The iPad, which is Wi-Fi enabled, has 10 hours of battery life, features a 9.7-inch screen, weighs 1.5 lbs, and will use the iPhone operating system, grabbed attention from education technology advocates when Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the device in January.

The eReader’s color screen, technologists said, would force competitors to create graphically-engaging visuals that could make eReaders more accepted in higher education.

“I think this changes the picture for eBooks considerably,” Larry Johnson, CEO of the New Media Consortium, said in an interview with eCampus News when the details on the iPad were first announced. “This has a lot of potential for higher education. … [Apple] has really seemed to think through the book experience.”

On the flip side, students can’t print with the device, the lack of a USB port could be an impediment, and some observers believe the iPad isn’t quite ready for higher education.


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