It’s here. The Apple iPad, a cross between an iPhone a giant iPod Touch and a very media-capable fun media browsing computer, all in a tablet form factor. It’s does everything a bunch of stuff you’d expect: solid web browsing, email via on screen keyboard, photo browsing, iTunes music playback and purchasing (movies, tv shows, podcasts, all apps, games etc), and scales up existing iPhone apps or runs them in small windows. 9.7 inch diagonal touchscreen, speaker, microphone, dock connector, wireless 802.11n wifi, bluetooth, fancy multi-finger gestures, pop-up onscreen keyboard – the whole enchilada.
Updated: pricing starts at $499 for 16gb of memory, then $599 for 32gb, and $699 for 64gb. Those three versions have wifi only (no 3g wireless service) and will be available around March 27, 2010.
If you want roaming with 3g service, add on $130 to each price level for theintegrated 3g hardware and wait until the end of April. Then add on another $30 per month (prepaid, no contract – turn it on and off as you please) for 3g service via AT&T. You also gain free access to their wifi hotspots (i.e. Starbucks etc.). Also available is a lower data plan for $15 per month that limits you to 250 mb of transfer – but browsing, music and video streaming would kill that in a few days.
Hands-on review below.