January 26, 2010

What it is

My pre-show thoughts on what the Apple tablet ought to have:

  • An optional Wacom-style pen for fine artwork
  • Support for a Bluetooth keyboard
  • An SD card slot (like current Macs) for uploading photos and video during trips
  • Enough storage for at least a week of such photos and videos (perhaps this suggests more than one price point, based on storage)
  • A forward-facing camera for video chat

The rest feels obvious to me:

  • At least a nine-inch multitouch screen
  • WiFi (and maybe cell data service, but I’m shaky about whether that’s standard)
  • Interface more iPhone-style than Mac-style

Anyway, I eagerly await the reveal. I’ll be glued to my favorite source for Apple keynotes:

I’m also occasionally peering at Andy Ihnatko’s liveblog.

Interesting related links from before the show:

  • Engadget is skeptical but impressed with allegedly leaked photos: “Is this the Apple tablet?Update: Yes, it is.
  • Derek Powazek states his wish—and it’s about content, not so much about hardware—and I totally agree: “What I Hope Apple Unleashes Tomorrow” This excites me more than the device itself. Update: I dunno. Other than noting that they use the ePub format, no word on the publishing process.

Update as I’m following the keynote:

It’s the iPad. Looks like an iPod touch scaled up to about letter size, with interface enhancements to make better use of the space.
Steve Jobs introduces the iPad

Steve’s just sitting in a comfortable living-room chair, surfing around on it. Nice.
Steve Jobs demoing the iPad in comfort

Photos from Engadget. Definitely go there and see all the pictures.

1/2 inch thick, 1.5 pounds, 9.7 inch LCD display, and powered by Apple’s own processor. Interesting.

16, 32, or 64GB flash storage. Bluetooth and WiFi. Accelerometer. Compass. Speaker and microphone. 10 hours of battery life (and a month standby).

Can run iPhone apps, either at original size or pixel-doubled to fill the screen. Apps can be rewritten to use the full screen resolution.

There’s a bookstore, iBooks. The interface looks an awful lot like Classics for the iPhone.
iBooks app on the iPad, bookshelf view
iBooks app on the iPad, page view

And iWork for the iPad.

Available with just WiFi or also with 3G cellular data. Special deal with AT&T: $15/mo for 250GB of data, $30/mo unlimited—prepaid, no contract. And the iPad 3G models are unlocked, so they could be used on other networks. (International deals are in the works.)

And the pricing…WOW.
iPad pricing options

Available: a keyboard dock. Wait…a keyboard dock? Not Bluetooth? Wha? Wow, it looks like every one of my “ought”s (except for storage) got left out. Update: MacInTouch reports that the iPad does support Bluetooth keyboards. Very good.

A few more specs:

  • 1024 x 768 resolution
  • “Assisted GPS” included with 3G models
  • SD card reader available as an accessory. Okay, that’s good.

All right, back to work for now.

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