Apple’s Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, its much-anticipated multimedia mobile computing device, to the world and there’s much to talk about. It’s fairly large, indeed it looks like a large iPhone. It’s got a 9.7” full color touchscreen (1024×768); weighs 1.5 lbs; is about 1/2” thick and will offer 16 to 64GB of storage—nonexpandable. There will be three models of the device offering Wi-fi available at the end of March and three more models in April that offer 3G access for a service fee from AT&T. The device features a virtual on-screen keyboard but consumers can buy a physical keypad to use with it. The iPad will also run all iPhone apps right out the box.

Even more important is the price—the iPad will start at $499 and go up to about $830 for some tricked out models. An attractive price point that will likely go down. It's said to offer 10 hours of battery life and the device is reported to run on the iPhone OS and it doesnot support multi-tasking--in other words you cannot read and take notes or have a browser open at the same time.

The device was demoed with newspaper content from the New York Times and supports video and audio embedded in the content. Most importantly, the iPad will support the ePub e-book standard and Apple has developed its own e-reader software, iBooks, and will also launch an iBookstore. E-book pricing is reported to be in the $15 range.The store will launch with iBook format content from Hachette, S&S, Penguin, Macmillan and HarperCollins, apparently excluding Random House. However, in a statement, Random House’s Stuart Applebaum, said, “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.”