Avatar’s 10-foot-tall, Tidy-Bowl-hued Navi peeps have another reason to rejoice. First they vanquished American capitalists from their verdant moon, and now they have their own proportionately sized iPhone! At least you won’t have to hibernate your way to Pandora to get your hands on Apple’s 10” iPad, the long-rumored tablet computer (yes, it looks just like a giant iPhone) unveiled today by Steve Jobs. But will the iPad have as many virtuoso applications for vagabonders as the iPhone?
1. Well, with its purported 10-hour battery life, you could theoretically watch Avatar three times back to back (not recommended). As Jobs himself cooed, “I can take a flight from San Francisco to Tokyo and watch video the whole way.”
2. Showing off your photos at the end of a trip is going to be pretty awesome (at least for you; maybe not for your captive audience).
3. The most promising upshot, however, is that it could finally banish the need to lug around cumbersome, dog-eared-to-death guidebooks. It’s only a matter of time before the iPad’s Kindle-killing iBooks app supports a full slate of Lonely Planet loquacity. But does the iPad, at 1.5 pounds, really weigh less than the average guidebook? Not really. Our in-office copy of The Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget weighed in at – drum-roll please – 1.6 pounds. The real iPad advantages will be enhanced, always updated listings and Google maps; augmented reality apps (though not in this initial release, sadly, as there's no camera); and connectivity (the iPad is unlocked; goodbye, slow AT&T connection!).
Will you buy an iPad? Will you pack it on your next trip? If so, what travel applications do you hope to be using by the time summer vacation rolls around?