I've been getting a fairly hefty load of emails from people asking me a variety of questions about the iPad. In this post I sift through the fact and fiction to bring you answers based on what we know about the device so far.
Note: I promise that this will be my last iPad post ... until the next one.
Q:How many different models are there? A: There are six in all, three that offer WiFi connectivity, and three that offer WiFi and 3G. The within each group, the three models differ in the amount of storage they offer - 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.
Q: What about the all important price? A: Here's how the pricing breaks down: - 16GB WiFi: $499 - 32GB WiFi: $599 - 64GB WiFi: $699 - 16GB WiFi + 3G: $629 - 32GB WiFi + 3G: $729 - 64GB WiFi + 3G: $829 (Basically, the 3G models are $130 more than the corresponding WiFi-only models)
Q: Tell me about the screen. A: Sure. The screen is 9.7-inch (diagonal) and is an LED-backlit glossy widescreen featuring multitouch display with IPS (In Plane Switching) technology to improve the viewing angle. The resolution is 1024-by-768-pixel at 132 pixels per inch (ppi). The screen also features a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating.
Q: How big is the iPad? A: Height: 9.56 inches (242.8 mm) | Width: 7.47 inches (189.7 mm) | Depth: 0.5 inch (13.4 mm) Weight:1.5 pounds (0.68 kg) Wi-Fi model; 1.6 pounds (0.73 kg) Wi-Fi + 3G model
Q: What's the OS? A: Unknown at present, but it's definitely based on the iPhone OS. Perhaps iPhone OS 4.0.
Q: How do the 3G models connect to the network? What's the network provider? A: In the US, Apple's chosen AT&T as the default network provider.
Q: What are the data charges? A: AT&T will offer two plans. For $14.99 a month you get 250MB of data, while for $24.99 you will get an unlimited plan. Also, there's no contract, so you can cancel at any time.
Q: Is that unlimited plan really unlimited? A: As far as the iPhone on AT&T goes, it is, so I'd assume that the same deal will apply for the iPad.
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Q: Can I move to another network? A: Yes! The device is shipped unlocked so you can move it to any 3G network.
Q: Is it really that simple to move the iPad to a different 3G network? A: Well, there is an issue surrounding the SIM card.
Q: What's the deal with the SIM card in the iPad? I've heard it's different to a regular SIM. A: The iPad uses a micro SIM or 3FF 3rd generation SIM card. This SIM was developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to fit into devices too small to accommodate a regular, or 2FF SIM. While a regular SIM measures 15mm x 25mm, a 3FF SIM card measures 12mm x 15mm.
Q: So, what networks use a micro or 3FF SIM? A: Currently, none. But it's a fair guess that AT&T will be getting them! T-Mobile is also going to start using them. Over the next three to six months it's a fair bet that most carriers will offer them. (If you have a steady hand and strong nerves, you can cut a regular SIM to fit too, as the modules are the same.)
Q: Does the iPad support Bluetooth? A: Yes, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology.
Q: What about battery life? A: The iPad is powered by a built-in 25Whr rechargeable lithium-polymer battery. This provides up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music. It should last a month on standby.
Q: How do you recharge the battery? A: Same as the iPod or iPhone, using a USB cable or a power cord.
Q: Is the battery user-replaceable? A: No (or at least not until the great guys at iFixit.com get their hands on one and show us how its done!).
Q: Will it run iPhone/iPod touch apps? A: According to Apple, they should run "out of the box," with the iPad handling screen scaling. It remains to be seen how well this will work.
Q: Does the iPad have a GPS? A: Yes.
Q: Does the iPad have a camera? A: No.
Q: Does it support Flash? A: No.
Q: When will it be made available? A: Accoding to Apple, the WiFi version will be available within 60 days.
Q: Can it be tethered to a notebook to make use of the 3G connection? A: Like the iPhone, probably not.
Q: Is it true that there will be an optional keyboard dock for it? A: Yes, it will cost $60.
If you have any further questions, drop me a note and I'll try to answer it.
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