Jobs debuts Apple's new tablet PC called iPad

Ending months of hype and speculation, Apple CEO Steve Jobs offered a glimpse of the company's lates

The trendy gizmo, priced $499 (£310) upward, looks like a jumbo iPhone. Jobs declared it "much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smart phone."

Holding the device to the audiences, he said "it's phenomenal to hold the Internet in the palm of your hand."

iPad is tailor-made for web browsing, e-mail, photos, video, music, games and e-Books. Jobs promised its users "the best browsing experience you have ever had."

About half an inch thick and weighing 1.5lb (0.68kg), iPad is thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook available in the market.

It sports a virtual keyboard and a 10-inch (25.4 cm) color touch-screen. It comes in three models with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of flash memory, respectively. The battery has enough juice to last about ten hours, with a month of standby time.

The iPad will run software applications already on the iPhone, with apps working in both portrait and landscape mode. It is due to ship in another two months.
Sensing the potential of iPad as a superior ebook reader, Jobs announced a new online bookstore in partnership with five publishers. Also unveiled was a new software application called iBooks, similar to iTunes, to allow iPad readers to browse through digital books. IBooks will initially be available in the US only.

Analysts were impressed with the first look of iPad, with some calling it a "game-changing device" and "a look into the future."