By: Arene, Contributor
Referred to as a cross a between a MacBook (multi-touch screen laptop that premiered in 2006) and an iPhone (all-in-one phone, iPod and Internet device that premiered in 2007) in its capabilities, the iPad represents the newest advancement in technology as of January 27, 2010 when it was introduced by Apple's CEO Steve Jobs. Similar to an iPod Touch in appearance, the iPad is a multi-touch screen tablet computer that weighs 1.5 pounds and measures 9.7 inches in length and .5 inches in thickness. Its unique features include a fast processor, up to 64 GB of flash storage, 10 hours of battery life and one month of idle or "stand by" battery charge. Like an iPhone, the iPad has the applications of web-browsing, email usage, photo viewing, music downloading and playing, video watching and text entering with a virtual keyboard.
The main advantages that the iPad has over the iPhone include its increased storage options and its larger screen that enables more readable text for its note taking application; whereas an iPhone has limited storage and its screen is too small to type anything more than a text message. The disadvantages of the iPad in contrast to the iPhone are its lack of a camera and its inability to connect to cellular networks to allow phone calls or text messages. In comparison to the MacBook, the iPad supports Apple's iWork Suite that features spreadsheets and presentation software. IPad's advantage over the MacBook is being easier to transport due to its smaller size. Yet a drawback of the iPad is its lack of a built-in USB port. For that reason, an iPad customer must purchase an iPad Camera Connection Kit separately to import photos from digital cameras or to sync from computers. Photos may also be downloaded from emails.
What's the iPad got that boomers and seniors might like?
Laurie Orlov, in her Aging in Place Technology Watch blog says - Accessibility features -- "Support for playback of closed-captioned content, VoiceOver screen reader, Full-screen zoom magnification, and mono audio, which combines the sound of the left and right channels into a mono signal played on both sides. This enables users with hearing impairment in one ear to hear the entire sound signal with the other ear."
The new iPad targets college students, business professionals, travelers or anyone who is technologically savvy. In addition to its similarity to MacBooks, iPods and iPhones, the iPad also shares characteristics to that of kindles (for downloading books), in-store photo kiosks, self-checkout machines (with touch-screens), and pocket PC audit machines used by Data Collectors. Customers now have the option of preordering either the iPad with Wi-Fi that will be available at the end of March or the iPad with Wi-Fi and 3G that will be available at the end of April through the Apple Online Store, the Amazon website or electronic stores carrying Apple products. The Apple Online Store iPad prices range from $499 for a 16 GB iPad to $699 for a 64 GB iPad.
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