Apple has introduced its latest techno-baby to the world: the iPad.
Premiering last Wednesday at just 1.5 pounds and .5 inches thick, this sleek, flat high-tech gadget mixes up new media.
But at $499, are students willing to trade in their laptops for what appears to be a giant iPhone?
According to the Apple Web site, the iPad features a clear, 9.7-inch multi-touch screen that allows the user to surf the web, manage photos, enjoy videos, read books and listen to iTunes. Deemed “a magical and revolutionary device” by Apple, the iPad is capable of running 140,000 apps.
Still, not everyone is sure about the iPad’s role in new media.
Laura Downey, a 21-year-old junior media studies major, said she is unsure of what to think of the iPad.
“I think it’s really cool, but I’m confused by it and I’m not sure it’s practical,” Downey said. “Is it a supplement for a computer or a replacement?”
Similar to the iPhone, the iPad’s touch screen substitutes a mouse and keyboard, according to the Web site. One is able to navigate the Internet and access different apps by tapping, pinching, and sliding fingertips across the screen. It is designed to display all that is digital on a visually pleasing, portable screen.
Loretta Howell, an 18-year-old freshman psychology major, said she is not sold on it.
“I’m not going to buy it,” Howell said. “It does the same thing as my laptop.”
The iPad’s electronic book application, iBookstore, may prove to be controversial. iBookstore allows one to download virtual books instead of buying printed copies, according to the Web site.
Korine Koszark, a 17-year-old freshman open-option major, expressed both excitement and concern over the impact that the iPad’s iBookstore app could have on bookstores and libraries.
“I like [the iPad], it looks very futuristic,” Koszark said. “But I think it’s going to make sales drop in bookstores, and it’s also going to have a negative effect on libraries.”
She said she thinks the introduction of the iPad will increase the digitalization of books, causing the bookstores to go out of business.
Joseph Fiorino, a 19-year-old freshman anthropology major, said he is not worried about the book industry.
“Apple will sell well,” Fiorino said, “but there’s still a large group of people who want to read books on paper.”
Boulder Public Library spokeswoman Jennifer Bray, 40, said that she believes the library will eventually hop on the digital bandwagon and offer electronic books as well.
“We certainly do want to offer that type of capability to library patrons in the future,” Bray said. “But we don’t want to limit ourselves to one platform. We will most likely explore our options with both Kindle and the iPad’s [iBookstore].”
Whether the world is ready for it, the iPad will be available for purchase in late March, according to the Apple Web site. Prices range from $499 to $829, depending on the model and WiFi data plan.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jennifer De Falco at Jennifer.email@example.com