Updated with pricing for extra 3G functionality
:Today of course is the day that Apple is unveiling their long-awaited tablet computer, and as usual, the gadget blogs Engadget
have all the specifics of the unveiling pretty well covered. As the specs are slowly being dribbled out like nectar to a very loyal fan base, one item of note to our readers (of course) is the device's broadband connectivity options. According to Apple, the base device will apparently be Wi-Fi only
(802.11N), and doesn't appear to have GPS:
The iPad is packing a 9.7-inch IPS display, which is a type of TFT LCD that according to Stevesy has a "great angle of view." It's a full capacitive multitouch screen, like the iPhone, and also like its little (yet older) brother, it's got 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+, an accelerometer, compass, speaker, and mic, as well as the standard 30-pin connector. It's rated at 10 hours of battery life, which is absolutely nuts (and much better than we expected).
: Pricing has been unveiled, and contrary to early indications, there is a 3G model after all. Pricing starts at $500 for the 16GB, Wi-Fi-only version, while the 32GB and 64GB versions are $600 and $700, respectively. Pricing increases by $130 to add 3G functionality.
Interestingly, the device is tied to AT&T only, and AT&T is offering two 3G pricing plans for the device. Unlimited (we'll see if that's really
unlimited, or the wireless industry's version) 3G will cost you $29.99 a month with no contract. Users can also sign up for $14.99 plan, also with no contract, that's restricted to 250MB a month. You have to assume that the usual assortment of fees and other below the line additions will jack these prices up between $5 and $10 per month.
While the no-contract option is nice, it's still kind of strange that Apple hitched their wagon to AT&T once again -- despite the last few years of problems. Once again, Apple's "next generation" device is going to frequently find itself being used on AT&T's "last generation" EDGE network, as users roam in and out of AT&T's 3G coverage gaps.
As always, you can discuss the new product at length with other users in our All Things Apple forum