Home / News / Laptop News / Hardware, Software & Pricing

Hardware, Software & Pricing

Gordon Kelly


Apple Unveils iPad Tablet

So Apple has announced its tablet - possibly the most hyped, most lauded device of modern times. During yesterday's record financial results Steve Jobs even referred to it as "a major new product that we're really excited about." The big question: should you be? Well... erm, err... yes and no.

Contrary to the hysteria already hitting the web the 'Apple iPad' (yes, we have reservations about the name too) isn't a flawless product, though it is an innovative one. The interest lies primarily in the software, not hardware and you don't need to read 15 separate articles to get all the info, I'm going to put it all together in one. So let's break it down:


  • Apple A4 1GHz chipset

  • 9.7in LED backlit 1024 x 768 pixel, multi-touch capacitive display, oleophobic coating

  • Optional 3G

  • 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, GPS

  • 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities

  • "Up to" 10 hours battery life, one month on standby

  • Accelerometer, digital compass, speaker, mic, dock connector, 3.5mm jack

  • 242.8 x 189.7 x 13.4mm

  • 680g (WiFi) or 730g (WiFi and 3G)
Big news here is that Apple is now officially in the chip business. Expect much greater fallout from this down the line (iPhone 4G? MacBooks, etc), but otherwise this is pretty much what we were expecting.


  • Modified variation of iPhone OS with limited app to app multi-tasking

  • HD capable (720p) video playback

  • Contacts, email, music, video and photo iTunes synchronisation

  • "Almost all" iPhone apps compatible with the iPad

  • New iBook (eBook) store (HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Penguin, Macmillan, Hachette aboard so far)

  • iWorks productivity software ($9.99) with word processing, spreadsheet and powerpoint functionality
So Apple is in the eBook market and the iPad is based heavily on an expanded iPhone OS rather than cut down Mac OS X. Software consequently takes an apps-based approach instead of full programmes, though multi-tasking finally rears its head - and gives a number of clues as to what we will see from iPhone OS 4.0 (which was not discussed at the launch).


  • Starts from $499 (£310) for 16GB model without 3G

  • 32GB is $599, 64GB is $699.

  • 3G a $130 extra meaning a maximum price of $829 (£512)

  • Shipping begins in '60 days' (no word on UK availability)

  • iPad ships unlocked for use on any network, but uses a smaller 'GSM micro SIM'

  • US data contracts on AT&T priced at $14.99 for 250MB per month, $29.99 for 'unlimited'

  • International deals will be in place "by June"
While the starting price is a surprise, costs mount quickly for a device meant to be pulling the rug from under the netbook (typically £350-400) and smartbook (typically £250-350) markets. We may have to wait sometime for UK availability.

Read on...

comments powered by Disqus