The Five Best Features of Apple’s New iPad Tablet

Apple iPad iBook

In case you missed Apple’s iPad tablet announcement, it was quite the whirlwind. There’s a lot to digest, so for those of you who don’t feel like skimming through six different live blogs to get the gist, we’ve got the Clif Notes. Here are five of the most exciting features we think the new Apple iPad brings to market.

Apple iPad AppApp Store compatibility

Apple knows that an App Store with 140,000 touch-optimized apps and counting is the absolute best card it holds – and has played to that strength with the iPad. By making the new device compatible with “almost all” of the existing apps out there, they offer a huge initial library of content to get owners started while new developers dig their teeth in.

1.5 pounds and 0.5 inches thick

We knew before it even launched that Apple would have to make this thing slick, and it has managed to deliver with specs that live up to that expectation. Weight of only 1.5 pounds makes most netbooks look like anvils (with the exception of Sony’s 1.4-pound Vaio P) and at just half an inch tall deep, the MacBook Air looks like quite a heifer. Of course, those who want one as an e-reader won’t be too impressed beside the upcoming Skiff, which manages to slim down to just a quarter of an inch, but the capabilities are apples and oranges.

1GHz A4 Processor

More screen needs more horsepower. And the iPad has it. According to the earliest reports, the iPad drifts seamlessly through apps, zooms fluidly, and auto-orients in a snap. In other words, it’s fast. Besides providing a more seamless user experience, it will open the door for more powerful applications down the road – which we’ve already seen with the likes of iWork.

Apple iPad iBooksiBooks

Apple clearly had the Kindle and its e-reader brethren in mind when it designed the iPad, which makes iBooks one of its most critical features. It has the ability to eliminate the need for a separate $300 device, if you don’t mind swapping e-ink for an LCD. Apple has also cinched deals with Penguin, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette for content.

10-hour battery life

The iPhone’s rather dismal life under load (playing games like Wolfenstein 3D, not swapping text messages) has been one of its biggest limitations. It may be small, but if you can’t use it away from a wall outlet for long, it loses portability appeal. The Apple iPad will combat that problem with a claimed 10-hour battery life – enough to get through all but the most leg-cramping plane rides and a solid day of work, should you choose to do it from an iPad. According to Apple, that 10 hours is while surfing with Wi-Fi, watching movies or listening to music, too, not idle.