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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


iPad may come to UA soon

The UofA BookStore hopes to soon carry the iPad, a tablet computer released by Apple on, Jan. 27. The iPad is not yet authorized by the Federal Communications Commission and cannot be sold until it is approved. Apple’s Web site states Wi-Fi-only models will ship out in late March and 3G models by April.

“”We’re hoping that we can sell it right now, (but) Apple’s not positive that we can do it,”” said agricultural business senior Tom Schmalzel, the computer and technology student buyer for the UofA BookStore. “”Our reps are pretty sure that we’ll be able to get all six models.””

The iPad, a small, flat computer with a 9.7-inch touch screen, is 0.5 inches thick and weighs 1.5 pounds.

“”I see it being incredibly popular because of what it does,”” Schmalzel said.

It is a cross between a smart phone and a laptop computer.

The iPad supports e-mail, music, web surfing, e-books, photos, games and movies.

But some students are unimpressed.

“”It just seems like a computer to me It’s like a big iTouch; why not just get a laptop?”” political science freshman Tess Lugo asked. “”If it was a gift, I would take it, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get one when I have a computer.””

Schmalzel says that the UofA BookStore will more than likely sell the item, and he plans on getting one for himself.

Students could use it to access school e-mails, the Desire2Learn Web site or assigned reading. Its battery lasts up to 10 hours, enough for an entire day at school.

“”I wouldn’t read my textbooks on it, but I’d probably read the newspaper and some simple books, but not a textbook, especially if I need to do annotation in the margins. It doesn’t have that functionality yet,”” Schmalzel said.

Graduate student Etienne Rajon thinks the iPad will be popular among students, though he doesn’t think he’ll buy one.

“”I like paper,”” Rajon said, “”Maybe if I see a lot of them and see how they work (I’ll buy one), but for now I like having paper.””

Other students are interested in purchasing it.

“”It pretty much encompasses everything that I want and I need,”” Schmalzel said.

Apple is emphasizing the affordability of the iPad, which starts at $499 for the basic model and goes up to $829 for the 64GB model with Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities.

“”The price is pretty amazing because most e-books by themselves are $250 to $300, (so) it’s pretty revolutionary,”” Schmalzel said.

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