The wait is over. Apple unveils iPad

Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated Apple products ever has finally been unveiled. Apple’s iPad looks a lot like an oversized iPhone, but it is actually a touchscreen tablet computer that can be used for a huge variety of applications.

The iPad can be used to browse the web, read and send email, look at photos, watch videos, listen to music, play games, read e-books and has access to thousands of apps on the Apple App Store.

The iPad weighs in at just 0.68 kilograms and is 13.4 millimetres thick, which is lighter and thinner than any laptop or netbook currently on the market.

“iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.

“iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.”

The iPad features a 9.7-inch, LED backlit display and includes IPS technology to deliver crisp, clear images and consistent colour at a 178 degree viewing angle. According to Apple, the capacitive Multi-Touch display is ‘amazingly accurate and responsive’ and because of the larger screen size features an almost full-size soft keyboard. The device can also be connected to an iPad Keyboard Dock to use a traditional keyboard.

The iPads A4 chip has been designed by Apple and is said to provide exceptional processor and graphical performance along with a battery life of 10 hours.

The iPad will run almost all of the over 140,000 apps on the Apple App Store, including apps already purchased on your iPhone or iPod touch. According to Apple, the iPad will also feature 12 next-generation Multi-Touch applications.

Also just announced for the iPad is the iBookstore and iBook app. This will allow consumers to browse, buy and read books on the mobile device.

Apple also introduced a new version of iWork for the iPad, which is the first desktop-class productivity suite designed specifically for Multi-Touch. The Pages, Keynote and Numbers applications will all be available through the App Store.

The Apple iPad is set for a worldwide launch in late March for a suggested retail price of US $499 for the 16GB model, US $599 for the 32GB model and US $699 for the 64GB model.

The Wi-Fi + 3G models of the iPad will be available in April in the US and selected countries for a suggested retail price of US $629 for the 16GB model, US $729 for the 32GB model and US $829 for the 64GB model.

The iBookstore will be available in the US at launch.

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