Apple iPad in action: more pictures, prices and tech specs

Our man at the official Apple iPad launch, Tom Dunmore, has managed to get his hands on an iPad overnight and grabbed some shots of the device in action.

Just in case you missed our coverage of the launch last night, here's a quick recap of the iPad's tech specs and prices.

iPad costs $499 (16GB), $599 (32GB), $699 (64GB) for the wi-fi models, but add $130 for 3G. It's available in 60 days worldwide for wi-fi models, 30 days later for the 3G versions.

The device is 0.5in thick, weighs 0.7 kilos, has a 9.7in multitouch display, comes with a 1GHz Apple A4 chip and between 16GB and 64GB of flash memory. It also has Bluetooth, 802.11n wi-fi, 10-hour battery life for watching video and a claimed one-month battery life on standby.

All iPad 3Gs are unlocked and use standard GSM micro SIMS. iPad data plans in the US, provided by AT&T, will cost $14.99 for 250MB per month $29.99 for the unlimited tariff. International data deals should be done by the summer.

You'll be able to synchronise your existing iPhone apps on the iPad, which will upscale them to fit the 9.7in screen. It will also act as an e-reader, with books downloadable from the new iBooks store on iTunes – they'll cost from $8-$15 per book. And of course it plays games, videos, music and films.

But there's no support for Flash video, no camera and no USB input for connecting non-Apple external devices. Anyway, let's see the device in action:

Above: the photo application allows you to view stacks of photos synched via USB from your Mac or PC. But there's no onboard camera.

A pinch movement allows you to preview what's in each photo stack.

The iBook Store and application is beautifully realised (it looks a lot like a great Mac App called Delicious Library).

The iPad will run iPhone apps at standard resolution or double size - I played Bejewelled zoomed up to big size and it looked pretty good. But of course, developers will start to produce iPad specific version of their apps.

Maps is really quick and looks amazing - particularly in Street View - but there's no proper GPS in the non-3G versions of the iPad.

This map is an email attachment - which you can pinch to zoom.

The email client is seriously nice, giving you an iPhone-style list view next to the preview window.

The iPad is really thin and light. It feels much more like an overgrown iPod Touch than a fully fledged tablet PC.

I don't quite get the keyboard dock - it only works with the iPad in portrait mode, which seems bizarre. But you can use a Bluetooth keyboard with the iPad.

The iPad case is an optional extra, but it does a nice job of turning the iPad into a wedge shaped computer. But you wouldn't want to type for too long on the virtual keyboard. I tried - and failed - to touch type.

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.