Apple has finally announced their much anticipated, (almost prayed for) tablet, and it's called the iPad.

The bridge between a smartphone and a laptop, the iPad has a 9.7- inch touchscreen. It's reportedly half an inch thick and weighs 1.5 pounds. iPad is powered by A4, Apple’s next-generation system-on-a-chip. Designed by Apple, the new A4 chip provides exceptional processor and graphics performance along with long battery life of up to 10 hours. Apple’s advanced chemistry and Adaptive Charging technology deliver up to 1,000 charge cycles without a significant decrease in battery capacity over a typical five year lifespan. It also has built-in iPhoto, iTunes, a calendar and address book.

The iPad will come in three sizes – 16, 32, and 64GB – and features a speaker Bluetooth and WiFi.

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Update: A new iPhone SDK has been announced which will allow developers to tweak their apps for the iPad.

Update:The iPad has no flash support for the browser but has a magazine, newspaper and Ebook reader.

Update: Apple also introduced a new version of iWork for iPad, the first desktop-class productivity suite designed specifically for Multi-Touch. With Pages, Keynote and Numbers you can create beautifully formatted documents, stunning presentations with animations and transitions, and spreadsheets with charts, functions and formulas. The three apps will be available separately through the App Store for $9.99 each.

Update: Greenpeace rejoice. Each iPad enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy-efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. iPad contains no brominated flame retardants and is completely PVC-free.

Update: The iPad will cost $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB and $699 for 64GB.

Update: Apple's iPad can be used as a canvas with artists optimizing the multi-touch display to the fullest.

Update: For convenient typing the iPad will come with an optional keyboard dock and camera connection kit.

Update: iPad features 12 next-generation Multi-Touch applications. Every app works in both portrait and landscape, automatically animating between views as the user rotates iPad in any direction.

Update: iPad runs almost all of the over 140,000 apps on the App Store, including apps already purchased for iPhone or iPod touch.

Update: iPad syncs with iTunes just like the iPhone and iPod touch, using the standard Apple 30-pin to USB cable.

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