I sat with eager anticipation today waiting for the Apple Event to start. In between working on various request and emails for my day job I refreshed and watched the tech sites as they prepped for the event. Speculation ran rampant on what was to come. Leo Laporte was live streaming/blogging from the event on Twit TV with Alex Lindsay manning the fort back at the Twit Cottage. His live audio feed made the event quite enjoyable because while the audio was working I didn't have to wait for Engadget or Gizmodo to refresh. Steve Jobs came out and announced the successes of Apple over the past year and then let us in on Apple's newest invention. The iPad. Yeah, I know. Twitter is already flooded with #ipadpuns and I'm sure they'll just get worse and more frequent over the next few weeks.
My impression of the iPad, in a nutshell, is that its a 9.7in diagonal screen version of the Touch. I can see this device establishing itself in the market as a great e-reader and a Kindle killer over time. The base model is not much more than a Kindle and you get 10times the power and capabilities as the Kindle. With the Kindle iPhone/iPad App available in the App Store, purchasing a Kindle now would simply be stupid. Don't shoot me if you have a Kindle. You most likely purchased it before today so you're not stupid. Just unlucky.
The CEO of McGraw-Hill has already spilled the beans that they are working closely with Apple on getting more and more books onto the iPad. Apple today launched iBooks and is working with publishers to get the prices to be reasonable and affordable. Imagine carrying your entire library of favorites or all your textbooks in one device for instant and immediate reference anywhere you are.
As disappointed as I am in the iPad's lack of a front facing webcam and video conferencing features. I am thrilled to see Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek PADD (Personal Access Display Device) take form in the iPad. The future of data access is devices like the iPad. The Kindle tried but in my opinion, failed.