It's Here, But What Is It?

The iPad has landed, and I'm left wondering if there's a place for it in my arsenal of tech. First, what does it do? Got an iPhone or iPod Touch? Well, basically it's one of those devices super sized. That's both good and bad. The good is that all that money you spent on your apps can be used on this thing, in either the native size (small), or using pixel doubling it can get blown up full size, which has mixed results. iPad tuned apps (calendar, mail, etc) do look very nice and take full advantage of the nearly 10 inch screen, and devs are going to be given the tools to re-write their apps to take advantage of the extra real estate. The bad news is that there is still no multi-tasking, and no camera on either side of the device to either take pictures or to video chat. 


The iPad is also bringing books on board with its iBooks app (hello, iBook laptops) with bookstore. Until I see this in person I'll reserve judgement, but I've been hearing rumors of book pricing going up to accomodate for Apple's 30% cut of sales. I have no doubt the screen is awesome, but I wonder how a screen can be great for movies and great for reading. Again, I'll be hoping to check this out in person soon.
Other tidbits? The pricing! I have to say of all the stuff that was announced this was the biggest (and most welcome) surprise. $499! Granted that doesn't come with 3G cellular data, and 16 gigs of storage (oh which I'm sure a gig or more will be lost to formatting and OS), but that's a great price point. Add $100 for 32 gigs, and another $100 for 64 gigs. Add $130 on top of those prices if you want some 3G action. The device is unlocked, but you can also get a good deal on some data plans with AT&T at $15 for 250 megs, or $30 for some unlimited data. Which isn't really unlimited, but that's another topic.
So in the end we have an oversized iPhone, that can't make a call but can have a constant data connection, can't multitask, but will presumably use notifications like the iPhone and iPod Touch, will serve up media in the form of music, video, the web, and books in a fairly hefty (1.5 pounds) under 10" inch screen. My friend says he's waiting for the 2nd generation, and I'm inclined to agree with him, but, as with all Apple products, it's just so darn good looking!

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