The 3G-enabled version of the Apple iPad is launching today. This version of Apple’s tablet is able to access the Internet over AT&T’s mobile broadband network as well as Wi-Fi, but costs $130 more than the non-3G one.
Several weeks ago, Apple introduced a version of the iPad that can access the Internet over a Wi-Fi connection. The new one will have Wi-Fi as well as support for AT&T’s AT&T’s 7.2 Mbps mobile broadband network.
Those who ordered this version of the iPad several weeks ago will receive it today. Those who put in a pre-order recently will have to wait another week to get their device. Those who don’t want to wait and are willing to stand in line should be at an Apple retail store at or before 5:00 pm today, which is when this device will go on sale.
Cost: Device and Service
The 3G-enabled iPad comes in several configurations: one with 16 GB of storage capacity sells for $630, a 32GB one goes for $730 and the a 64GB version sells for $830. Customers can reduce these costs $130 by forgoing 3G access.
Those who want access to AT&T’s network will have the option of paying $14.99 for 250 MB of data or $29.99 for a month of unlimited data. This will be pre-paid directly on the slate, and no contract will be required. During the time customers have purchased 3G service, they will also have access to all of AT&T’s Wi-Fi hotspots.
While this device has support for the cellular-wireless data standard HSPA, it is not able to make voice calls.
An Overview of the Apple iPad
The iPad is Apple’s answer to the netbook. It’s a device that packs more functionality than a smartphone, but is also more portable than a laptop.
Since it lacks a built-in physical keyboard, users enter text on the 9.7-inch, 1024 x 768-pixel capacitive touchscreen. Apple also offers a Keyboard Dock for typing and the iPad can support the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard.
The tablet computer runs the iPhone OS on a 1 GHz processor and comes with a suite of software for browsing the Web, exchanging email and watching video, as well as a calendar and address book.
In addition, it is able to access the iTunes Store to buy music, TV shows, movies and games. A new iBooks app lets users buy and read books.
The iPad is 0.5 inches thick and weighs 1.5 pounds, and according to Apple has a battery life of up to 10 hours.