With iPad, Apple has created a highly mobile, lightweight device that can run any and all existing iPhone apps, with a set of built-in apps reworked for its large, multi-touch screen.
The iPad is slightly smaller than a sheet of regular paper, just one-half inch thick, and weighs 1.5 pounds (1.6 with an optional 3G modem built-in). The 9.7-inch LED backlit glossy multi-touch screen has 1024×768 pixel resolution (132 pixels per inch).
Wireless connectivity is 802.11n Wi-Fi (backward compatible with 11abg devices), Bluetooth 2.1 + Ehanced Data Rate (EDR). 3G cellular is available for $130 more, supporting UMTS/HSDPA and GSM/EDGE networks, but available at least at first only on AT&T’s network.
Apple says the iPad’s battery can give up to 10 hours of use, and 30 days of standby power, though that is likely to vary greatly depending on what applications and connectivity are being run and for how long.
iPad runs a version of the iPhone operating system, itself a variant of the Mac OS X. That means that it can run unchanged every app on the iTunes App Store. Moreover, it runs them in one of two modes: just as you’d see it on the iPhone or expanded to be twice as large to exploit the iPad’s larger screen.
The biggest surprise probably is the price. There are three models, based on amount of solid state memory: iPad with 16Gbytes is just $499; 32Gbytes, $599; 64Gbytes, $699. 3G adds $130 to each, so the most expensive iPad is $829.
A simple docking stand props it up, and accepts a hardware keyboard. Also included: digital compass, assisted GPS, 1GHz CPU system-on-a-chip custom designed for Apple, the usual array of audio and video formats.
What’s missing: multi-tasking, cellular voice, and support for Flash in the Safari browser.
The specs add up to a potentially very powerful, attractive package, says Andrew Borg, senior research analyst, wireless and mobility, for Aberdeen Group, a Boston technology and market research firm. “We believe the iPad may be a killer product line with a great fit for enterprise users,” he says. But part of his assessment hinges on the use of mulit-tasking on the iPad. And, he notes, Apple has yet to develop a “thoroughly integrated security model or an enterprise-based App Store (or customized enterprise access to the main App Store).
Less impressed is wireless analyst Craig Mathias, principal of the Farpoint Group, Ashland, Massachusetts. The iPhone did well in the enterprise in part because there’s a basic overlap between business and personal devices, he says. “A tablet is another matter altogether,” he says. “These have been available for 25 years and have not done well outside of industrial and a few commercial apps. I don’t expect the Apple announcement to change this. While some will use it for Web and a few other apps, most will prefer the combination of a handset and a PC with a keyboard.”
Quote from www.networkworld.com