So Apple had a small shindig today…

Apparently, it’ll change your life.

If you haven’t heard, Steve Jobs had a little presentation today, and released this:

The iPad (please, keep the jokes to yourself…although I must say, it’s like they hired a Boston firm that had the idea for the name “iPod”) is a tablet computer that’s basically an iPhone, on steroids, with a tad bit more capability. Priced from $499 (for the bare-bones, 16 GB, WiFi only edition) to $829 (for a 64 GB model with both WiFi and 3G capability from AT&T), it’s a multitouch device with a sort of souped-up iPhone OS – it’s modal, so it seems as though there’s no multitasking (which kinda sucks) – but has its positive capabilities:

  • iBooks, the new app for getting and using eBooks, is pretty awesome. While the price point right now is kind of steep (currently $15), it has quite a multitude of books, full color ability, and perhaps the ability someday to combine audio and video (perhaps collaboration with iTunes and Quicktime?) and – from my mouth to Steve Jobs’s ears! – buying e-Textbooks. (To be honest, that’s really the only reason I’d get one of these things – to be a Kindle DX, except better).
  • The app allows people to watch live games, listen to gameday audio, get stats, &c. So that’s kinda cool.
  • iWork ’10 will have full multitouch ability and each of the applications – Pages, Keynote, and Numbers – will be sold separately as well as a single package.
  • The Times Reader is nice (see my riff about iBooks), especially considering they’ll be going back to paid content on their website (which begs the comment, gee, that worked for you pretty well with TimesSelect, didn’t it?!).
  • It can use iPhone apps. Meh.
  • Apparently, you CAN use it to type using the virtual keyboard in landscape mode. Which is nice.

So here's how you type on the thing.

However, it’s going to be difficult for there to be peripherals (because there’s no USB port, or FireWire port, &c.), there’s no Flash capability in this first model, and, contrary to virtually every rumor (read: Apple fan-fiction), there’s no camera at all.

I expect those problems to be fixed in iPad 2.0 – I certainly wouldn’t buy it in the first round (although I will go down to Fifth Avenue and try it out at the Apple Store), but it can have it’s positive uses. I know I’ll have a MacBook come August (thank you, Macaulay Honors College), so this will work well as a netbook-esque Mac/Apple eBook reader. I might get it at some point, but for now, I’ll pass.

Join me later tonight for Wednesday’s Top 5, in which I chronicle the Top 5 Mets seasons in my lifetime (plus a little write-up on the Mets blood drive).


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