Apple just announced the new iteration of the iPad at their press event today, at the Yerba Buena Conference Center in San Francisco.
Details are still trickling out, but the device boasts its own version of the retina display. Apple’s Phil Schiller describes the screen as unmatched by anyone in the industry, boasting a 2048×1536 resolution – 3.1 million pixels, the most in any mobile device. Compared to a HD television, at 1920×1080 and only 1 million pixels, Apple is really going nuts with their display. They also boast 40% better color saturation than before, and 264 pixels per inch which is “enough to call it a retina display.”
The device also features a retooled version of Apple’s A5 processor, the A5X, designed to produce quad core graphics. They are claiming that the A5 is twice as fast as a Tegra 3 and that the A5X provides “four times the performance.” We are calling citation needed here, but still. That is a bold claim.
The new iPad will also have an iSight camera, which is great since the iPad 2 camera sucked a fat one. This one is a 5-megapixel backside illuminated sensor on the back, 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built right into the A5X chip. It’s basically the same camera as the iPhone 4S, but that is pretty darn good news. It can also handle 1080p video recording, for those who want to use their iPads as a camcorder.
Of particular note is software stabilization – looks like the new iPad has some image stabilization for video recording and reportedly it’s a big improvement. It also features some noise reduction tech as well.
New to the new iPad: Voice dictation. There’s a microphone key at the bottom of the new display, though it’s not necessarily full-on Siri. It will, at launch, feature US English, British, Australian, French, German and Japanese.
Next, the device will feature 4G LTE – huge news for the road warriors out there. iPad 2 can pull 3.1 Mbps on EV-DO, 7.2 on HSPA. The new iPad has 21 Mbps on HSPA+ and DC-HSPDA at 42 Mbps, with LTE topping out at 73 Mbps. All this is via AT&T, by the way. However, it looks like there will be Verizon outside the gate. Of course, there isn’t much LTE support outside the US – sorry, UK! To start with, the LTE partners will be Verizon, Rogers, Bell, Telus and AT&T.
Of particular note, as there are different bands of LTE, we’ll have different devices for AT&T and Verizon. Interesting. Also regarding carrier differences, the new iPad can now be a personal hotspot if the carrier allows it. And even without LTE, new iPad’s wireless capabilities are jucier than its predecessors, being world-ready 3G capable right out of the gate.
When it comes to battery life, the new iPad will give you 10 hours of battery life, or 9 if you’re running 4G. It’s a heftier device, though, weighing in at 9.4mm thick and 1.4 pounds, which is a tad bit heaver than the iPad 2.
“Everything has been updated,” Schiller said. “But as you remember when the iPhone 4 went to the retina display, developers didn’t have to do anything and their apps looked better. But if the developer takes a little bit of time, they can do little things with their apps that are mindblowing.”
On the gaming front, Namco and Epic Games showed off demos of their new projects. Namco unveiled a new fighter jet sim called Sky Gamblers, which Apple folks are excitedly calling console quality. Epic Games announced Infinity Blade: Dungeons, featuring HDR graphics and tone-mapping. It looks luscious.
In fact, Epic’s Mike Capps is making a real bold claim, that it has more memory and screen resolution than the PS3 or Xbox 360. Huh.
Finally, there’s the price – and it’s exactly the same as current models: A 16GB new iPad will run you $499. 32GB will run $599 and 64GB at $699. 4G prices are $629, $729 and $829 respectively.
Of course, this does cause the prices in the old models to drop. iPad 2 will continue to be available, at a $100 reduction, so $399 for a 16GB Wi-Fi only model.
“We have redefined yet again the category that Apple created just two years ago with the original iPad,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The new iPad will be available simultaneously on March 16 in the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland and Japan, with pre-orders starting today.
[image source] Engadget