Today, in downtown San Francisco, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook unveiled the iPad 3. “We are redefining the category that Apple created with the original iPad,” he said. The device looks very similar to the iPad 2 but the new model is equipped with internal hardware including a high-resolution screen with a 264 ppi, and as Apple’s Phil Schiller notes, is good enough to call a retina screen.
But Apple doesn’t talk about just hardware. It’s all about the experience and a screen nearly twice as sharp is something Apple hopes will push the iPad into a new markets and use cases.
Inside the new iPad is a A5X processor complete with quad-core graphics. Apple states that the A5 SoC is “twice as fast” as the Tegra 3 and the A5X offers “four times the performance.”
Holding up the iPad to take a picture is never the most pleasurable experience, which is likely why Apple kept the camera experience on the lower-end in the previous generation models. But with all the killer camera apps available on iOS and our general enthusiasm toward imagery, Apple knows it’s time to slap something better onto the iPad. That said, the same 8-megapixel shooter fitted onto the iPhone 4S will be present and accounted for on this next-gen iPad.
The camera has the larger f/2.4 aperture to let in more light, and all the same software goodness that came with the iPhone 4S camera app — like swipe to preview, photo editing, and facial recognition — is along for the ride too.
The camera can also record video in 1080p.
The new iPad also comes equipped with a voice dictation tool that supports US English, British, Australian, French, German, and Japanese. This positions the iPad for increased productivity tools — it’s a straight shot at other mobile workstation solutions.
Apple has also equipped the new iPad with high speed networking. This model sports 21 Mbps HSPA+, 42Mbps DC-HSDPA and 73Mbps LTE. This is blazing fast data connectivity.
The new iPad can rock its LTE goods on Teslus, Rogers, Bell, Verizon, and ATT (Verizon & ATT in the states). It retains its 3G radio from before and is 3G world-ready.
The new model is 9.4mm thin and weighs in at 1.4lbs. That’s slightly heavier than the iPad 2 but the additional weight allows for larger batteries that give the new iPad, complete with its new screen and LTE radio, the same 10 hour battery life found in the iPad 2 (9 hours on LTE.)
Price and availability
Price points remain from previous models: the 16GB is $499, 32B $599 and 64GB $699. Likewise, the LTE versions are $629, $729 and $829.