After months of rumors, Apple finally unveiled the next-generation iPad…the new iPad (!). No, it’s not known as the iPad HD or the iPad 2S as rumors were suggesting.
Physically, the new iPad looks similar to the iPad 2 except that it’s a bit thicker (9.4mm) and slightly heavier (1.4lbs) and that’s about it. While the screen size of the new iPad remains the same as its predecessor at 9.7-inches, the resolution of the display has been bumped to a whopping…. 2048×1536 pixels. Yes, that means the new iPad is the first tablet in this world to feature a Retina Display! Heck I never thought a 9.7-inch display panel with such a high-resolution even existed. Such a high-resolution means that the iPad has a whopping 3.1 million pixels, which is a million pixels more than a 1080p HDTV. Also, the Home button is still present on the iPad 3. So yeah, all you Home button haters on iOS devices, your dream of a Home (less) iPad needs to wait until the iPad 4.
Internally, the iPad comes with an A5X SoC, which consists of a “quad-core graphics”. I am assuming the number of cores of the PowerVR SGX543 GPU, which was used in the iPad 2, has been bumped to 4 to make it a “quad-core graphics”. Apple did not really mention whether the A5X uses a dual or quad core Cortex-A9 or A15 processor.
With the new iPad, Apple also improved the camera on the back of the tablet tremendously. The new 5MP backside-illuminated camera uses the same technology as the 8MP snapper on the iPhone 4S, including a 5-element lens, IR filter and a custom ISP from Apple itself. The new ‘iSight’ camera also features Face Detection, Autofocus, White Balance, 1080p HD video recording, video stabilization, and temporal noise reduction.
Sadly, the ‘next-gen’ iPad does not feature Siri. However, it does come with voice dictation, which will definitely make typing on the tablet a hell lot easier. The 3rd generation iPad also supports the blazing fast 4G LTE network, along with support for 21Mbps HSPA+ networks. In the U.S, the iPad will support AT&T’s as well as Verizon’s LTE networks. Apple has also tied up with Bell, Telus and Rogers for LTE variants of the iPad for the rest of the world where LTE is available. While there will be a separate version of the LTE variant of the iPad for AT&T and Verizon, the 3G variant is capable of global roaming.
Regarding battery life, the ‘next-generation’ iPad will have the same battery life as the iPad 2. The 4G LTE version will have 9 hours of battery life though. As with the iPad 1 and 2, the price points still remain the same. The 16GB Wi-Fi variant will cost $499, while the 32GB and 64GB will cost $599 and $699. The Wi-Fi + 4G variant will cost $629, $729 and $829 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variant respectively.
While the pre-orders for the next-generation iPad begin from today itself, the tablet will hit the retail stores on 16th March.