News: Apple iPad Released, Starts at $499

Posted on January 27, 2010

Unsurprisingly today, Apple released its tablet, the iPad. Although we’re not crazy about the name, there’s quite a bit of power and features for the starting price of $499. Thinking of it as a giant iPod touch is merely the beginning.

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Some of the most basic aspects of the device include:

  • 1/2 inch thick and weighs 1.5 lbs
  • 1024×768 9.7″ IPS, capacitive multitouch touchscreen
  • Built-in accelerometer, microphone, 30-pin connector, 802.11n Wi-Fi, compass, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (and you can use Bluetooth keyboards)
  • 10 hours of battery life and one month standby time
  • 1GHz Apple A4 processor
  • 16GB, 32GB and 64GB Flash storage capacities
  • Runs all iPod/iPhone apps

What is interesting is that iPhone apps can either run at normal-size or scaled, using a technique called pixel doubling—this is much how high definition televisions scale standard definition programming. Not only does this already give the iPad a large software library, but it works like two devices already on the market.

In addition to the traditional apps, the iPad takes the built-in apps one step further, making them more capable than on an iPod touch or iPhone, but still simpler than their desktop counterparts. One example is that the iPod app looks more like a combination of the iPod/Music app from the iPhone OS and iTunes on Mac OS X or Windows. A special version of iWork will be available as well.

Another fun announcement is that the iPad can work as an e-book reader, featuring an old name for those familiar with apple—iBooks. The app’s design resembles a bookshelf from which you can select books you’ve purchased.

There will be two models—a WiFi-only model and a WiFi/3G model. The model with 3G is carrier-unlocked and features the following frequencies: UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz), GSM/EDGE (850, 900,1800, 1900 MHz). Cellular data-capable models cost $130 more.

As far as accessories go, it will work with normal Dock Connector accessories, but also will output to projectors and external displays (VGA, 480p, 576p, 576i, 480i). There is also a dock with or without a keyboard, a case, and a camera kit (one adapter looks remarkably similar to the camera connector that worked with the video iPod.

For complete information and plenty of pictures, check out Apple’s gallery.

This post has been filed in News