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The iPad Event: Observations from an Apple Store

As the Apple event to announce the iPad commenced, I sat at the Genius Bar in my local Apple Store taking in the scene.

As the Apple event to announce the iPad commenced, I sat at the Genius Bar in my local Apple Store taking in the scene. Interestingly enough, there was not much in the way of hype from anyone but the employees (and myself) there.

In what may turn out to be one of the biggest announcements in computing of the year, a quiet Apple Store just outside of Portland, Oregon was just that--quiet. I am here waiting for my previously mentioned graphics chip issue to be resolved, constantly updating live feeds of the event. For the first thirty minutes or so, I may have been the only one on the floor even paying attention to the event.

Finally though, just as the keynote has worked its way into third-party application demonstrations, customers are starting to buzz about the iPad. Discussions are mostly, as expected, about availability, though questions about durability and usability are being asked of Geniuses. Most of the employees here are fairly up-to-date with the information as it comes out, courtesy of watching my feeds or getting updates from the back room.

With the announcement now completed, it seems to be back to business as usual here at the store. There are still a couple off-hand remarks about the new iPad, but with a shipping date sixty days away, there does not seem to be much more interest than, "cool, huh?"

For myself, I hear my MacBook Pro is in the last stages of testing after a successful replacement of my logic board and battery. My personal highlights of the announcement include the 10-hour battery life (while watching HD video) and the incredible price points Apple was able to manage. Now, a lot of people will scoff at the inclusion of AT&T in today's announcement, but keep in mind the fact that it was only the rate plan. The 3G chip is unlocked and should provide the AT&T-haters out there at least some refuge (though probably a bigger unlimited data plan that the $30/month AT&T is offering).

Stay tuned later this week for a break down of my predictions and how close I got to reality. What do you think of the iPad? Let us know in the comments.

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