We reported a week ago that March 7 would be the day Apple unveils the newest iteration of their iPad. Today, it is, and they have! The next-generation iPad is, as always, evolutionary, adding many long-desired features but still instantly recognizable as an iPad.
As rumored, the display is of the gorgeous Retina variety, boasting an almost-ridiculous 2048×1536 pixels packed into a 9.7-inch screen. That’s a full four times the pixels the iPad and iPad 2 had, a higher resolution than most consumer desktop displays, and a pixel density that is (supposedly) too great for the human eye to process. Apple also claims improved color saturation.
Other upgrade include an iSight camera similar to the one on the iPhone 4S (5MP capable of 1080p video capture), a new keyboard with a dictation key (a la Android), and the ability to recognize some basic bezel gestures.
The new iPad’s quad-core A5X processor delivers, according to Apple, four times the graphics performance of the Tegra 3, the current mobile-chip king. Even more exciting is the inclusion (finally) of both HSPA+ and LTE antennas, with service available from Verizon and AT&T in the US and Rogers, Bell, and Telus in other countries. The new iPad will also be usable as a WiFi hotspot. Despite all the added power and pixels, though, Apple still promises teh hours of battery life, probably made possible by an enlarged battery resulting in a (slightly) increased 1.4lb weight.
Preorders start today in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. Expect the device to drop on the 16th at the same price points as the existing iPad 2 ($499 for the 16GB Wifi up to $829 for the 64GB 4G model).