Apple's iPad tablet computer system was launched in 2010 but may feel to many people as though it has existed for much longer than that; in the first few years following its launch, the category-defining device became a common feature of many homes and workplaces, and is particularly apparent in modern media, live television and outside broadcasts.
The simple touchscreen interface means iPads can be used by people of all ages, from toddlers playing simple and educational app-based games, to pensioners using their tablet for correspondence or to help maintain their mental agility. Both the very young and very old can benefit from the interface, which is friendly to anyone with dexterity problems, while users of all ages have found iPads to be a convenient way to get online.
You can also browse a large selection of used iPads.
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The iPad is Apple's range of tablet computers and the first device was launched in April 2010. Running the Apple iOS, the tablets are built around a multi-touch screen and virtual keyboard. They have WiFi connectivity and iPads are also available with mobile broadband from several providers.
Since the first iPad there have been several variations and new models. The first generation tablet set the standards, such as screen dimensions and button placement, and these have remained consistent.
The iPad 2 added the dual core Apple A5 processor and VGA front-facing and 720p rear-facing cameras which can be used for photos, videos and FaceTime video calling. The third generation added the Retina Display, plus the Apple A5X processor with quad-core graphics processor, 5-megapixel camera, HD 1080p video recording, voice dictation and 4G capability. In the fourth generation Apple added the A6X processor and replaced the 30-pin connector with its new Lightning connector. The iPad Air has the A7 processor.
Two versions of the iPad Mini have also been released. The first has a 7.9-inch screen and the same specs as the iPad 2. The second iPad Mini has the Retina Display and A7 processor.
To many people, an iPad has become a must-have accessory and part of their everyday life. For some, the tablets are replacing netbooks or even laptops or home PCs. They are ideal for web browsing, emails and playing games. And with a whole world of apps available through the iTunes store there is no end to the iPad's uses. It does everything you would expect from a modern computer - plays music and videos, takes and stores photos, navigates via the Maps app and so much more. The iPad is also incredibly useful in business as it allows people to take important documents wherever they go in a device that easily fits into a bag or briefcase.