As rumored, Apple released a tweaked version of the third generation iPad at its media event in San Jose, California. Contrary to expectations though, Apple chose to term this the fourth generation iPad, rather than calling it an incremental upgrade
The 4th gen iPad comes with an all new A6X chip, a lightning connector, an improved FaceTime camera, and expanded 4G LTE support.
Here’s a list of all the improvements:
The 4th gen iPad comes with an all new A6X chip which boasts double the performance as compared to the previous generation, when it comes to CPU based tasks. It also doubles the graphics performance as compared to the previous A5X chip.
In line with its recent strategy of moving all iOS devices to the improved Lightning connector, the tweaked iPad comes with the updated connector, and also brings with it Lightning to USB and Lightning to SD Card reader adapters. Apple also made available Lightning adapters to send video via HDMI or VGA.
Improved FaceTime Camera
The front-facing FaceTime Camera has been upgraded to support 720p video recording.
The 4th gen iPad supports dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) 802.11n Wi-Fi along with channel bonding, enabling twice as much faster download speeds. The download speeds can reach up to 150Mbps, depending on your service provider.
New Signal Processor
The 4th gen iPad comes with the same signal processor found on the iPhone 5, enabling faster and better image and video stabilisation resulting in much better captures. The facial detection is also said to be much faster due to the new signal processor.
Expanded 4G LTE Support
When Apple launched the third generation iPad in March this year, it supported 4G LTE on only certain networks in the US and Canada, and left a major chunk of global carriers unsupported. (This even got Apple into some trouble for advertising a 4G iPad in countries where the 4G network wasn’t supported.) The 4th gen iPad supports a wider range of LTE bands, enabling the 4th gen iPad to run on various 4G LTE networks all around the world including EE in the UK, Sprint in the US, and SoftBank in Japan.
The device comes with the same Retina display found in the 3rd generation iPad, and supports the same 10 hour batter life.
Pricing and Availability
Pre-orders for the 4th gen iPad start from October 26th. The Wi-Fi model of the device will be available in stores starting November 2nd, while the cellular model will be available from mid November. The 4th gen iPad retains the same configuration and pricing as the 3rd gen iPad, with the 16GB Wi-Fi model selling for $499, $599 for 32GB and $699 for 64GB. The 4G LTE models are available for a $130 premium.
The initial rollout of the 4th gen iPad will be in the following countries:
US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.