After weeks of rumors and mouth breathing from the techorati, Apple just confirmed what everyone already suspected: Another year, another new iPad. Say what you want about Apple, but at least they're consistent. Earlier debate swirled around its name: would the new tablet be called the iPad 3 or the iPad HD? (Because that's vital information!) Neither, as it turns out. The new iPad is called simply, well, the iPad. Some other rumors turned out true, however.
The rumored "Retina-level" display actually exists: the iPad packs 3.1 million pixels in its 2048x1536 resolution for a 264ppi. It also sports a new dual core A5X processor with a quad-core GPU. According to Apple, that setup boasts twice the speed and four times the graphics performance of the vaunted Tegra 3 proc found in, say, the Asus Transformer Prime. Big talk!
The new iPad will include a 5 megapixel camera capable of capturing 1080p video and outfitted with the same software found in the iPhone 4S. The virtual keyboard also includes a dictation button so you can finally scream at your Apple gear in frustration the same way you do your Android devices. You won't find Siri, however, which seems like an odd move by Apple.
Apple finally jumped into the 4G waters with the newest iPad: the onboard LTE radio will work with Verizon and AT&T networks stateside and Telus, Rogers and Bell networks in Canada. It also contains the same 3G world radio found in the iPad 2. To compensate for the battery draintitude of LTE radios and the high-end display, the new iPad packs a bigger battery that Apple claims will imbue the tablet with a 10 hour battery life.
The new iPad will ship on March 16, with preorders starting today. Wi-Fi versions are 16GB for $499, 32GB for $599 and 64GB for $699, while LTE models of the same size cost $629, $729 and $829, respectively. Interested?*
*Yeah, the iPad doesn't necessarily appeal to a lot of the MPC crowd, but this is big tech news nonetheless; for the majority of America, "tablet" = "iPad". That's a picture of an older model iPad, by the way