Computer giant Apple has launched its iPad device, claiming it bridged the gap between the laptop and the smartphone.
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs unveiled the black touchscreen tablet device designed for browsing the web, watching videos, sharing photos and reading eBooks.
The slim black device resembles a larger version of Apple's iPhone and features a 9.7in display with a touchscreen Qwerty keyboard which appears on screen for typing emails.
Mr Jobs demonstrated the device live on stage in San Francisco, browsing YouTube, Google maps, its built-in iTunes store and even played Disney's Pixar's animated film Up.
Powered by a 1GHz Apple A4 chip, the iPad weighs just 1.5lb (680g) but includes a speaker, microphone, accelerometer, compass, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, and promises a 10-hour battery life.
Scott Forstall, from Apple's iPhone apps division, said the iPad can run any of the iPhone's apps (applications) downloaded from the iTunes store - allowing users to synchronise their existing apps.
He described the potential of the iPad's larger screen as a "gold rush" for software developers.
The iPad can also be used as an electronic reader (eReader), offering new possibilities for the publishing industry.
Jim Sloane, lead technology partner at business advisory firm Deloitte, said the iPad - and other upcoming tablet devices - could have a detrimental impact on the traditional eReader's market.
He said: "The rise of the net tablet could impact other segments, such as growth of the nascent eReader market. For every million net tablets sold there could be a corresponding impact on eReaders."
The things that we become massively invested in without realising it are extraordinary. I have no real interest in who wins the Eurovision Song Contest each year, but at the height of the voting I'll find myself roaring on Romania or Malta for no particular reason.