Swirling iPad 3 rumors have finally settled down. Apple CEO Tim Cook has emerged with the new version of iPad, simply termed ‘the new iPad,’ not an ‘iPad 3’, as it was speculated to be. The product was unveiled at a special Apple event in San Francisco on March 7 as scheduled. Similar to iPhone 4S, the new iPad comes with hardly any physical overhauls. Most changes Apple has made are on the inside like a new processor, fresh firmware, voice dictation etc. Well, there are a few additions, which are an iSight 5-megapixel rear camera, high resolution Retina Display and a slightly tapered body as well. Here we make a simple rundown to the whole features of the new iPad.
A new processor
The new iPad features a slightly revamped version of Apple’s famous A5 chipset. Called the A5X, the ARM-based chip will power the third generation iPad. Geeks were actually looking for an A6 processor on the device. Are you upset about the absence of a quad core CPU? Don’t fret, says Apple - the new A5X chip, as Apple boasts, will perform four times faster than the rocking NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad core processor. Alongside the A5X chipset, the 2012 iPad version will draw its graphical power from an unspecified NVIDIA graphical chip. Hopefully, the third iPad can hoist stiff challenge to the top-of-the-line Android tablets out in global markets.
It is iOS 5.1, not iOS 6
In fact, Apple used to surface updates for its iOS firmware at its annual Developers Conference in June. But, ‘scuttlebutters’, who often run untamed, speculated the chance for iOS 6 on the new iPad itself. Never did Apple mention or even tease iOS 6 in the event. The company just previewed iOS 5.1, the first major update to the current iOS 5, which came into existence on iPhone 4S in October last year. Certainly, we are to receive the new iPad with the iOS 5.1.
Dazzling screen resolution
Apple has kept up the same 9.7 inch display on the new iPad. The difference it makes from iPad 2 is its integration of Apple’s famed high-res Retina Display technology. It features a whopping resolution of 2048 x 1536 at 264 ppi. The pixel-per-inch rate may be paltry; however, it looks sufficient for 2048 x 1536 pixels and the screen also touts enhanced color saturation.
Apple shows off a 1080p 5-megapixel iSight rear camera on the new iPad. Along with the capability to shoot high resolution videos, it features a 5-element lens, auto focus lock, auto face detection, image stabilization and much more. To top it all, the iPad camera highlights tap-to-focus and video geo-tagging features as well. Indeed, users can feel an enhanced video and image capture experience on the new iPad.
It is basically a 4G LTE device. It is for the first time Apple has launched a 4G LTE compatible gadget. But, 4G LTE connectivity is currently available in North America only. Customers in UK and other countries will have to lament sluggish networks as they can’t enjoy the new iPad’s high-speed connectivity. Apple will ship CDMA and GSM versions of the device in global markets. In the US, AT&T and Verizon will carry separate versions. Apart from 4G LTE (73Mbps) and Wi-Fi, the new iPad will support HSPA+ (21Mbps) and DC-HSDPA (42Mbps).
Pricing and availability
Apple will start shipping the new iPad from March 16 onwards, just 12 days after the official release. In most of the global markets including the U.K, Germany, France and Japan, it will be available on the same date. Apple has revealed prices of the tablet as well. The 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants will respectively come for $499, $599 and $699 in the US. Meanwhile, the Wi-Fi+ 4G versions will be respectively priced at $629, $729 and $829.
Going through the article, you might have felt that Apple hasn’t put forward lots of enhancements on its new iPad. The Cupertino tech giant has just upgraded its iPad with a pick of slight software and hardware changes. One of key inventive features Apple has introduced on the new iPad is voice dictation, which is meant to help users speak to the device instead of typing texts for emailing or messaging. But, it doesn’t look like a complete replacement for the much-wanted Siri virtual assistant app.
Alas! there are no A6 chip, iOS 6, a slight and thin body, a revamped battery and many other coveted features. The new iPad weighs at 652g (Wi-Fi version at 662) and it is 9.4mm slimmer. Compared with many key Android tablets of the day, the new iPad is an underdog in weight, slimness and many other aspects.