Apple Announces the iPad

Steve Jobs took the stage today and announced Apple’s new Tablet computer, the iPad. Despite the ridiculous name, I was still interested in seeing what this thing could do, but after awhile became sadly disappointed. Now, I should have known that the rumors floating around regarding the features that would be built into this thing would be highly exaggerated, but essentially what we were shown is a glorified iPod Touch with optional 3G internet connection.

The iPad uses a variation of the iPhone OS, so those familiar with how the iPhone acts and responds will be at home using this thing, but it doesn’t seem to add anything remarkable to the OS. It will run all iPhone apps out of the box in either a 1:1 pixel mode or you can double the size and run a larger, albeit low res, version of the app. Obviously there will be apps in the future that will work natively with the iPad’s resolution and screen size, but for right now the majority of the apps are just going to be iPhone/iPod Touch apps. So as I said it’s essentially a larger scale iPod Touch/iPhone… I’m not terribly impressed.

I won’t go into all the specs of the iPad here since you can find them on every major news site out there, but there are a few things I’ll comment on. The lack of a camera, at all whether front or back, is a little disappointing. I would have thought at least a front facing camera for video chatting, etc. would have made it, but there is absolutely no camera on the device. The fact that it’s not widescreen is a little off putting as well as movies will not fill up the whole screen. I also don’t like the aesthetics of the unit in the fact that the screen doesn’t go anywhere near the edge of the bezel. I know it’s kind of a nit-picky thing to comment on, but it’s a little weird looking.

Now I will say that the price points aren’t terrible, but you have to add another $130 to the base price if you want the ability to get 3G service to the unit. What is cool is that the 3G service doesn’t come with a contract and the plans start at $15/mo for 250MB or $30/mo for unlimited, and the 3G is unlocked for worldwide use for any carrier that uses Micro SIM cards.

So I don’t know, it’s kind of cool, but it’s not as revolutionary as I was expecting it to be and I can’t see myself picking one of these things up in the near future. I was most looking forward to the announcement of a new iPhone OS, but that didn’t happen so naturally I’m a little disappointed overall.

So what do you guys think of the iPad? Are you going to pick one up? Do you see this knocking out the kindle in terms of e-books? Is this the saving grace that print media has been looking for?