On March 7, Apple held a press event announcing their latest iPad.
Although aesthetically identical to the iPad 2, this new model features a 4G LTE network connection (through ATT or Verizon), an upgraded 5MP iSight camera, a new retina display boasting 3.1 million pixels (a million more pixels than a 1080p HD television) and a new quad-core A5X processor chip to power it all.
Much hype and anticipation surrounded the announcement Wednesday morning, as with every Apple announcement.
The Retina Display is perhaps the greatest advancement, first seen on the iPhone 4S. Apple calls it “resolutionary” with 2048-by-1536 resolution that makes text much crisper and pictures clearer than the iPad or any other device currently on the market.
Coupled with this new display is a new 5mp camera and the announcement of iPhoto for the iPad, allowing users to take and edit HD video and picture.
Powering all these new features is the A5X quad-core processor. Apple claims this to be the fastest mobile chip on the market, even faster than Nvidia’s Tegra 3.
The 16GB iPad 2 will still be manufactured and sold at a reduced price of $399. Tech newsblog Mashable points out that this is unlike Apple, which usually quickly phases out last year’s model in favor of selling the newest.
Lance Ulanoff, a writer for Mashable, said the iPad 3’s announcement was “less than mind blowing.” He relates it to the announcement of the iPhone 4S last October, in which nothing announced was truly groundbreaking. But we should expect bigger things to come this summer.
Siri is not included in this new iPad, at least not directly; however, a new diction button was added to the onscreen keyboard, which allows users to dictate their words to send texts and fill almost any text field.
All of these new features combined with the power required to fuel the new retina display obviously demand more battery power. However, the battery life will still be the same 10 hours that iPad 2 users get on a Wi-Fi connection (approximately four hours using 4G).
Pre-orders are now available in the Apple Store: $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model, $599 for 32GB, $699 for 64GB and a $130 premium for 4G LTE connectivity.
The 16 GB iPad 2 is also still on sale in the Apple Store, for $399 Wi-Fi only and $529 for added 3G connectivity.