[image courtesy of engadget]
All of the world is a buzz of the coming of Apple’s iPad. For the next month, all the blogs will be talking this thing to death. I am gonna try not to joining the ranks, but I do feel I need to say what I feel about Apple’s new Rookie (that will soon be the wise elder). So I am gonna be quick, accurate, and not-too-fanboyish in my assessment of the new Apple iPad.
I followed along virtually in real-time with all the millions of other folks via Twitter as Stevie-J and his guest of iPad hardware/software developers as the did their presentation. From the pics I saw to put it mildly, “the damn-thing is sexy.”
The exterior specs are: 0.5 inches thin, 1.5 pounds, 9.7 inch display. I can’t confirm, but word on the street is it will come in different finishes. (White, black, chrome/silver)
The iPad runs ALL of the apps currently found in the Apple App Store, plus iBooks, a new Apple app store for (you guessed it) books that Jobs unveiled alongside of the iPad, and a full-blown iTunes store. Based on the images I saw, the apps look crisp and clear and should give your eyes a much-needed break from squinting at the iPhone and other smart phone screens.
The iPad is multi-touch (like the iPhone), and runs on a new 1GHz Apple A4 of the company’s own design. Onboard storage ranges from 16GB to 64GB, and the whole thing runs the iPhone OS with a new, custom UI. It will come automatically with Wi-Fi and you can add 3G connectivity for extra, of course. Now I haven’t gotten my hands on one yet (I smell family Christmas gift – I’m looking at you Mrs. Tech), so I can only speak to the functionality side to say it should integrate seamlessly with all your current Apple products (iPhone, iPod touch, Mac’s, etc in addition to all of the software you can download from their stores). Additionally, Apple has tweaked iWork (Apple’s “Office Suite”) to integrate with the iPad. The biggie for me is that Apple Claims that the iPod has a usable battery life of 10 hours…and an astonishing month of standby time!
Practicality (that’s a word right?)
Like I mentioned earlier, it will come Wi-Fi ready, so out of the box, you can connect it to you home network, or if you wanna handle some ‘bidness’ on the go, you can find and connect to any Wi-Fi hotspot. If you need access anywhere, anytime, you can opt to purchase one loaded with 3G (for an extra $130 bucks) exclusively from AT&T (ugh!). The fees for 3G are $14.99/month for 250MB of data – You might as well spring for the unlimited data plan for $30.00/month. No voice plans available! So don’t think you can make a phone call while you are reading your copy of “How to Make Ba-Jillions in this jacked up Real-Estate Market”. Finally, if you own or are familiar with an iPhone or iPod Touch, you should be able to get accustomed to the iPad without hardly any learning curve due to the same type of gestures utilized to operate the iPad’s smaller predecessors.
The iPad will come in three versions:
16GB – $499
32GB – $599
64GB – $699
Again, if you want 3G, take any of those numbers and add another $130 bucks + which ever monthly plan your choose – Pretty reasonable if you ask me. Shipping will start as early as March.
My overall verdict: If you are not trying to do any heaving computing/multitasking or expect to take high-res photos of your family trip to Epcot Center, while video-conferencing Grandma who couldn’t make the trip due to her bad knee, the iPad will be a definite crowd-pleaser. If you expected the iPad to do EVERYTHING (including help Obama win a second term), you will be sadly let down by its capabilities.
I hate to say it, but it will hard to stay away from keeping close tabs on the iPad, so stay tuned, ’cause I will probably publish several more entries on the subject!