Steve Jobs has come back to the stage after quite a long absence, only to reveal the product we were all waiting for: the Apple iPad Tablet. The device is pictured below and it’s as beautiful as we hoped, but it also comes with a few pleasant surprises. For starters, the iPad comes with a 9.7 inch LCD IPS multitouch display (1024 x 768 pixels), WiFi 802.11n and optional 3G connectivity.
Inside the device there’s a new 1GHz Apple A4 CPU, created by the Cupertino company, while storage ranges from 16GB to 32 or 64GB. The tablet’s battery should last about 10 hours in normal usage mode, or a month in standby mode and you’ll be able to recharge it via a 30 pin dock connector, also used for iTunes syncing.
There’s also a digital compass on board, an accelerometer and the display will show a virtual keyboard, as user-friendly as the one on the iPhone. iTunes syncing is supported, by hooking up the tablet to your PC or Mac, in order to synchronize media, apps, calendar entries, contacts and various other data.
The e-book reader side of the iPad is shown thanks to the iBooks service, a sort of “iTunes for books”, providing content from publishers like Penguin, HarperCollins, MacMillan and more. iWork is also on board, in a reworked version, including 3 new productivity apps: Numbers (spreadsheet), Keynote (presentations) and Pages (word processor).
The device will be available in three memory version, with the 16GB one retailing for $499, the 32GB one for $599 and the 64GB one for $699. Add an extra $130 to each of these, if you get them with the 3G connectivity included. AT&T will work with Apple yet again, selling the tablet bundled with a $14.99 data plan with 250MB traffic or a $29.99 unlimited data plan.
Apple also revealed official accessories for the iPad, like two docking stands, adapters and a cool new case. The most appealing of them is a dock sporting a physical QWERTY keyboard. Is this the gadget of the year, or are we hoping too much? Also, we’re the multitasking and iPhone OS 4.0?