Guide to the iPad
The iPad is a range of tablet computers from Apple designed as a very portable platform for web access, books, movies, email, games and music, plus it's own applications downloaded from Apple's AppStore. It falls somewhere between a laptop and a smartphone but whilst it uses the same operating system as the iPhone it isn't actually a phone, although iPad 3G models can use a 3G cellular data connection where there is no Wi-Fi connection available and it is possible to make calls over Wi-Fi or 3G using a VOIP application.
The first model of the iPad (the iPad Wi-Fi), went on sale at the beginning of April 2010 in the US and was followed a few weeks later by the iPad Wi-Fi +3G version. Within one month, one million iPads had been sold. This was half the time it took to sell the same number of iPhones, previously Apple's fastest-selling product ever. 15 million iPads later in March 2011, Apple brought out an improved iPad 2 featuring a faster processor, thinner design, front and back cameras for FaceTime video calling and a three-axis gyroscope.
The iPad has a 10" (1024 x 768 pixels) LCD touchscreen display with scratch-resistant glass with a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating. It's built-in accelerometer can sense the orientation of the iPad and switch the display to landscape or portrait accordingly. The original iPad had no camera but the iPad 2 has two - a 720p camera for still and video and a front-facing VGA camera for FaceTime videoconferencing with other iPad, iPhone 4 and Mac users. Wireless connectivity is via Wi-Fi, 3G and BlueTooth, wired connections are via iPad's proprietary Dock connector. iPad has no external connections except for a headphone socket and the Dock connector. There are three capacity options (16GB, 32GB or 64GB) using internal flash memory and there is no ability to expand storage. The Wi-Fi +3G models have a micro-SIM slot for the GSM carrier's SIM card and they are normally sold unlocked so they will work with any carrier. Apple claims up to 10 hours battery life for the internal rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery.
iPad (original) - iPad 1
|iPad Wi-Fi 16GB||iPad Wi-Fi + 3G 16GB||iPad Wi-Fi 16GB||iPad Wi-Fi + 3G 16GB|
|iPad Wi-Fi 32GB||iPad Wi-Fi + 3G 32GB||iPad Wi-Fi 32GB||iPad Wi-Fi + 3G 32GB|
|iPad Wi-Fi 64GB||iPad Wi-Fi + 3G 64GB||iPad Wi-Fi 64GB||iPad Wi-Fi + 3G 64GB|
Note: Although Apple sometimes refer to the latest iPad model as "iPad 2", the individual models are still referred to as just "iPad" - for example "iPad Wi-Fi + 3G 16GB". This means there is some potential for confusion between iPad 1 and iPad 2 models. If you are buying an iPad make sure you know whether it is an iPad 1 or an iPad 2 as they both have the same name. They look very similar although the iPad 2 is thinner and lighter. One definite way to tell them apart is the camera - there was no camera in any of the iPad 1 models.