Simon beat me to the punch mentioning the iPad. I've been watching a live-blog of the event. These are my first impressions.
It's meant for things like "Browsing the web. Doing email. Enjoying and sharing pics. Watching videos. Enjoying music. Playing games. Reading ebooks". Jobs says it has to be better than either a phone or a laptop at these,or its not worthwhile.
It certainly looks good in his demo – works like the iPhone — indeed, iPhone apps work on it.
Pricing: $499 for 16GB. 32GB is $599, 64GB is $799. 3G models cost an extra $130. $629, 729, and 829 with 3G.
Wifi versions ship in 60 days. Wifi plus 3G in 90. Apple has negotiated some good 3G rates with ATT. That's for data — doesn't seem to do voice. But it has a mic and speakers — so Skype?
So is this really, as Jobs has apparently said " the most important thing I've ever done."?
Could it, as some have suggested, save the publishing industry, reboot education and maybe even change the way we treat medicine? Or is that just hyperbole resulting from the Steve Jobs reality distortion field?
Frankly, while impressive, there was nothing that was really unexpected. The next few days will be interesting as the tech press dissects the good and bad of the iPad.
This is not the first, or the only, slate type product. The HP slate Steve Ballmer introduced at the CES is another example. It won't be available until later this year.
But is the iPad perhaps the one that, like the iPhone, will be the disruptive tipping point that will define the category?
Frankly, I want a device like this — especially if I can use it to replace paper versions of newspapers and magazines. It could also be a great alternative to a laptop for taking notes in a meeting, or taking to visit clients. I think I'll wait just a while though to see how the competition shakes out.
The press on this is hard to miss. Wired, Engadget, Cnet and Scobleizer are as good as any.