The wait is over. Apple’s iPad has arrived.

After years of teasers, rumors, speculation and hype, the wait is finally over.  Today Apple released the iPad, its entry into the eReader/netbook market.  Looking (an acting) a lot like an oversized iPhone, it boast quite a few features. Check out the Apple site for more info:

  • High-resolution, 9.7 inch LED-backlit, IPS display
  • Portrait or landscape viewing with wide, 178° viewing angle
  • Multi-touch input screen with home button
  • 1.5 lbs and 0.5 inches thin, with footprint about the size of a magazine
  • Up to 10 hours battery life on lithium polymer technology
  • 802.11n WiFi
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR
  • Also available in a 3G model, with data speeds up to 7.2 Mbps
  • A4 chipset
  • 16, 32 or 64GB flash storage
  • 30-pin dock connector on the bottom allows docking and charging
  • Built-in speaker, headphone jack and microphone
  • Runs ‘almost’ all iPhone apps (syncs with iTunes)
  • iPad-specific apps available in special section of the App Store
  • iPad-specific versions of the iWork suite will be available separately
  • New iBooks app to allow access to iBookstore
  • Accessories (sold separately): Keyboard Dock, standalone dock, camera connection kit, case and more
  • Prices starting at $499
  • WiFi-only models shipping late March, 3G models shipping in April

Please note that The Gadgeteer will be providing a dual Julie/Dave review soon, so keep checking back!

Posted in: News

{ 26 comments… add one }

  • ferris209 January 27, 2010, 4:33 pm

    I’m just not convinced this thing will go over. I mean, it’s like a heavily crippled touchscreen netbook. The biggest issue I have is having it running the iPhone OS. It should have been a customized version of Snow Leopard.

  • Bryan Sherman January 27, 2010, 4:38 pm

    One thing not mentioned during the presentation, or as an available accessory, is compatibility with the Bluetooth keyboard. If you go to http://bit.ly/cX2paC “Bluetooth … lets you connect to devices like … Apple Wireless Keyboard”

    I really like this feature, if phones would do that I would more readily accept a virtual keyboard.

  • konfusedkris January 27, 2010, 5:15 pm

    Looks beautiful,
    but I’m just not sold on the OS. No Host USB functionailty (to use a hub anfd connect any mouse/keyboard, not to mention the inability to connect a usb stick with movies/photos on it.
    You can’t multitask (so no listening to iTunes whilst browsing the web) and no Flash support. These are serious omissions IMHO.
    As an ebook reader it looks good, if a bit heavy.

    I wonder if it will be a success?

  • Big Al January 27, 2010, 5:17 pm

    As someone mentioned on another site “giant novelty iPod touch”. No flash, no multi-tasking, no camera/webcam, keyboard an add-on, only 1GHz processor, only 16Gb memory, no facility for external storage and the list goes on. Just what niche are they trying to fill here? Practically any netbook (and a number of notebooks too) come in at a lower price range, are more portable and actually give you the facilities of real computers (with all of the above functions and 160Gb flash drives as well). Heck, my phone is better than this – at least it can multi-task.

  • TC January 27, 2010, 5:26 pm

    It seems to me the product falls short of expectations but Wall Street sure likes Apple. 52 wk low is $82 and 52 wk high is $215. It’s funny how the news is reporting this as a Kindle killer but clearly it is targeted at a much broader market than just e-books.

    I fear that without Flash support it’s streaming media capabilities will be severely limited. Limited 3rd party browser support will also hamper adoption, IMHO.

    It’s a good first effort although I would have expected something more from Apple.

  • Justin Roberts January 27, 2010, 5:26 pm

    It’s a “feature” that it weighs 1.5lbs? Big Al has it right, it’s what it lacks that is it’s biggest failure. I was keenly waiting this, hoping that the rumors that it was iPhone based were wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPhone, and I can expect compromises for a device of its size, but something this big should have NO compromises. A cheap crappy PC netbook does more than this thing. Why not OS-X? Why not Snow Leopard? Very disappointed indeed!! This would have fit very nicely into my Mac ecosystem, had it been an OS-X device. Looks like HP are on a winner with their Slate – it runs Windows 7.

  • TC January 27, 2010, 5:32 pm

    Big Al,

    They do have 64G versions and for external storage you could use file sharing via WiFi or perhaps even Bluetooth.

    Still, no multi-tasking and no flash are just about deal killers for me. I wonder how hackable these babies will be. How long before someone puts a Linux disti on it?

  • Joshua Wolf January 27, 2010, 5:40 pm

    While I know it doesn’t have multitasking, did they confirm anywhere that you couldn’t listen to the iPod part while doing something else?

    Like you can with the iPod on the Touch and the iPhone?

  • Don Holt January 27, 2010, 5:41 pm

    It is NOT a Big iPhone even . . just a giant iPod touch that doesn’t fit in your pocket . . . . NO camera for conferencing, none for photos or video, low rez apps, no Snow Leopard OS, no Flash. . . . sorry, but I think it should be called iPitiful or iDud . . .

  • Sandee Cohen January 27, 2010, 5:44 pm

    Uhhh!

    Whuhhhh?

    Ohhh, is it over?

    Sorry, I musta fallen asleep.

    I was awake for the part about the iBooks. But then that whole thing on the games and iWork and $10/app and 3G or no 3G put me to sleep.

    I really was in the mood to buy it if I could download books straight to the iThing (I will not call it an iPad).

    But I’m not too sure I want to buy it if there is so little that it actually does that my iPhone doesn’t already do.

    And it’s weird. He went on and on about how cool it was to have that full-sized keyboard on the screen. And then started showing a keyboard add on. Is it NOT a good onscreen keyboard or it is?

    I am very interested in buying books in the new iBooks application.

    But I want to know if it does text-to-speech like the Kindle does.

    And the price of the plan for 3G coverage is way too much. At least the Kindle just sends the book to me with not monthly charges.

    I was excited this morning.

    And now I’m not.

  • Sandee Cohen January 27, 2010, 5:46 pm

    To me the concept of multi-tasking on this device is to open two different applications and put them side by side on the screen.

    Then I can read my emails on the left while the news headlines scroll on the right.

    And maybe I can watch the stocks on the bottom on a horizontal ticker.

  • Don Holt January 27, 2010, 5:49 pm

    . . . . . come to think of it, iPit is a more fitting name . . :)

  • Jackie Cheng January 27, 2010, 6:09 pm

    And I thought it would be something like Axiotron’s Modbook…
    sigh…very disappointed. No camera to even iChat with…tsk tsk

  • pkway January 27, 2010, 6:47 pm

    It takes a visionary like Steve Jobs to see beyond what is apparent and/or available today, to bring to market a product that you don’t even know you want/need.

    Recall a couple of years ago what people said when the iPhone first came out. Google John Dvorak’s comments.

    As with the iPhone most folks can only compare the product with what is available today. So they compare it with the iPod Touch and iPhone; the Netbook; Tablets of the past; upcoming Tablets from HP, ASUS, and other mfgrs; the Kindle; a laptop; and maybe even a stripped down desktop.

    The iPad is none of the above.

    Jobs will carve out a market for the product. It will not be exactly what we want in version 1, but in 2 years – like the iPhone – everyone will have one of these.

    [I should mention that when ASUS came out with the eeePC no one really think the Netbook will take off. 2 years later it is the best selling PC]

    I’ll address some of the current concerns with the iPad:

    – Lack of multitasking – not available now but will be available if you jackbreak the device and/or in v1.1

    – Lack of Flash support – no problem with upcoming HTML 5. I am glad Apple is taking a stand against Flash, which I’ve always found buggy and a memory hog.

    – Lack of SD support – won’t be a challenge as everything is moving to the cloud. I bought the first eeePC 8G with 8Gb disk space total and it’s fine. Having my files on a NAS was a peace-of-mind. I have a 32Gb iPod Touch and even with dozens of apps, 3 movies and countless episodes of cartoons I could barely fill half of it.

    – No camera – wait for v1.1 or v2.0

  • Matt January 27, 2010, 7:33 pm

    I think it’s great, excellent price point, $30 for unlimited data is nice, but it’s missing too many features it should launch with:

    Camera, HDMI, NO FLASH SUPPORT!?!?!?

    There are a few more but let’s just leave it at those.

    Was there any information on the iPhone released today? I want a new iPhone this year!!! Anyone know of any info on one?

  • Rob Tillotson January 27, 2010, 8:27 pm

    Before I say anything else, I want to state up front that I am, most assuredly, not in the target demographic for the iPad or, really, any other recent Apple product. I am well aware that I’m an old curmudgeon who has been using computers for about as long as Apple has been in existence, and the tech world has long since passed me by.

    That said, I’m sick of this koolaid-drinking fanboy crap about how if you don’t like the most recent Apple product, it’s because you don’t have the vision to appreciate that Steve knows more about what you want than you do. The iPhone hype was bad enough, but after the last year of Apple Tablet spew, I’m just about ready to ditch my Mac and iPod on general principles alone.

    As for the iPad, there really is nothing about it right now that convinces me that it would be anything more than extra dead weight in my bag. For one thing, there’s no way I could use it for paying work — I’m a programmer, and since the iPad is tied into Apple’s restrictive app store ecosystem, I can rest assured that the iPad will never be defiled by a proper programmer’s editor, let alone other software development tools that are right at home on even a $249 netbook. So if I still need to carry a laptop or netbook anyway, what do I need an iPad for? Sorry, the prospect of having yet another way to buy stuff from iTunes doesn’t strike me as being worth $499.

    Reading e-books? I already have enough eyestrain from staring at LCDs all day; no way I’m reading at length on anything but e-ink.

    Games? Once again no. If Nintendo came out with something like an iPad, I’d grab it in a second, because their platforms have a decades-old track record of titles in the genres I like. Sure, there are some fun iPhone games, but it can’t replace my PSP and DS, so why do I need it again?

    The one thing that intrigues me is the $30 prepaid data plan, which might make dropping down to a basic phone plan an attractive option. But then I run up against the limitations of the iPad and say “what’s the point of another device in my bag?”.

    (And no, I don’t have an iPhone either, because despite Apple’s protestations to the contrary, I want a physical keyboard. More proof that I’m no longer in Apple’s target demographic.)

  • Biff January 27, 2010, 8:46 pm

    WTF, no floppy drive or DVD burner?! Non-interchangeable battery! No Compact Flash reader? No eSATA port? What was Apple thinking?!

  • Daniel McNutt January 27, 2010, 10:05 pm

    It’s funny that most of the comments I have heard against this device are critical of things it doesn’t have as if there is some “standard” here. No HDMI? really gonna need a long cable from your couch. I think it’s a mistake to think this thing must be a replacement for a laptop (or a media center-or a netbook for that matter that does not handle HD video regardless of it’s storage capacity). I’m not convinced there are things actually wrong with Apple’s approach here. They are attempting something unique among tablets in my opinion. How will it shake out? Remains to be seen.

  • olawale January 27, 2010, 10:44 pm

    like the iphone, you can listen to ipod part while browsing. You just can not use third party media apps like pandora etc.

  • Haesslich January 27, 2010, 11:45 pm

    The best thing I can say about it thus far is that it’s not as expensive as I’d feared, and that the ‘iBook’ store will support ePub, so books purchased from there should (in theory) work with existing eBook readers and vice-versa.

    Now to wait for it to actually release and see some real-world usage figures, including the all-important battery life. Oh, and how it handles PDF’s.

  • MartinN January 27, 2010, 11:54 pm

    To the ones of you who wonder why it doesn’t run OS X. The answer is that it is using an ARM processor, so it would be pretty pointless. Even if Apple managed to port the OS from x86 to ARM, it would also mean that every single OS X application had to be ported too. I don’t think Apple wants that fragmentation of their market.

    That said. Don’t want! It is still a boring tinker-unfriendly device. About as exciting as a toaster … :|

  • Konfused Kris January 28, 2010, 4:23 am

    Just a quick reply to pkway, olawale.

    1) jailbreaking or waiting for v1.1 for possible multitasking support really isn’t really the best solution.

    2) No flash – I absolutely agree with your sentiment about flash, but for the ipad user staring at semifunctional websites now it isn’t a huge comfort to know Steve is making a stand against flash

    3) I think lack of SD support is not compensated for by cloud storage. The ipad would be a superb photo viewer/manipulator/conduit (to get photos TO the cloud) for anyone on holiday or for photographers in general. The photo application on the iPad looks great! getting the photos onto it might be more of a challenge away from home

    4) video conferencing from the iPAD would be ubercool, shame it hasn’t got a camera.

    olawale – apologies – I didn’t realise that you could listen to music concurrent with running an app.

  • Mark January 28, 2010, 4:32 am

    My money is going to Viliv when the N5 comes out. This iPad thing leaves me feeling cold and dead inside. I was hoping for so much more and got so much less. I see it becoming an interesting DJ tool, and you can probably do some decent music creation on it when people create virtual instruments for it, but that alone does not make this albatross worth my time.

  • Jarvis January 28, 2010, 4:43 am

    @ Rob,
    Visited your web site, you are most definitely not in the target demographic for the iPad or any demographic that does not live in middle earth. I can totally understand where you are coming from.

  • Larry G January 28, 2010, 11:01 am

    For me I wanted something similar to a net book with the ability to run a program like TeamSpeak and and xat chat box at the same time. Eeb browsing is great the apps are cool but I need that multi tasking capability…

  • Rob Tillotson January 28, 2010, 1:34 pm

    @MartinN That actually wouldn’t be much of a problem. For one thing, the iPad and its smaller cousins actually do run OS X — just a version of it that includes different user interface elements and standard libraries. The hardest part of the job is already done; they just need to go the rest of the way and bring over the desktop libraries and apps. (This is one of the reasons the limitations in the i* platform are so frustrating — we know there’s a real OS under the hood, but it’s crippled and locked away where its true power is inaccessible.)

    Secondly, OS X already supports multi-architecture apps (currently PowerPC, Intel 32 bit, and Intel 64 bit in the same app). If they added ARM to that, most OS X apps could be “ported” by installing a new version of XCode and clicking the “Build” button. It wouldn’t fragment the market any more than the Intel transition did, i.e. really not at all.

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