This post comes from Rob Tyrell of LetsTalk.com
So far, we definitely know what the iPad isnt. It isnt a phone, a netbook, or a camera. So what market does it seek to tap into? The most concise explanation seems to be that its a big iPod Touch. Apple wants to market the device primarily as an entertainment system. Its an e-reader (although the battery life is not as good as the Kindle), movie and music player, and a web browser. It will also be compatible with all the apps already available on the Apple app store. Most reviews are saying it wont replace netbooks because it doesnt have USB ports or expandable storage, making it less powerful as a work device. Most likely it will be most popular as a portable movie player and web browser for hanging out on the couch and for entertainment while traveling. No doubt it will be popular, but the geeky blogosphere doesnt seem particularly excited about it now that theyve seen its capabilities.
Standard apps that come pre-loaded on the device include a mobile Safari web browser, an e-book reader app called iBooks, a calendar app, two-pane email app, contacts, notes, Google Maps, media player, photo viewer, iTunes store, and App Store to download third-party applications and games.
Basic iPad Specifications
The device has a 9.7-inch display, weighs 1.5 pounds, and is half-an-inch thick. It is powered by a new chip made by Apple itself, a 1GHz A4, and will come with 16GB to 64GB of storage. It supports WiFi, has an accelerometer, compass, and built-in speaker and microphone, just like the iPhone. The screen is a full capacitive multi-touch screen. Battery life is supposed to be 10 hours. In addition to WiFi, it will have a 3G option from AT&T that will be available with two data plans: $14.99 a month for 250MB of data or $29.99 for unlimited data. All the 3G iPads, however, will be unlocked, meaning they can be used on other carriers as well. Heres a list of the basic specs:
3D Coverage Options
US customers can purchase an AT&T 250MB data plan for $14.99 per month or an unlimited data plan for $29.99 per month, much cheaper than current AT&T data plans available on most netbooks today. Activation can happen right on the device -- no store visits or calls are necessary -- and there's no contract involved. The device is fully unlocked, so if you absolutely want to, you're welcome to take it to any other GSM carrier of your choice (assuming you can find a SIM that works -- Apple's talking up a new "micro SIM" for it).
Wi-Fi only iPad models will be available by the beginning of April 2010:
Wi-Fi + 3G iPad models will be available by the beginning of May 2010:
Initial Pros and Cons: After scouring the web, this is an overview of what were reading about the iPad.
What people like: The screen is stunning. Feels just like a huge iPhone in your hands. The speed of the CPU is something to be marveled at. It is blazingly fast from what we can tell. Web pages load super fast, and scrolling was without a hiccup. Moving into and out of apps is a breeze. Its Apple, which means its going to be a pleasure to play with just like a big iPhone or iPod Touch.
What people dont like: There's no multitasking at all. It's a real disappointment. All this power and very little you can do with it at once. No multitasking means no streaming Pandora when you're working in Pages... you can figure it out. It's a real setback for this device.
The keyboard is good, not great. Not quite as responsive as it looked in the demos. No camera so no video chat. Limited space 64GB may be a lot for an iPod, but when youve got movies and such, itll disappear real fast. No SD or multi-card reader means thats all the storage you get. Its obviously no more customizable than the iPhone. iPod dock connection means theres no easy connection of USB devices.
For more information about the iPad heres a compilation of some initial reviews.