Apple iPad price starting at $499, available in March

Apple-iPadApple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the long-awaited Apple Tablet today: the official name is iPad.

“iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price,” Jobs said. “iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.”

The device is 0.5 inches thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds — lighter than any netbook, Jobs noted. The iPad features a 9.7-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology. It has a 178-degree viewing angle and sports a 1024×768 pixel resolution display at 132 pixels per inch.

The iPad runs on a 1GHz Apple A4 processor which includes the CPU and graphics. The Apple iPad has 10 of hours battery life watching video, and has a one-month standby charge. It will come in capacities of 16GB to 64GB of flash storage, in models with and without a 3G radio.

The hardware has many of the same capabilities of the iPhone and iPod touch, including the accelerometer for switching between portrait and landscape modes, and multi-touch capabilities.

The device looks like a large iPhone but its case is fully built with glass and aluminum.

The base model has WiFi “n” support. To access a 3G network, a 3G-enabled iPad must be purchased. The 3G connected hardware costs an extra $130. Only U.S. data plans with AT&T were revealed at Apple’s event. Connectivity will cost $14.99 per month for 250MB of data, and $29.99 per month for unlimited data. It will also come with access to AT&T’s nationwide Wi-Fi hotspots.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said there are no international plans to reveal yet, but the company hopes to have them in place by the June-July timeframe. The device will come unlocked and will have support for GSM micro-SIM cards.

On the software side, the iPad runs iPhone OS 3.2 and is compatible with all iPhone OS apps currently available on the App Store.

The apps will be shown in the middle of the screen or scaled up 2x to fill the screen.

Custom built iPad apps will fully utilize the device screen resolution and capabilities. Gameloft Nova and EA Need for Speed where demonstrated running at the device native resolution.

Apple will inclued the following apps with every iPad:
iTunes Store
App Store

Apple also demonstrated a custom built version of iWork (Pages, Numbers and Keynote) redesigned to run and be used on the iPad.

Developers are already available to access a new SDK that allows to test iPhone applications with an iPad “simulator.”

Everything about the new Apple Tablet is already available on Apple’s website, and just published a Hands On with Apple’s iPad with Videos and Photos.