Apple today unveiled the third generation of the iPad at its media event this morning.
The new iPad, as expected, features a higher resolution Retina display, a better front camera, a faster processor and supports faster 4G LTE networks. The design remains largely the same with slight changes in dimensions.
Here’s a list of new features and improvements:
This was the most anticipated, and thanks to the rumor mill, most probable feature of the new iPad. The device doubles its pixel density from 132ppi to 264 ppi. For the iPad’s 9.7 inch screen, that is a resolution of 2048 by 1536 pixels, totaling to 3.1 million pixels. iOS takes care to render text, and other UI elements at a higher resolution to display, sharper and crisper text and graphics. The new iPad has 44 percent better color saturation as well.
The new iPad comes with new, faster processor dubbed the “A5X.” It is a faster dual-core processor but with a quad-core GPU. It has quad-core graphics which gives four times as much graphics performance as an NVIDIA Tegra 3. This processor would power the 3.1 million pixels on the new iPad’s Retina display.
The rear camera has been upgraded to 5MP. Also, Apple sort of takes a step back in nomenclature, and calls the camera an “iSight” camera. We thought it shed this branding when it started marketing cameras shipped with Macs as FaceTime HD cameras. It features the same optics system as the iPhone 4S with features like auto-exposure, auto-focus, auto-face detection and AF-lock. The iSight camera is also capable of taking video in 1080p resolution, with Built-in stabilization and noise reduction.
Just like the iPhone 4S, small key on the new iPad’s keyboard brings up an interface for voice dictation. It supports US English, British, Australian, French, German and Japanese. But this is not Siri, it seems to be just Siri’s Dictation feature.
The new iPad has a 4G LTE chip which brings 4G LTE, HSPA+ and dual-channel HSDPA capabilities to the device. Their theoretical speeds: 21Mbps HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA at 42Mbps, LTE at 73Mbps. It is compatible with AT&T, Verizon, Rogers, Bell and Telus. The devices would be separate though, depending on the carrier you choose. The 3G, however, would be “world-ready,” which means that you could take your new iPad anywhere in the world, pop-in a SIM and surf the web via 3G. Also, if permitted by your carrier, the iPad can now serve as a personal hotspot.
Well, this isn’t really an improvement, but nevertheless. The new iPad, at 9.4mm thickness and 1.4lbs weight, is slightly thicker than its predecessor, presumably to make room for the new 4G LTE chip, and the larger battery to power the Retina display.
The new iPad retains the 10 hour battery life with 4G off, and 9 hours with 4G.
Contrary to certain rumors, the iPad retains the same pricing as the iPad 2. iPad with Wi-Fi will be available for $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, $699 for the 64GB model. iPad Wi-Fi + 4G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model. Both models would be available in black and white.
The iPad 2 meanwhile has received a price drop. The 16GB iPad 2 Wi-Fi only model would be selling for $399 and the iPad 2 Wi-Fi+3G model will be available for $529.
The new iPad will be available on March 16th in the United States, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.
Update: Apple has already started accepting pre-orders for the new iPad on its online store.
Also check out Apple’s introductory video of the new iPad where Apple explains how it managed to get Retina Display on the new iPad and lots more:
Let us know what you think about the new iPad. Do you plan to buy or upgrade to it? Let us know in the comments.