Notebookcheck
29.01.2010 03:24

Apple announces its new tablet PC: the 'iPad'

Category: new notebook models
By: Morgan Jones

The iPad has been announced officially, and early reviews reveal that the machine is very powerful, but there are a few bad surprises

iPad Wi-Fi model

iPad Wi-Fi model

Side view

Side view

iPad Keyboard Dock

iPad Keyboard Dock

Apple has announced its highly anticipated new tablet PC, the iPad. There has been a lot of speculation about Apple's latest progeny, and many dubbed it 'iSlate'. There are two versions of the iPad, one of which has 3G, but both have the same specifications otherwise. Apple has decided to place a 'custom-designed' processor inside the iPad, which is called the Apple A4. You can read more about the 1GHz Apple A4 processor here. Both versions use flash drives, which have a capacity of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB.

Engadget.com has completed a hands-on review of the iPad, and its opinion is that the machine is very powerful and has an exceptional display; however it can't undertake any multitasking, which severely limits its flexibility. The video and overall visual performance of the iPad is exceptional, as can be seen on the hands on video, with images rendering in a fraction of a second. Unfortunately, the iPad does not have a webcam, which is another factor that reduces the PC's range of possible uses.

The multi-touch screen is based on the technology used in the iPhone, but apparently it is more precise and responsive. It also has fingerprint and oil resistant coating, which appears to keep the machine clear of smudges and grease marks, and it features IPS, which gives it a wide viewing angle. Apple has placed a fairly large bezel around the display, which, depending upon the way customers wish to use a tablet PC, makes the screen unnecessarily small. A smaller bezel would probably provide enough room for a user's thumbs to hold it, without interfering with the touch-sensitive display.

The iPad is very light, weighing just 1.5lb, and it's only 0.5” thick. Due to its portability, some have speculated that it could rival e-book readers, although it is 7.47” wide, so it's not as easy to hold as its competitors. The built-in battery should last up to 10 hours under normal use, and can be charged via the supplied USB power adapter or via a USB connection to a computer. The iPad Keyboard Dock (pictured), which is sold separately, features a full-size keyboard; a line out; and a 30-pin connector for use with the USB power adapter, so that users can charge the iPad whilst using the keyboard.

Other accessories released with the iPad include the iPad Dock, which can be used as a charger and has a line out; an iPad Camera Connection Kit which comprises two USB devices, one for reading SD cards, and the other for connecting directly to a camera; and an iPad Case, designed to protect the iPad and present it in several useful ways.

The iPad is supplied with a number of bespoke applications, which includes: a YouTube application that organizes content so it can be manipulated easily; iPod software to enable similar functionality that users are accustomed to on their iPods; iTunes store; App Store, which contains almost 140,000 applications for download; iBooks; and the Safari web browser.

Apple's prices start at $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, and customers are supplied with a USB dock connector cable, and a 10W USB Power Adapter, in addition to the iPad. The 3G model's starting price is $629, and it has a 16GB flash drive. The Wi-Fi models will ship at the end of March, and the 3G models will ship during April.

Here are the specifications, as detailed on Apple.com:-


Processor

1GHz Apple A4

Graphics adaptor

Support for 1024 by 768 pixels with Dock Connector to VGA Adapter

576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable

576i and 480i with Apple Composite Cable

H.264 video up to 720p, 30 fps

MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 fps

Display

9.7” LED-backlit glossy widescreen (1024 x 768; 132 ppi) Multi-Touch display with IPS technology and fingerprint and oil-resistant

Hard disk

16GB, 32GB, or 64GB flash drive

Audio

Built-in speakers; line out; microphone; extrnal volume control

Frequency response: 20Hz to 20MHz

Supports: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV

Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats

Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats

Connections

Dock connector; audio out; USB2.0; SIM card tray (3G model only)

Networking

Both models:

LAN; WLAN (802.11a/b/g/n); Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology

3G model only:

UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)

GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

Battery

Built-in 25 Whr rechargeable lithium-polymer battery (up to 10 hours battery life)

Webcam

None

Dimensions

(HWD): 9.56” (242.8 mm) x 7.47” (189.7 mm) x 0.5” (13.4 mm)

Weight

1.5 lb (0.68 kg) (Wi-Fi model)

1.6 lb (0.73 kg) (3G model)

Color

Black and white

Operating System

iPhone OS 3.2

Additional features

Accelerometer; ambient light sensor; digital compass; assisted GPS (3G model)

Price


Wi-Fi model

3G model

16GB

$499

$629

32GB

$599

$729

64GB

$699

$829

 

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Author: Notebookcheck, 2005-09-20 (Update: 2011-05- 3)