Without A Net | Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Wrapping my head around the iPad

The day has arrived, and Steve Jobs has come down from Mt. Sinai with Apple's long-rumored device, the iPad, a tablet computer. The price is cheaper than I expected (starting at $499), but especially the upper end models (up to $829) are priced significantly higher than netbooks. Apple did manage to stir everyone's imagination with the device's release.

Still, the first thought that came to mind when I saw Steve Jobs actually holding the thing was... awkward. It looked like even Jobs was still getting used to the concept, and I think the day of the tablet being just another common piece of technology is still years away, if ever.

One thing that did help me start wrapping my head around the potential of tablet computers was a story NPR did the other day on All Things Considered, "What's The Allure Of Tablet Computers?"

It's worth noting that it's the creative team behind Star Trek envisioned similar devices decades ago, to the point where Hewlett-Packard's chief technology officer showed HP executives clips from Star Trek to explain the possibility behind tablet computers.

Apple iPad
NPR: What's The Allure Of Tablet Computers?
Star Trek Wiki: PADD

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images