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Apple Announces iPad

If you have your finger anywhere near the pulse of the tech community, you’ve heard stirrings of an Apple “tablet”. This tablet was officially announced as the Apple iPad. The iPad is essentially an enlarged iPhone with a 10″ screen and up to 64GB Wi-Fi models available.

The iPad will be available from AT&T starting at $499 for the 16 GB WiFi-equipped model, $599 for 32 GB, $699 for 64 GB, and additional $130 per model for 3G functionality. iPad users must also sign up for AT&T’s data plans at $14.99 per month for 250 MB of data, to $29.99 per month for unlimited data, without the requirement of a new 2 year contract.

The iPad comes in a tidy little 1.5lb package, and is a mere 0.5″ thick. The LED screen measures 9.7″ diagonally. It boasts up to a 10 hour battery life using Wi-Fi, and comes with Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. It uses a specially-made 1Ghz A4 processing chip. It comes with a 30-pin connection on the bottom to dock and charge it, as well as connect a keyboard and other iPad accessories like a Camera Connection Kit. There will also be a myriad of accessories allowing connectivity to televisions, displays and projectors, and allow users to import photos and files from SD cards.

The iPad will be compatible with most (if not all) Apple Store apps that can be viewed at their normal size or scaled up to fill the screen of the iPad. It will also sync with iTunes via USB to PCs and Macs.

The iPad is expected to take on the Kindle and Sony Reader market with its iBook store (even though the prices are considerably higher than Amazon), and has also garnered interest from the iPhone/iPod gaming community. EA already has games in the works made for the iPad, and showed off a demo for Need for Speed Shift.

Apple enthusiasts and curious techies will have to wait 60 days for the iPad’s release, with 3G models shipping a month later.

For those who are less than enthused, enjoy this Photoshop job.