The promised live feed at Digital Book World to Apple's unveiling of its new tablet-like device didn't happen, so book publishing professionals turned to online feeds to hear, and see, what Steve Jobs was saying—and holding—in Cupertino, Calif. The basics on the new device, called the iPad, are that it features a 9.7 inch-wide, color touchscreen; has 10 hours of battery life; and is half an inch thick. On the pricing front, the cheapest model is $499, which gets you 16GB of memory with wi-fi, but without 3G.

The device, which Noah Robischon at said is akin to "an overgrown iPhone," will run an app called iBooks. Speaking to this area, Jobs tipped to his hat to Amazon, saying it has "done a great job of pioneering this functionality with the Kindle." He then added: "We're going to stand on their shoulders and go a bit further."

In the iBooks store there are currently five publishers with titles available—Penguin, Harper, S&S, Macmillan and Hachette. Random House is conspicuously excluded from the store and a statement from the publisher, which is just one sentence, reads: "Random House welcomes Apple's iPad and iBooks app and we look forward to our continuing conversations with them about how we might best work together."

As to functionality on the books front, it looks like you can turn the pages by tapping and there's a scroll bar on the bottom showing where you are in the book, complete with page numbers. (The Kindle, it's worth noting, does not mark your place in a text with page numbers.) The iPad supports the epub format and, supposedly, textbooks will be forthcoming. Early looks show titles priced at $14.99.

And to pricing, the starting point is $499, for a 16GB device with wi-fi, but without 3G.