Apple’s charismatic CEO Steve Jobs yesterday launched one of the Californian IT giant’s most anticipated products ever, the iPad.
The iPad, which Jobs referred to as “a truly magical and revolutionary product”, will according to him, find a niche for itself in between notebooks (or Macbooks in this case) and smartphones. It sports a fingerprint-resistant 9.7" glossy multi-touch display, in its small 242 x 189 x 13 mm frame, weighing about 0.7 kg. The device is powered by a 1 GHz Apple A4 processor and features an ambient light sensor, accelerometer, compass, as well as a 3.5 mm headphone jack, built-in speakers and a microphone. Unfortunately it lacks a camera of any kind and support for multi-tasking. In terms of connectivity you'll find Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G, with a battery life of around 10 hours.
It comes preloaded with 12 multi-touch versions of Apple’s classic apps such as iPhoto, but the big news is that it will support almost 140 000 apps available from the Apple App Store, including a variety of games and business apps. Users will also be able to download books from the iBookstore, with Apple striking a deal with five major publishers. This puts it in direct competition with Amazon's Kindle and other ereaders.
When browing the web using the Safari web browser you’ll be able to view web pages in portrait or landscape mode and navigate pages with your fingers using Apple’s now famous hand gestures. The iPad supports all the popular email providers, the likes of Yahoo! Mail, Gmail and Hotmail. The high-res touch-screen can be used to watch HD movies on, with a YouTube app also available.
The iPad will be sold in the US for between $499 and $829 and this Apple will be available in 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB flavours. No word yet from Core Group who distributes Apple in SA about pricing or avaiabilty yet. We will keep you posted.
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