Mirror.co.uk Apple iPad unveiled: verdict on the touchscreen tablet computer By Kevin Lynch 27/01/2010 Apple today finally ended months of speculation by unveiling a new touchscreen tablet computer called the iPad. Looking like a super-sized iPhone, the portable 9.7 device, allows users to surf the net, play games, read emails, watch movies and run programs from Apple's App Store. The firm has also struck a deal with publishers including Penguin, Macmillian and Harper Collins to allow e-books to be downloaded directly to the device through a new iBook Store. iPad launch Previous Next Steve Jobs launches the iPad in San Francisco More latest pictures It will also display special versions of newspapers, with the New York Times set to launch one of the first applications for the gadget. Aimed at the market between smartphones and laptops, the iPad measures half an inch thick, and has a battery that Apple claims will lasts for up to ten hours. Powered by a 1GHz Apple A4 chip, the iPad weighs just 1.5lb(680g) but includes a speaker, microphone, accelerometer, compass, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity and promises a 10-hour battery life. It can also connect to a full-size traditional keyboard using a special dock. Available in March, an entry-level 16GB version of the iPad is expected to cost around £308 with a 64GB capacity model priced at around £500. 3G versions are set to be released in the UK in the summer and will cost around £80 extra. Speaking at a launch event in San Francisco, Apple's chief executive, Steve Jobs demonstrated the device live on stage, browsing YouTube, Google maps, itsbuilt-in iTunes store and even played Disneys Pixars animated film Up. Advertisement - article continues below » Describing the device's features, Jobs said: "We want to begin 2010 by introducing a revolutionary and magical new product." "Everybody uses a laptop or a smartphone. And the question has arisen, lately, is there room for a device in the middle? We've questioned this for years ourselves, but the bar is pretty high." "The problem is, netbooks arent better at anything. They're slow, they're clunky. They're just cheap laptops." Many industry watchers believe the iPad will have a similar impact on the e-reader market as the iPod had on MP3 players. Earlier this week, Apple revealed it had sold 250million iPods around the world to date and 30million iPhones in just two years. Mirror Technology editor Kevin Lynch's verdict: While many were expecting the device to revolutionise publishing, judging by today's press conference it looks like gamers rather than bookworms may be most interested in the device, with a number of really impressive-looking 3D racing and sports titles on demonstration. It has all the hallmarks of Apples impeccable design, with its sleek styling, user friendly interface and cutting edge high definition touchscreen. However, its hard to escape the fact that its arguably less versatile than a budget laptop yet is just as expensive.