Apple CEO Steve Jobs has unveiled the company’s new tablet device, called the iPad. He’s pitching it as a device that’s more capable than an iPhone, but more portable than a laptop. Basically, he says it’s a third category of device between phones and laptops… Jobs acknowledged that some people consider netbooks to fill that space nicely, but as he put it, “netbooks aren’t better at anything. They’re slower,” have lower quality displays, and run PC software.

Jobs says the ideal usage situation for the iPad is web browsing, listening to music (using the built in iTunes capabilities), reading eBooks, and performing other activities. The screen rotates automatically when you turn the device. And if you need to enter text, an on-screen keyboard pops up. He says it’s a “dream” to type on, but I’ll believe that when I see it.

We’re still waiting to get more details about pricing, availability and specs. But for now, you can check out some more photos from gdgt and Gizmodo after the break.

Update: There’s support for HD YouTube video playback as well as video from iTunes.

Update 2: It has a 9.7 inch IPS multitouch display, measures 0.5″ thick and weighs 1.5 pounds.

Update 3: Jobs claims up to 10 hours of battery life for the iPad. It has an Apple-designed, ARM-based CPU called the A4 which runs at 1GHz. The iPad is available with 16GB, 32Gb, or 64GB of solid storage and supports 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity. There’s an accelerometer and a compass.

Update 4: There’s support for every iPhone app available today. You can run the apps in windowed or full screen mode.

Update 5: It looks like one thing the iPad doesn’t support at the moment is Adobe Flash.

Update 6: In addition to iPhone apps, the iPad will support new games designed for the larger screen. There’s a new SDK out today.

More updates after the break, including the pricing for the ipad and the 3G data plans.Update 7: OK, we’re starting to get into the eBook, newspaper reader side of things. They’re showing off a pretty sexy New York Times app.

Update 8: Games look pretty nice. They support multitouch and accelerometer controls, and the graphics are pretty slick. But you know what else handles games pretty well? A laptop. Just sayin’. Anyway. Developers have only been working on iPad-specific apps for about two weeks. There’s only room for things to get better.

Update 9: Apple is launching a new application called iBooks for finding books online, downloading them, and reading them on your iPad. Five top publishers are partnering with Apple. There will be books in the book store starting this afternoon including New York Times Bestsellers. Overall iBooks looks like iTunes for eBooks. The fonts are adjustable, the eBook reader looks decent. But without a high contrast e-Ink display, I’m not 100% sold on this. A 1.5 pound, 0.5 inch eBook reader is feasible. But it’s not as thin or light as a Kindle and the text isn’t going to look as sharp.

Update 10: Now they’re showing off iWork for the iPad as if it were the best thing ever. But while it’s nice that there is an office suite, it’s pretty clear that you’re going to be able to get stuff done more easily on a device with a keyboard. The iPad really seems more suitable as an entertainment device for web browsing, reading books, or enjoying digital media.

Update 11: It syncs up with iTunes on your PC the same way an iPhone does.

Update 12: All iPads will have WiFi. But there will also be models with 3G.

Update 13: You can get a 3G model with up to 250MB of data per month for just $14.99.  The unlimited plan is just $29.99. There’s no contract. You can cancel whenever you want. Service comes from AT&T. You can also use AT&T’s WiFi hotspots across the country. Apple is still working on international deals, but the 3G iPad is unlocked, so you can use it with existing carriers.

Update 14: Pricing starts at $499 for the 16GB model with WiFi only. The most expensive model will sell for $820 with 64GB of storage and 3G.

Update: 15: Shipping in 60 days. WiFi models will be available worldwide. It’ll take another 30 days for the 3G models to hit the streets.

Update 16: There are a number of accessories, including a keyboard dock. I’m now officially interested. For $499 plus a keyboard dock, I might actually be able to use this kind of device for something.

Update 17: The Apple iPad web site is now live. Check it out for more details.

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14 replies on “Apple introduces the iPad tablet, prices starting at $499”

  1. Ok caught the whole thing Live (live-blogged) and it looks…. ahem….

    First things first. Can anyone tell me what the hell is that 4:3 resolution doin there? I mean 4:3 is not even suited to read ebook these days. 4:3 is sooooo 2002-ish

    Sure it runs all iPhone apps, but in pixel stretched mode. All demoed iPhone apps looked so out of place on iPad

    No cam? No cam?? A $50 phone has a cam, a chinese MP3 player has cam, even that stupid digital photo frame has cam these days!

    No flash, ok i accept. But no multi tasking? Again???

    Seriously iPad is apples’s biggest mistake after appleTV!

  2. I asked the question a few days ago. Who is going to buy this? It makes no sense all they have done is recreated a larger iPod touch. and lets get real who’s really good at using the virtual keyboard. Well you all wanted a Apple tablet, now you have one…ha ha ha what a joke.

  3. Maybe I’m just being cynical but I am completely UNIMPRESSED. Maybe it was all the hype or whatever but in the end I’m sincerely disappointed and I never had plans on even purchasing the thing.

  4. Good God almighty, NOW can we stop hearing the dann thing. THATS ALL I”VE HEARD ABOUT THE LAST 6 MONTHS and i am sick of it.
    Anyone that wants one can go to apple and look at it all day long if they want and then tell us how great it is. Maybe i”m the only one but I would rather have my teeth pulled out that listen to all the rumors again, which is EXACTLY what apple wants.

    1. Nah, not five years. Two. And like all Apple products it is about twice as exensive as it should be. But their customers LIKE paying more, it keeps the rabble out. What is the smug factor of flaunting your glowing Apple logo if some rank commoner slumming in the coffee shop also has one?

      It is like the Mercedez Benz logo, it would be less valuable as a status symbol if just one inexpensive model were released in the IS.

      My bet. They will sell at least a half million in 2010. But I have never bought an Apple product and nothing I have seen of this makes me want to make it my first one.

  5. No Pixel Qi, no Tegra? Eh. I know Apple supports their products, but those two mean a no-buy from me.

    I realize an IPS screen is a great feature for anything (especially pivot screens and tablets). Any prolonged reading, however, is best done without backlighting.

  6. Notion Ink’s Adam Tablet LOOKs like it is using much better hardware than the APPLE iPad.

    I think that Apple really did rush this, and should have done better with the hardware. Now if Android on Notion device (and other ARM devices) can match the content that Apple has already for their device? Well, OR be able to dual or multi-boot Linux, Android, and this IPad OS for the apps on the Notion or other similar ARM device. That will be good, or rather better than Apple’s iPad, period.

  7. Hahaha. No flash support. I suppose this won’t be a big deal to most people who buy it, since the hardware was made by apple… (and if apple says you don’t need it, well, you clearly don’t!)

    1. No flash support because flash allows applications not bought through the app store.

      In the end the app store is Apple’s death. It opened up such a gusher of cash they will never release another product that doesn’t drive it and must design in customer hostile misfeatiures to force it’s use. And with a million or so rabid Apple Zealots who buy regardless it will mask reality when the sane customers finally get tired of wearing Steve’s handcuffs long enough they probably won’t realize they are screwed before it is too late.

      On the other hand every console since the NES has shipped with handcuffs and people still buy them so maybe we really are no longer a people worthy of the blessings of liberty. May our chains lie lightly upon us… HAHAHAH.

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