Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Apple iPad - The A4 Hidden Gem

The big announcement at Mac World 2010 was the now much talked about iPad but the much lesser reported news was the  new A4 chip inside.  The 1GHZ A4 chip is not Intel but the first chip ever from Apple.    The A4 is a System-on-A-Chip or SOC, which integrates the main processor with other functions like memory controller on a piece of silicon.  This is exactly what Intel is trying to achieve with its Moorestown Atom Processor.  However,  Apple is already there and has achieved a product with a 10 hour battery life performance, which in itself has far reaching implications for Apple's product range going forward.   

Rumor has it (as reported by Techcrunch),  that a new tablet is being designed by Apple for release in June this year,  with a much larger screen - 10.6" or more.   A touchscreen of that size starts to rival a laptop or even possibly replace your MacBook.  As I talked about in my last article,  it is easy to see the practicality of  hooking up the iPad to a docking station with a full sized keyboard.  A multimedia tablet with multi-touch screen and OSX applications - now  that's a compelling device for around $1000.   If you add Bluetooth, that means you can add a mouse and a whole world of connected devices.  If Apple adds a built-in camera, that brings video conferencing and Skype as well as other VOIP communciations making the iPad a communications device.  

So, why upgrade your MacBook when you can get everything in an iPad, let alone bother with another device such as a Kindle or ereader?   It's going to be an exciting year for Apple!  


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