Finally after all the waiting, rumours, and build up of expectation, the latest iPad model was released by Apple in the morning hours of Wednesday, March 7, in San Francisco. And no, it’s not called iPad 3 (though people will probably be calling it just that); it has the slightly disappointing name of New iPad. But that is the only disappointing thing in this sleek, goodness-packed gadget that trumps in every respect the incredibly successful iPad 2.
The New iPad’s screen was the feature most speculated upon in the last few weeks, but the actual offering was actually beyond our imagination. Though the screen size remains 9.7 inches as before, the New iPad’s Retina Display screen with 2048 x 1536 resolution is double the resolution of the current model, making it impossible to distinguish individual pixels, and giving the device a dreamlike image quality.
The camera, called the iSight (whoever is in charge of naming at Apple clearly sucks at his job), is a 5 megapixel wonder, a huge leap away from the 1mp camera of the iPad 2. Videos can be recorded at full HD, with image stabilization and face tagging. The New iPad also has dictation software that can convert your spoken words to text. However, contrary to expectations, Siri has not been included.
Apple claims that the New iPad is twice as fast as Tegra 3 and has four times the graphic performance of Nvidia’s chip, which is actually a pretty incredible claim, if you consider how fast Tegra 3 actually is. The processor is an Apple A5X ARM based one, and the graphics are quad-core, though the unit itself remains dual core.
Users in North America will enjoy 4G LTE connectivity with the New iPad, getting more than 100 mbps download speed, but users in UK will remain stuck with much slower network, as 4G has not been rolled out in UK yet. Sadly, Apple has not increased the battery strength to contend with the drainage caused by LTE, so the new model actually has lower battery life than the current one, if LTE is being used.
Apple also took this opportunity to introduce the iPhoto app to iOS, giving iPad users an almost professional photo editing software. Other apps that were upgraded have been made available for purchase or download.
The New iPad comes at $ 499 for 16GB, $599 for 32 GB, and $699 for 64 GB, but the price goes up by $130 if you want the 4G enabled version. It will be released in the US and UK on March 16, but pre-orders can be placed now.