Apple has rolled out its much-anticipated 10in touch-screen tablet device at a special press event in San Francisco.
In line with earlier reports, the Apple iPad functions almost entirely through a touch-screen interface much like the iPhone and iPod Touch, and is powered by an operating system largely based on the iPhone OS. Apple is also offering a keyboard dock accessory.
The iPad is powered by a 1GHZ Apple A4 processor, and comes with Flash storage ranging from 16GB to 64GB.
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said during his presentation that the device has a battery life of 10 hours, and can last up to a month in standby mode.
AT&T will handle 3G services in the US, and all iPad devices will be shipped unlocked. Apple hopes to have international deals in place by June. Users will need to pay a monthly data fee for the optional 3G service.
Apple will begin shipping Wi-Fi equipped models within 60 days priced between $499 and $829 (£306 and £509), while iPads with the optional 3G connection will hit the market within 90 days.
The iPad will carry iPhone and iPod Touch applications such as mapping tools, calendars and games, but will also include a new digital book service known as iBooks, which will allow users to purchase and read books directly on the device.
The device will also use a version of the Safari web browser which will be able to adapt to movement and positioning.
"It's the best browsing experience you've ever had," Jobs told the crowd.
Publishers offering titles for the device include HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and McGraw Hill, whose chief executive let slip details on the device earlier this week.
Apple is also planning to offer a special version of its iWork productivity suite for the iPad, providing word processing, presentation and spreadsheet applications for $9.95 (£6.15) each.
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