After countless rumors and renderings of the much-talked-about Apple tablet computer, Steve Jobs finally revealed Apple’s iPad yesterday. The only real surprise? The name. While Apple certainly does a good job of drumming up interest in new products, the iPad is—in a good way—about what we expected. It looks like an enlarged version of the iPhone or iPod Touch, which is about what we were hoping it might look like. It’s got a 9.7-inch touch screen and an incredibly slim design that weighs just 1.5 pounds, which is about what we were hoping it might feel like. And it’s gonna come equipped with either WiFi or 3G, a battery that lasts about 10 hours, access to The App Store, a virtual keyboard and “the best Web experience you’ve ever had,” which is about what we were hoping it might act like.
As far as the availability: In about 60 days, Apple wil start selling WiFi models of the iPad that start at just $499 for a 16GB model, and in about 90 days, they’ll start selling 3G models that start at $629—plus $29.99 monthly for unlimited data service through AT&T. It may not change the world as much as Apple is hoping it will, but the iPad does look like one helluva device. Plus, it’s way cheaper than anyone out there anticipated. Hope you saved your Christmas cash, kiddies! —Chris Yuscavage