Apple unveiled its new iPad tablet computer on Wednesday, and demonstrated the new mobile device's ability to run cloud computing applications and other software.

Chief executive Steve Jobs revealed that pricing for the 10-inch, 1.5 pound device will start at $499, and that it will be available in March. The device will include Wi-Fi capabilities, and will be compatible optional 3G mobile internet services from AT&T. It will use a touch-screen interface similar to that of the iPhone or the iPod Touch.

"We want to kick off 2010 by introducing a truly magical and revolutionary new product," Jobs said.

Jobs told reporters that the device would be better able to handle video and other system-intensive tasks than smartphones and other smaller devices, and offer feature better functionality than a netbook.

Apple's announcement of the new tablet PC has set off speculation in recent months about the possibility of new cloud computing applications for the mobile devices, as well as new distribution models for newspapers, books and other print media. Supporters of the new device say that its combination of high computing power and high mobility could be a boon to subscription-based content and service providers.ADNFCR-2553-ID-19582628-ADNFCR