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Steve Jobs says that the new addition to the Apple line up is "so much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smart phone" but Raven Zachary, a contributing analyst with a mobile research agency called The 451 Group, considered the iPad a laptop replacement, especially because Apple is also selling a dock with a built-in keyboard.
The half-inch-thick iPad is larger than the company's popular iPhone but similar in design. It weighs 1.5 pounds and has a touch screen that is 9.7 inches diagonally. It comes with 16, 32 or 64 gigabytes of flash memory storage, and has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity built in. Like iPods and the iPhone, the iPad can sync with Apple's Macintosh and Microsoft's Windows computers. Jobs said the iPad will also be better for playing games and watching video than either a laptop or the small screen of a smart phone.
Unlike a laptop, the iPad has an accelerometer, so gamers can tilt the device to control what's happening on the screen. And the iPad is lighter and easier to hold for long periods of time while watching a movie or TV show.
The basic iPad models will cost $499, $599 and $699, depending on the storage size, when it comes out worldwide in March.
Critics however find the iPad a little lacking saying it is missing a few key features.
- No 3G support for Verizon. (It dos support 3G but only through AT&T)
- No built-in camera
- No Flash support
- No user-replaceable battery (Jobs claims the rechargable power source is good for approx. 10 hours of operating time and a full month of stand-by)
- No TV subscriptionsTL's take: iDunno. iLike the iDea of the thing but iThink iWill wait a couple of years before iDrop $500-$700 and hopfully they will change the name by then.