It's been called the most anticipated technology announcement from Apple since the iPhone - and rightly so. On Saturday, the much-promoted gadget goes on sale around the country with high hopes that it can help turn tablet computing into a mainstream product category.
The unanswered question: Can the iPad extend its appeal beyond the confined realm of Apple die-hards and technophiles to more mainstream users?
Not everyone is convinced. For a skeptical look, check out Cory Doctorow's blog on why he won't be buying the iPad any time soon. But we've been down this road before. When Apple debuted both the original iPod and iPhone, initital skepticism eventually melted to rave "a category is born" reception from the wider public.
Meanwhile, the software developer community is making a major bet on Apple's ability to remake the category. Just this week, the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers added $100 million in a program it runs to promote the development of innovative applications - with an obvious eye turned to the iPad's potential. Flurry, which tracks new project starts by developers, notes a sharp spike in iPad developer support since Steve Jobs introduced the product in late January.
We'll be following the official rollout as it takes place on Saturday. In the meantime, here are some useful links about the iPad from CBSNews.com, as well from our sister site CNET News.com.
Also, check out other reviews of the iPad:
USA Today: Verdict is in on Apple iPad: It's a winner
The first iPad is a winner. It stacks up as a formidable electronic-reader rival for Amazon's Kindle. It gives portable game machines from Nintendo and Sony a run for their money. At the very least, the iPad will likely drum up mass-market interest in tablet computing in ways that longtime tablet visionary and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates could only dream of.
NY Times: Looking at the iPad from Two Angles
Pogue contends that the techies prefer a conventional laptop, but the non-techies will adore it.
"The bottom line is that the iPad has been designed and built by a bunch of perfectionists. If you like the concept, you'll love the machine."
WSJ: Laptop Killer? Pretty Close
"After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades."
PC Magazine: Apple iPad (Wi-Fi)
"Aside from Apple enthusiasts, many of us wondered who would drop hundreds of dollars for this not-quite-computer. But having used the iPad for some time, I can tell you that the device just makes sense. When you combine basic-but-essential work tools with iWork, an improved browser, e-mail, iPod, and photo applications, a well-executed e-Book platform with iBooks, and throw in thousands of downloadable apps and games, and package it all in a gorgeous, slim slate with a beautiful 9.7-inch touch screen, you have yourself a winner."
For more on the iPad, click on the video demo below:
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