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Apple Debuts iPad Touchscreen Tablet Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
ImageWe don’t normally talk much about tablet PCs at AVRev.  They’re a burgeoning market that still has a lot to prove, but Apple’s iPad is too big to ignore.  The iPhone has been a huge influence on the consumer electronics industry.  It’s gotten to the point where it’s almost expected that new products have some sort of link to the new device, and the iPad may have the same influence. The iPad does a lot of impressive things, but the primary feature AV readers are likely to be interested in is HD video.  The iPad can play HD video back on its touchscreen.  It’s got an LED backlit display that, as Apple put it “can play back videos in 720p”. We’re assuming that means a 720p display, but it’s hard to say for sure.

On the downside, you can’t play any of that HD video through your television.  If you like, however, you’re welcome to pick up the composite or VGA adaptors for 1024 x 768 resolution.  If you want an Apple product for your TV, it looks like Apple TV is still the way to go. iPhone apps will still work with the iPad, but applications built specifically for the unit will be hitting when it’s released.  So if you used your iPhone as a remote, you can use your iPad as a remote.  If you picked up an app to help you set up your home theater, it’ll still work on the iPad.

The iPad will be selling in WiFi only models at a base $499 for a 16GB tablet.  The 32GB version will run $599 and you’ll be shelling out $699 for the 64GB model.  You can also pick it up with 3G support from AT&T. You won’t need a contract for the 3G, but it will cost you $15 a month with a 250GB limit or $30 a month for unlimited service.  The 16GB tablet with 3G starts at $629 and increases $100 per 16GB from there.

The lack of HDMI output means it’s not going to replace your HTPC anytime soon, but the ingenuity of software developers may surprise us yet.  At the very least, the iPad will be an incredibly impressive touchscreen remote.

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