Apple iPad: the ultimate gadget?

shinychris Lifestyle & Gadgets Leave a Comment

apple iPad.jpg Is this the most desirable gadget ever? Certainly Apple hopes so. After much speculation and rumour-mongering, Apple has finally unveiled its tablet device, called obviously the iPad.

Much like a giant iPhone, it has a huge touchscreen and a ton of apps running on an updated iPhone operating system. Prices start from a staggeringly affordable $499 (£309) up to $829 (£514) and it will be available to buy in just over 2 months time, with 3G enabled models available within 90 days.

So what do we know about the iPad? Well, quite a lot actually. Apple’s announcement today saw the company’s main-man Steve Jobs talk the world through its device, revealing a host of great features and the gear behind all the magic.

First up, the iPad’s size. It’s difficult to ascertain how comfortable the iPad is without touching it, but we do know it’s only half an inch thick despite the massive touchscreen and that it is also surprisingly light.

There’s 10 hours of battery juice from a single charge even while watching video, as well as a 30-pin dock connector on the side for plugging in add-ons such as a fully mechanical keyboard. The iPad will also sync and back data up with your computer via USB.

Just like the iPhone, apps are a big part of the iPad experience. A fully featured iTunes store (not a portable version) is available to browse. Touchscreen gaming is also going to be a big draw. Gameloft and Electronic Arts both showed off quick demos at the show, so you can expect a ton of gaming apps to become available for the device upon release. The strong battery life should see you through a gaming session comparable to a console experience if done correctly.

E-books, unsurprisingly, also feature prominently on the iPad, but with some cool added functions. The iBook store will let users buy books at $14.99 a pop. Fonts can be changed, sizes altered, and animations and videos included from publishers if they desire.

Five of the world’s top publishing houses are already onboard, so expect Amazon’s Kindle to have its tail dangling between its legs right now. Likewise, the New York Times demoed a very impressive app, with certain areas of a story automatically updating as breaking news comes in.