Tuesday, March 16, 2010

iPad will coming on April 3rd, Start from $499

After nearly a decade of rumors and speculation, Apple's finally unveiled the iPad.

It's a half-inch thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds, with a 9.7-inch capacitive touchscreen IPS LCD display, and it's running a custom 1GHz Apple "A4" chip developed by the P.A. Semi team, with a 10-hour battery life and a month of standby. It'll come in 16, 32, and 64GB sizes, and it's got the expected connectivity: very little. There's a 30-pin Dock connector, a speaker, a microphone, Bluetooth, 802.11n WiFi and optional 3G, as well as an accelerometer and a compass.

There's also a keyboard dock, which connects underneath in the portrait orientation, support for up to 1024x768 VGA out and 480p composite out through new dock adapter cables, and a camera attachment kit that lets you import photos from your camera over USB or directly through an SD reader. The device is managed by iTunes, just like the iPhone -- you sync everything over to your Mac. As expected, it can run iPhone apps -- either pixel-for-pixel in a window, or pixel-doubled fullscreen -- but developers can also target the new screen size using the updated iPhone OS SDK, which is available today.

The 3G version runs on AT&T and comes with new data plans: 250MB for $14.99 and an unlimited plan for $29.99 a month contract-free. Activations are handled on the iPad, so you can activate and cancel whenever you want. Every iPad is unlocked and comes with a GSM "micro-SIM," so you can use it abroad, but there aren't any international deals in place right now -- Steve says they'll be back "this summer" with news on that front.

It starts at $499 for 16GB, 32GB for $599, and $699 64GB. Adding 3G costs a $130 per model, so the most expensive model (64GB / 3G) is $829.

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