Apple has finally unveiled the new iPad -- just iPad, not iPad 3 or iPad HD -- at a press event this morning. To make a long story short, the rumors were largely true: the new iPad sports Apple's Retina display, features a quad-core graphics processor (on the A5X chip), and supports 4G LTE networks. Pre-orders for the new iPad are already available, and the device will be released March 16, 2012.
Of all the bells and whistles on the new iPad, none is likely to garner more attention than its Retina display. The new iPad is capable of displaying images at a resolution of 2048 by 1536 (totaling 3.1 million pixels), which exceeds what HDTVs are capable of by a million pixels and is fully four times the resolution of the iPad 2. According to Apple's press release, the iPad Retina display is "so dense that the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels when held at a normal distance." Video will be playable in 1080P, and color saturation has received a 44% boot.
Powering that stunning display is Apple's new A5X chip, which features a quad-core graphics processor that is described as offering "double the graphics performance" of the A5 chip that powers iPad 2. Nevertheless, Apple promises that the new iPad's battery life will be just as good as its predecessor's (about 10 hours).
Naturally, all this talk about screen resolution and processor power brings a specific topic to mind: games. And when a new iOS device is announced, can a new Infinity Blade be far behind? No, no it can't. As such, Epic Games President Mike Capps was on hand at Apple's event to reveal Infinity Blade: Dungeons.
According to Capps, the new iPad "has more memory and higher screen resolution than an Xbox 360 or PS3." As for Infinity Blade: Dungeons, no date has been announced just yet, but don't be surprised if it shows up in time for iPad's March 16 launch date. Check out the teaser trailer below.
A few more new features have made their way into the new iPad. For starters, the system's camera has received an overhaul. The new 5 megapixel camera, dubbed (naturally) iSight, is capable of recording 1080P video, and benefits from the iPad's "backside illumination" (Apple pointedly does not refer to it as a flash). Image stabilization also makes the cut this time around.
Users who choose a 4G LTE compatible iPad, as opposed to the Wi-Fi only models, will be happy to know that the system is capable of functioning as a personal hotspot (so long as the carrier supports it) -- up to five devices can share the iPad's network connection. As with iPad 2, both Verizon and AT&T will be offering the new system.
Finally, dictation has been added to the iPad feature set. Texts, email, web browsing and third-party apps will all be able to make use of the feature.
The new iPad will be available in either Black or White. Once again, a variety of models are being produced:
- 16GB iPad - $499 Wi-Fi, $629 4G
- 32GB iPad - $599 Wi-Fi, $729 4G
- 64GB iPad - $699 Wi-Fi, $829 4G
Compelling though the new iPad's tech is -- especially that screen! -- a few obvious questions spring to mind. First, why only a 5 megapixel camera? After all, iPhone 4S already includes an 8 megapixel camera. For that matter, where is Siri? iPhone 4S's personal assistant has become something of a pop-culture celebrity, and she is conspicuous by her absence on the new hardware. Dictation is hardly a replacement, and has long been available via third-party apps, anyway -- Dragon Dictation being the most obvious example.
Still, if Apple builds it, the customers will likely line-up. The company managed to move 50 million iOS devices in the last three months of 2011. With the new iPad due in just over a week, and the possibility that iPhone 5 will release this Summer, it's already looking like another strong year for Apple.
Ranters, what do you think of the new iPad? Will you be lining up to buy one on the 16th?
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