Apple launches the iPad

Apple's brand new iPad

Apple's brand new iPad

Apple has unveiled its long-awaited tablet device, named the iPad, although Irish users will probably have to wait a few months before they can buy one.

The touch-screen computer (pictured right) matched up to much of the industry’s rumours in terms of its design and functionality when it was launched by Apple CEO Steve Jobs this evening.

The iPad looks much like a large iPhone in terms of design and also runs on a similar operating system, albeit an advanced one with a handful of adjustments to its look and feel.

It comes with a 9.7in capacitive touch-screen and between 16 and 64GB flash storage. Buyers can also choose between a model with just WiFi installed or one with a 3G connection added.

The iPad 3G will be unlocked – meaning customers can put their own sim card into the device if they wish.

The machine also has iTunes pre-installed on it and can manage e-mail, music, photos, video and internet browsing amongst other things.

The iPad can also be used as an eBook and a gaming device and can run all apps designed for the iPhone without them needing to be changed.

So far Apple has only given launch details for the US. The iPad will cost between $500 and $830 depending on the model chosen.

Ireland will likely have to wait until June at the earliest for news of international versions.

iPad Spec:
9.7in capacitive multi-touch screen
0.5in thick
Weighs 0.68 – 0.72kg.
16-64GB flash storage
1GHz Apple A4 Chip
Bluetooth 2.1
WiFi 802.11n
Optional 3G connectivity
Built-in speaker, microphone, accelerometer, compass.
10 hours battery life (not known under what conditions)

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