Apple Announces the iPad
Posted on January 27, 2010 by eli courey
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. iPad users who want to make use of the 3G service, which is being offered by AT&T, can pick up one of two plans for that: $15 a month for 250MB of data, or unlimited for $29.99 a month. It also bumps up the baseline price of the device to $629 (16GB), $729 (32GB), and $829 (64GB).
The iPad with just Wi-Fi will be shipping in the next 60 days, with the 3G version in the next 90 days.
As for apps, the iPad’s screen runs larger than what can be found on Apple’s smaller portable devices, which means developers have more screen real estate to work with. At the same time, the iPad is backwards compatible with existing iPhone and iPod Touch applications. Apps with smaller screen resolutions are simply scaled up to fit. Apple is giving developers a way to modify their applications to work with both sets of hardware.
Other noteworthy specs:
• The Wi-Fi antenna supports 802.11 a/b/g/n
• The iPad weighs just 1.5 pounds. The version with 3G is .1 pounds heavier.
• The screen resolution is 1024×768 (the iPhone/iPod is 480×320).
• It can playback 720p HD video, though video output to external sources is limited to 480p. • It has the same oleophobic coating that made its debut on the iPhone 3GS. This helps face and finger grease bead up and wipe off easier.