Apple Launches 9.7" iPad Tablet: Ships In 60 Days Starting At $499 - HotHardware
Apple Launches 9.7" iPad Tablet: Ships In 60 Days Starting At $499

Apple Launches 9.7" iPad Tablet: Ships In 60 Days Starting At $499

Thanks to a loose-lipped CEO, we knew Apple had a tablet device on deck for today's announcement in California. We even spotted a rumored TV spot a few days back, which labeled the device as the "iPad." Turns out, that's exactly what Apple decided to name this.

Apple has today entered an all new market, one that straddles the realms of smartphones and notebooks. It's the tablet PC, which is a market that swelled and died years and years ago. Apple is known for its innovation, though, and it apparently thinks it has the magic elixir necessary to create a tablet in a post-tablet world and still get people interested.

The entire device looks like a giant iPod touch, really. It's 0.5" thin, weighs 1.5 lbs. and has a 9.7" IPS LCD panel (no OLED, sorry!). There's no physical QWERTY keyboard; instead, you are required to type on a virtual keyboard that pops up on the display. From day one, it will be able to download and use all of the applications within the App Store; thanks to a process called "pixel-doubling," existing apps can be blown up to full screen. A new SDK is being revealed to developers today, which will include an iPad simulator for creating apps that specifically work on the larger display.



We also learned that the screen itself is a multi-touch capable, full capacitive display. The power is coming from a 1GHz Apple A4 chip, which is the first actual Apple-produced chips to hit the market. Apple actually acquired P.A. Semi a few years back, and it looks as if this creation is the first fruit of that purchase. Other specifications include a Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR module, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 16GB/32GB/64GB of internal Flash storage, full support for "iBooks" (a new book for this device), a robust Safari-based web browser, YouTube HD playback, an accelerometer, a compass and a killer battery. The battery lasts 10 full hours while watching video, and it can reportedly last for around a month on standby. That's pretty amazing for a device with such a large screen.

Apple also made clear that it's going for the e-reader/newspaper reading market. The iPad is essentially the digital newspaper reader of the future, or so Apple hopes. It has landed numerous content deals with a variety of content partners, including HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan. It's clear that these may end up in the education world as well, and we wouldn't be surprised if we heard about textbooks being introduced too.



The iPad has also led to new software. Apple redesigned iLife and iWork to work on the iPad, which has a slower processor and less overall power than other Mac machines. Apple seems confident that its new layout is perfect for mobile document users, but we still aren't sure that this will gain huge traction outside of the Apple faithful. Microsoft's Office suite is still the market leader, and there was no announcement made about an iPad-tailored version of Word, Excel or PowerPoint.

Apple designed the iPad to stay constantly in sync; your photos, music and movies are all kept in check by USB syncing with iTunes. They're also releasing select models with 3G, and some without. The 3G models will ship unlocked, but on AT&T's 3G network; for $14.99 per month with no contract, you can get 250MB of data per month. It will cost $29.99 per month (also without a contract), and the base 16GB model with Wi-Fi (but no 3G) will cost $499. The base price on the 16GB 3G model costs $629, while the most expensive model (64GB with 3G) costs $829. The Wi-Fi models will begin shipping in 60 days, while the 3G versions could ship in around 90 days or so.


All told, this isn't something that we haven't seen before in one way or another. We have seen super-thin slate PCs. We have seen e-readers. And we have seen large-screen portable media players. What Apple has done in the iPad is take something that's familiar and put its own touch on it, with the App Store integration being its biggest calling card. The iPhone revolutionized the smartphone industry, but we can't say that we think the iPad will do the same thing for the tablet/slate industry. Still, people will take interest due to the immense amount of hype that has surrounded this product for years on end, and at least the Apple faithful will be sure to give it a serious look before passing it off as "just another tablet."


Just in, Steve Jobs doing what he does best, demonstrating the new Apple iPad early today at the Apple press event...
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I have been commenting on this in other related forums. This device seems very promising. It also seems much like I have been saying (and even tried to get a patent on, but was to late) for months. I will say one thing if someone like Microsoft or Google does not jump on this they will loose this market just like the iPhone (and or general consumer smart phone) market fast. Either way this device in a large way and with a lot of development partners seems definitely unique. Although or maybe because it combines everything in one device. Many of the developments recently like MESH from M$ which links multiple devices together over the web make this even more usable for everything. You could carry one of these and do whatever you need to do at any time, and anywhere then update it to whatever cloud service your using and have it available on a desktop as well as to all partners in your cloud devices as well.

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One thing about a device such as this, I could really, really use one great for school. This tablet also has 802.11N connection built in as well as mobile connectivity. If I could run office applications on it (which it could do easily it seems although I would have to load it with a USB key or something), this would be a perfect device for this and or anything cloud or web based from what I am seeing here.

This could very easily be a market changer, although I don't see USB3 (which would be much better speed wise for transfers) connectivity. I could easily through wireless N with an external drive and a USB2 wireless connection use it as an everything device.

With the already added market dominance smart phone wise of the iPhone and this devices similarity as well as there app market (which is of course pre-delivered with this device) I think the clock is ticking. What do you guys think about these things, and who thinks if the general PC market does not jump on this train (I hope they have already started) see Apple regaining a dominance or at least significant portion of the Personal Computer market in a few years?

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Oh the price point seems to be much lower ($400 rather than the $600 dollar starting point I stated) than what I thought. Of course these things will probably be sold out (long lines like the iPhone) for weeks if they are not already.

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i would bet right now that this is targeted for high schooler and college kids. the money is on the table :)

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Completely agreed. Granted, that is a pretty loaded demographic with plenty of spending power (via parental support). I don't see this device as being very practical except as a gadget-toy. It looks like it could be pretty fun for the crowd that likes to swing over to the coffee shop and hang around for hours killing time on youtube. It looks like it will handle multimedia quite well, but I don't see it as being very useful as a general-purpose computing device.

I'm not sure why you would want this over an iPhone or an iPod Touch. It's just big enough to be as inconvenient as any netbook/notebook; in the sense that you can't carry it on your person without a bag/accessory. It's too bad they went with a slate instead of a convertible form factor; would have been much more practical.

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I agree, I don't see how this is a tablet and not just an iPod Touch with 9.7" screen and wifi or an iPhone with 9.7" screen. It won't fit in your pocket like an iPod or iPhone and won't be able to make calls with it. I don't think that this will make it beyond a novelty item or expensive combo e-reader + iPod Touch.

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Without Flash, what is the point? Also, the name is just hilarious!

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I just saw the video of it in apple.com and i just thought i don't need a tv, newspaper or computer.

if the ipad would give me access to news and i could watch my favorite tv shows via the internet then what is the point of buying a tv and paying for cable?

i have portability with the iphone and the ipad would just be a home deal. i need to draft a paper then i use the laptop. gaming probably a ps3.

i really really like what they are preaching...

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yeah Kid I agree, I also disagree with the assessment on students given. The thing your not taking into this is that If I was going to study I would have to take books and or notebooks with me as well. A college high school or Elementary even text book is going to way twice what this does and most likely require a backpack or something anyway. So this kills all that if I am going to the coffee shop or my friends or class or work or anywhere else and want to study or work on anything for work at any time. I can also write or type in it save my work stream my work or sink my work to a desktop or web service such as mesh. Then when I get home I can just drop my work on my desktop or send it where it needs to while I am mobile to. I can also carry my laptop which does the same thing, but it is a 17" gateway so that 10 pounds with it's bag rather than a half pound 10 inch .5 pound device which by the way I can also use as a cell phone over my 3G connection if necessary, or receive a call. I would much rather carry a bluetooth headset and no phone or notebook, study books, research for work etc etc etc. I don't even need writing materials with this I need nothing but a less than 1 pound device. Don't forget as mentioned I can also watch TV read a paper or a magazine or a web page or HH or anything else connected to the web for that matter.

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I don't get the hype surrounding this thing. As a college student I could see its usefulness. But in the end taking care of this and using it would seem to much a pain compared to using the laptop. I think I would much rather prefer a tablet more along the lines of recent HP models that use the swivel screen and keeps the keyboard.

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indeed no flash = no good

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Forget the lack of Flash... apparently this thing has no multitasking.

Let me say that again. NO multitasking.

Let me say that a different way. Only 1 App running at any given time.

... and this is supposed to be the revolutionary replacement for the netbook? I can't even listen to music while surfing? Or have a calculator open while taking notes? Or have my messenger side-by-side with my email? Everything else pales in comparison to this one omission.

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Really? That is a pretty big omission, and one that Apple probably doesn't want publicized. With no multitasking there is no reason to have it, buy an iPod Touch and e-reader and pocket the difference!

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I'm ashamed to say that I definitely bought into the hype and false rumors. Besides no flash, no multitasking, no new interface (same as iPhone), no replaceable battery, it does not have a camera either. The biggest marketability for this item is the huge app store...which we already have the iPhone/iPod Touch for. Also, the aesthetics aren't that pleasing either, looks like a clip board. Also, they've decided to stick with AT&T, so no 3G support for Verizon.

In essence, definitely will be waiting for the 2nd or 3rd generation to come out before even considering this.

 

 

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Yeah I was all over this one at first. It seems like a very cool device, but the limitations (I should have figured with Apple). Well the positive is if it is a hit in any way PC makers will hopefully make one like it with more capabilities and performance. I am not to into the shape etc of the IBM ones. I do like the shape of this one, I just don't like the detracting factors. I am surprised Apple is making CPU's to.

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This bad boy is ONE BIG IPHONE. LOL Guess I am just not an apple kind of person. It looks nice and does some cool things but not worth the premium or the ability to be the cool kid on the block.

What are they thinking if this thing can't multitask. If a device anymore can't multitask it is almost point less for most markets. Apple should be smarter than that but Apple may just be using this thing for some quick cash from the young kiddies and to show "Hey we made our own processor Look at us".

Guess I am just a jerk to apple.

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Eh, it's garbage.  It's useless in every aspect, you're better off getting an iphone or ipod touch seeing as how the ipad is an iphone on steroids.

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No Flash? No Flash-based viruses. I can't see that as a bad thing.

I do like the pixel doubling nature of the initial app support, and hope that developers will take advantage of the increased resolution to do what no other ereader has been able to do: Expand the text size so that aging eyes can use it. (Rather than the current trend, "fit more tiny text into a larger size display.") I got an iPod Touch for Xmas, and was delighted to find that there are ereaders other than Kindle software which run on it and can zoom the text to a usable size (now if I can only find a copy of Pride And Prejudice without typographical errors!). However, for most of the other apps-- the contact manager, calendar, and web browser among them-- you have to rely on the "Zoom" feature, which is intrusive at best.

I do wish that the iPod Touch had a better GPS. Here in West Philadelphia the WiFi hotspots are few and far between, so its method of locating you isn't greatly useful; but then, it at least makes the attempt. (And maybe when our McDonalds get free WiFi-- they haven't yet-- things will get better.) Since the iPad has essentially the same setup, it appears to get all the nifty location features working right you need to pay AT&T that fifteen beans a month and get the more expensive unit.

I do crack a smile at the people whingeing about the lack of multitasking. Kids, you can look at porn while listening to music, you just need something we geezers call a "magazine." Honestly I believe that's 90% of what people are talking about. I'm sure everyone else can pause their Need For Speed game to launch the tip calculator when necessary. (Insert "irony" emoticon for whoever hasn't yet taken high school English.) No, I imagine that "lack of multitasking" is one of those buzzwords thrown around by the Ballmer fanboys who need something to round out their "things left out of the iPhone" list. Enjoy your Zunes.

The thing that most disappointed me, though, was the lack of handwriting recognition. Yes, I still carry my Newton; why hasn't anyone else developed an inexpensive device that can match it? (Tablet computers' HWR is a step backwards and comes only on enormously expensive units which seem designed for very specific purposes.)

I will, as always, wait to get my hands on one before making a decision... and by then the version with bug fixes will be out.

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Lol Clem. It's a reasonable expectation to be able to listen to music on your tablet while reading. Now you could just take your iPod with you as well, but the option should be there.

Similar to the iPhone, Apple has given a half-hearted first attempt at a tablet. But while the iPhone dazzled with its unique style, brilliant display and responsive touchscreen, the iPad just confuses people.

I'm guessing the touchscreen on the tablet is capacitive and if it is, then I don't see too much hope for handwriting recognition. Resistive touchscreens would work much better for the recognition software to work (a stylus on a resistive touchscreen is more precise than a finger on a capacitive touchscreen). Actually, the lack of such support is one of the reasons why the iPhone didn't sell well in a lot of Asian markets.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122143317323034023.html

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Yawn! Just a giant iPod Touch. And their talking about going after e-readers? Seriously? With a device that has maybe 5 hours of battery life? Wow, that is a joke if I ever heard one. Not to meantion that you can't usea capacitive screen on a writing recognition device as gibbersome said.

This item just comes across as a "We need more money" thing rather then a really good product. Oh, and rapid1. The price point is $600 ($629 to be exact) for the base model with 3G.

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InfinityzeN:

Yawn! Just a giant iPod Touch. And their talking about going after e-readers? Seriously? With a device that has maybe 5 hours of battery life? Wow, that is a joke if I ever heard one. Not to meantion that you can't usea capacitive screen on a writing recognition device as gibbersome said.

This item just comes across as a "We need more money" thing rather then a really good product. Oh, and rapid1. The price point is $600 ($629 to be exact) for the base model with 3G.

make that a giant iphone ;) lol.

I don't see why anyone would want to buy this though. I for one wouldn't im happy with my iphone as of now.

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The bad.

- No flash support, but will not matter if web developers start using html 5 exclusively [that won't happen but is worth noting].

- 1024x768 screen welcome to 1995, aspect ratio should have been 16:9 or 1.85:1 not 4:3

- no multi-tasking. WTF

- they brought back the palm stow-a-way keyboard?

I am very intrigued by the Camera Connectivty Kit accessory. looks like one is an SD card reader and the other allows you to connect a USB device to copy files from a USB mass storage device. Now hack it to work with a Touch or iPhone.

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Also to remember that the iPad is bigger and heavier that the Kindle, and will require a bagpack or a purse to carry it around.

And while the device seems to start cheaply at $499, the version has only 16GB memory and no 3G. With 3G and better capacity you're looking at $800+, for which you could buy a much more capable laptop.

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yeah or UL unit and from what I see we have not seen the last of the slate units by in any way either I like that tesla2 unit. Plus who knows whats gonna be on radar tomorrow.

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idont see what all the ihype is about?ibought my wife the ipad today couse she just started her cycle and it's not working out to well so iwill have to give the ipad two ithumbs down. :)

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