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Apple announces the long awaited iPad

On January 27th, Apple finally announced the long anticipated tablet computer called the iPad.

A tablet computer is nothing new and they have been around for quite a few years but have never really taken off into the main stream.

For those of you new to tablet computers, its basically a laptop computer with a touch screen. Microsoft has an operating system built specifically for them which gives additional features to take advantage of the touch screen.

The main reason that they haven’t taken off is that there is no obvious use for them yet. If you work at a desk then you have a desktop, if you are always on the move and need to work from multiple locations  then you have a laptop and if you want something ultra portable but don’t need the processing power then you have a netbook. Apple claims the iPad is not in competition with netbooks and it is in a market of it’s own.

iPad features

Calling it "way better than a laptop, way better than a phone," Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad at an Event in San Francisco. Mr Jobs described the tablet, which will cost between $499 and $829 in the US, as a "third category" between smartphones and laptops.

"What this device does is extraordinary. It is the best browsing experience you have ever had," he said.

The iPad has a relatively straight forward set of features, opting for simplicity:

  • Weighing just 700g and 24 x 19 cm big (giving a 9.7-inch display), the iPad is smaller and lighter than any netbook.
  • It will come in capacities of 16GB to 64GB of flash storage, built in WiFi and optional 3G.
  • A 10 hour battery life for watching videos and up to one month standby time should be sufficient for even the most intensive users.

Major drawbacks – will these cause it to flop?

There are some major drawbacks to the iPad which will put off many potential customers.

  • In effect it is just a big iPhone with basically the same features – who in their right mind would want this?
  • There’s no physical keyboard making touch typing very difficult.
  • It only runs a phone operating system which is more limited in what it can do when compared to a fully blown OS.
  • There’s currently a maximum of 64GB of storage which isn’t much now considering it will be used for music and movies.
  • There’s no HDMI output, no camera and no USB slots which is very limiting to users. The battery is also not removable (although e battery life is very good).
  • It’s very expensive when compared to its netbook rivals
  • As with the iPhone it’s locked into Apple meaning you have to buy from the AppStore

Golden touch?

It seems that everything Apple touches turns to gold and I have no doubt that this will be a success. At the moment it is difficult to see where the iPad will fit into the market and becoming the latest must have gadget. There will always be the Apple fanatics that will buy the device regardless but will it convert the mass public? I guess time will tell..

For more information on the iPad, visit the Apple website.

Rob Leverton

Rob has worked as an IT technician and project manager with Connexion for 14 years before moving into his current role as head of the technical services team.

Although Rob comes from a technical background he’s very much a people person and he is exceptionally good at building excellent working relationships with our customers and his technical team to deliver service excellence to our clients.

Rob Leverton

James Stratton

James is passionate about technology and how it can transform business.  Having worked with hundreds of businesses in many different sectors over the last 25 years he has a huge amount of business IT knowledge that he enjoys imparting to Connexions customers.

James is responsible for Connexions strategic development and also still enjoys a role in consulting and sales and marketing