The real estate "Twitterverse" could barely contain itself with excitement about Apple Inc.’s new tablet this week.

"For all you Realtor geeks like me, today is like Christmas with the Apple conference," tweeted Colorado-based broker Randy Bell (@5280digs) just before Apple’s tablet ceased to be rumor and became …

"Apple iPad. It’s real! (High-definition) video and pictures. Run your e-contracts on it. Yep, this is a great real estate tool," Bell said.

"Woohoo!" tweeted San Francisco-based real estate blogger Nicole Nicolay (@nik_nik), linking to the New York Times live blog for the event.

Steve Jobs unveiled his company’s tablet computer Wednesday, calling it "magical." The new device will allow users to more easily consume videos, e-books, e-mail and photos.

Irvine, Calif.-based "real estate tech guy" Paul Mobley (@paulmobley) offered this rundown: "IPad equals 9.7-inch display, 0.5-inch thin, 1.5 pounds — 1 gigahertz processor, up to 64 gigabytes storage."

For the non-tech audience, that means the iPad will be pretty much like an iPhone, only bigger, faster, a bit heavier, and with twice the storage capacity.

"I wonder how much the new giant iPhone costs?" asked Realtor and Inman News columnist Teresa Boardman (@TBoard).

The answer to that question came in two tweets from Bell: "IPad pricing: $499 to $829 (high end is 64 gigabytes with 3G) … iPad will be available in 60 days for Wi-Fi versions and 90 days for 3G (a high-speed wireless Internet standard) versions."

"AT&T 3G data plans for iPad: $14.99 (for) 250 megabytes per month or $29.99 per month unlimited, plus unlimited use of Wi-Fi hotpots," Mobley added. The plans allow cancellation at any time. …CONTINUED

Some speculated more about the new tablet’s potential uses for real estate professionals.

"What if you handed the device to your client and while you drove they could be exploring the next property, comparable sales, or even school district data on their own terms. Would that improve the customer experience? Would that speed up the decision-making process?" Mobley said in a blog post.

Even more important, as Bell mentioned earlier, the device could signal a new era in digital documents. (A New York-based mobile-design firm has already announced the introduction of an iPad-iPhone-iPod Touch-MacBook compatible stylus that for use with the devices’ finger-touch screens.)

"Another likely scenario would allow for the review and execution of documents in the field in a digital format. An elegant device that is easy to read and use might be appreciated (especially with aging baby boomers who might need digital magnification of the fine print)," Mobley said.

Some were also disappointed, however.

"That’s it? Still waiting for Jobs to say, ‘And one more thing …’ and show a reason to buy an iPad if you already own an iPhone," said Australian tech journalist Adam Turner (@adam_turner).

"Dang, the iPad doesn’t have a camera (for Skype, etc.) — I think it just dropped off my wishlist," said Zillow’s David Gibbons (@DavidGibbons). "Ditto," retweeted blogger Dustin Luther (@tyr).

Los Angeles-based Web application builder Jeff Turner said the iPad is "not a game-changer," but "I’ll still get one."

Others just couldn’t get over the new device’s name.

"Am I the only one who thinks iPad was a poor choice for a product name?" asked Phoenix real estate broker Jay Thompson (@PhxREguy).

Editor’s note: Tweets appearing in this article have been edited for readability.


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