Apple unveils $499 iPad tablet computer

Apple unveils $499 iPad tablet computer

Apple unveils $499 iPad tablet computer

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, a sleek, half-inch thick tablet computer with a 9.7-inch touch-screen that resembles the iPhone, but is larger and is aimed to bridge the gap between smart-phones and laptops.

Jobs demonstrated how the iPad is used for surfing the Web with Apple’s Safari browser. He typed an e-mail using an on-screen keyboard and flipped through photo albums by flicking his finger across the screen.

The iPad can run movies, games and a gamut of applications. And taking on e-readers like Amazon’s Kindle, Apple announced a digital bookstore called iBooks that will let users buy from publishers including Pearson Plc’s Penguin, News Corp’s HarperCollins, and Hachette Book Group. The iPad pulls together a variety of needs of universal entertainment.

The iPad will sell for as low as $499 for 16 gigabytes of storage. An extra $130 is needed to equip it with third-generation wireless capability.

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