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Yes, the iPad is True

January 28, 2010 - Dave Hecei
During an invitation only press event, Apple has finally released their long anticipated tablet device and it's called the iPad. The new iPad comes in at only 1.5 pounds, half an inch thick, an sporting a 10-inch (9.7 viewable) IPS based color LCD screen. As rumored it uses the iPhone OS and not the full OS X as the MacBooks. The biggest news is that pricing starts at only $499.

There are plenty of places to read about this new device, I just want to run through some of the features. The iPad definitely looks like a super-sized iPod Touch. It runs most all of the Touch Apps from the App Store in either original size or double size. Just like the Touch it has all the same functions - Safari web surfing, Mail, Calendar, Photos, Video including YouTube, iTunes Store including App Store, Maps, and Contacts. Something new in the mix is iBook, Apple's own E-book reader.

For connectivity, the usual suspects, meaning WiFi and Bluetooth, are there. The iPad will be available in three storage sizes - 16, 32, and 64 GB ($499, $599, and $699). For each storage size there is also a WiFi only model and one with WiFi and cellular 3G. If you want to have cellular data access it will cost you an extra $130. This means that there are actually six different models to choose from.

The good news is that Apple has set up special data plans with AT&T. You can get a 250MB/month data plan for $14.99 or you can get an unlimited plan (though probably limited to 5GB of data) for only $29.99 a month. These are all available with no contract so you can pay-as-you-go. Compare this to an unlimited iPhone data plan that costs $60 a month with a 2 year contract.

One thing that excited me was the availability of a keyboard and dock combo. This accessory really turns the iPad into a true laptop computer. Yes you can use it with the onscreen keyboard, but there will be times when you have your iPad with you and you need to do some real work, having a real keyboard can save you.

Obviously this is just the beginning. The iPad will not even be in the stores for another two months, three for the 3G cellular versions. This will be the first version of the iPad and I'm sure there will be room for improvement.


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