Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced his company's newest, much-hyped creation this morning: the Apple iPad. The ten-inch long, half-inch wide tablet device has many of the features anticipated by fans, including a nearly full-size touch-screen keyboard (with optional additional real keyboard at a cost), e-mail, speedy browsing capability, movie watching, and automatically adjusting portrait and landscape viewing modes (as in, you can move it around and it responds, like an iPhone). In addition, it only weighs a pound and a half. Organized with an interface that's similar to the smaller iPhone or iPod Touch, the iPad uses a web browser that behaves like one on a normal-size computer, but responds to touch commands like its smaller counterparts. Music and photo storage and usage is apparently similar to other Apple platforms, though files can be easily transferred from both Macs and PCs, Jobs pointed out.
Familiar apps like Google Maps and GPS are included and geared specifically for the device, too. According to Jobs, you can download Apple-made apps designed for the iPhone and they'll work on the iPad, and the iTunes store has a new eBook department specifically geared for the device. As for hardware, according to the Gizmodo liveblog, it's powered by a 1GHz Apple A4 chip, and has 16GB to 64GB of flash storage. It also has speakers, a compass, BlueTooth, Wi-Fi, and ten hours of battery life. Notably, during the demonstration, Jobs visited the websites of publications like the New York Times, National Geographic, and Time. This will not be lost on media types who, for one reason or another, were hoping that the tablet would somehow play the role of savior for a struggling medium. The media website interfaces for the iPad look useful — and with its "very thin" width, presumably more convenient than a laptop's — but no direct partnerships or particularly innovative viewing capabilities were announced.
As far as pricing goes, models without 3G range from $499 to $599 depending on GB size. With 3B they range from $629 to $829. If you go for the 3G, you'll have to use AT&T for $15 to $30 a month.