Apple was expected to release the over-hyped tablet and when they did, Apple disappointed quite a few people, however, there is a lot to be liked about the device so I am as excited as Steve about the possibilities.
On Wednesday (Jan. 27) Apple announced the iPad tablet device, featuring a 9.7-inch, 1024 x 768 display and 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB capacities. Carrying a custom 1 GHz "Apple A4" chip, the iPad weighs in at 1.5 pounds and is .5-inch thin. The iPad will be priced at $499, $599, and $699 for the varying capacity models without 3G, and $629, $729, and $829 with 3G. Wi-Fi only models are scheduled to ship in 60 days, with 3G-capable model shipping in 90 days. A video preview is also available.
In terms of standard connectivity, the iPad offers Wi-Fi (802.11n) and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, with 3G models also offering cellular data connectivity. All iPad models have an accelerometer, compass, speakers, a microphone, and a 30-pin dock connector. The iPad also offers a claimed 10 hours of battery life for viewing video, with 1 month of standby battery life.
Models with 3G will be unlocked and will be able to use GSM micro SIMs. AT&T will offer two data plan options $14.99 for up to 250 MB per month and $29.99 per month for unlimited data. No contract is required for either option, and free access to AT&T's Wi-Fi hot spots is included. Data packages for iPad users outside of the U.S. will by in place by June.
The iPad will have standard apps for personal information management, including an address book and calendar, along with e-mail, Safari, Google Maps, and Notes. A special version of iTunes is also on board to provide an optimized browsing experience on the device's 9.7-inch screen.
The big question is whether AT&T will be able to handle the iPad as they have had a heck of a time dealing with the iPhone. Either way, I look forward to getting my hands on this device.