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Spotlight: The iPad has landed

This past weekend Apple launched their new tablet device — the iPad. As of this writing, Apple had sold about 300,000 of the new devices through their various channels. The iPad is currently being offered in three sizes, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB, with a price range of $499-$699. (See the other iPad article in this issue.)

This version of the iPad is equipped with Wi-Fi only and will be joined by an AT&T-equipped 3G version later this month.

Apple's new iPad functions in both horizontal and vertical format.
Apple's new iPad functions in both horizontal and vertical format.

The iPad is positioned to compete with netbooks and ebook readers by trying to provide a better, portable media and computing experience than either alone.

Some of the standout features (so far)

  • Excellent screen
  • Great video performance both with streaming content and downloaded video files
  • Decent app selection. They have something for everyone; good productivity apps and a lot of fun games.
  • Both the iBook and Kindle reader software
  • Portability. This thing is light and easy to carry around.
  • Spell-checker integrated throughout the system and apps
  • It has a mic and mic-through-headset capabilities. VoIP apps like Skype work pretty well

Some things to look out for

  • Keyboard takes some getting used to
  • Apps for the iPad are currently costing a bit more than their counterparts on the iPhone and iPod touch
  • This is not a full-blown computer and, in most cases, cannot replace one
  • Although some Flash-based websites are converting to HTML5, there are still a lot out there using Flash, and you may have difficulties viewing this content

The Union Computer Store has a nice iPad display where you can test-drive one. If you are in the mood to purchase, they also have a few in stock.

Next week some of the apps that have arrived for the iPad will be featured; stay tuned.