I'd love to have a touch screen computer that is as open as MacOS.

    But cool device none the less

  • This is a cool device, but do you think it will hit the mass appeal apple is looking for?

    They control too much: software, content, etc

    Could be fun for games, drawing, music/art controlling software but here in Canada, the 3g will be too expensive. I'd love to have a touch screen computer that is as open as MacOS.

    But cool device none the less

  • Mfighter

    Great Post. I was unaware there were no USB ports. Also I think the device can go a long way for business applications as well as personal. Especially once the price point drops. They are sold out right now (pre-sales).

    Was their explanation for not using flash because of vulnerability issues?

  • Mfighter

    Great Post. I was unaware there were no USB ports. Also I think the device can go a long way for business applications as well as personal. Especially once the price point drops. They are sold out right now (pre-sales).

    Was their explanation for not using flash because of vulnerability issues?

  • Lucas

    I love how Apples savvy new devices suddenly become must haves but in this case they are a little behind the ball. Tablet PCs, with similar specs though maybe not Solid state drives, have been out for a while. In fact the first one with similar specs to the ipad came out a little while ago, no sorry, an eternity ago in terms of computers, back in 2003.

    Just like the ipod, I'm sure even though there are better devices with better specifications and lower price tags the ipad will be a big hit. Congrats Apple on selling people who don't know any better inferior yet oh so pretty products.

  • Lucas

    I love how Apples savvy new devices suddenly become must haves but in this case they are a little behind the ball. Tablet PCs, with similar specs though maybe not Solid state drives, have been out for a while. In fact the first one with similar specs to the ipad came out a little while ago, no sorry, an eternity ago in terms of computers, back in 2003.

    Just like the ipod, I'm sure even though there are better devices with better specifications and lower price tags the ipad will be a big hit. Congrats Apple on selling people who don't know any better inferior yet oh so pretty products.

  • There are better Tabletmachines than that, and they run a PhoneOS(?). But if you like Fashion more than Tech. If you have the money and you wanna spend it to an old Device, its ok: Steve Jobs needs to buy an annuity.

  • There are better Tabletmachines than that, and they run a PhoneOS(?). But if you like Fashion more than Tech. If you have the money and you wanna spend it to an old Device, its ok: Steve Jobs needs to buy an annuity.