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Apple unveils new iPad with sharper screen, faster processor

updated 01:50 pm EST, Wed March 7, 2012

Upgraded with Retina Display, quad-core A5X chip

Apple today announced the third-generation iPad at an event in San Francisco. The device's main feature is a 2048x1536 Retina Display, twice the resolution of the iPad 2, rated at 264 pixels per inch; existing apps will be upscaled automatically. Color saturation is said to be 44 percent higher. The tablet also makes the switch to a new dual-core but quad graphics processor, the A5X, which Apple says is built with the Retina Display in mind. Interface-wise the tablet has been improved with features like voice dictation.

On the rear is a 5 megapixel camera with an illuminated sensor, a five-element lens, and an IR filter; an image processor is built into the A5X. Camera functions support autofocus and auto-exposure, as well as 1080p video recording. Video also benefits from software stabilization.

Cellular-equipped models now support LTE 4G, offering peak downloads up to 73Mbps. On 3G users should still be able to get up to 21Mbps on HSPA+ or 42Mbps on DC-HSDPA. The device will in fact be "world-ready" on 3G, supporting both HSPA and EVDO networks. Verizon, Rogers, Bell, Telus, and AT&T have been announced as initial North American LTE partners. Apple is promising 10 hours of battery life in regular use, and 9 hours on 4G; where supported, the new iPad will able to operate as a personal hotspot.

The tablet is 9.4mm thick, and slightly heavier than the iPad 2 at 1.4 pounds. Prices are unchanged, ranging from $499 for a 16GB Wi-Fi tablet to $829 for a 64GB 4G model. Launch regions will include the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan. Pre-orders start today, with a ship date of March 16th. 25 more countries will get the device on March 23rd.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Kees

    Joined: Dec 1969


    solid upgrade

    but not enough there to entice me to upgrade from my iPad 2.

  1. canadave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "the new iPad"???

    That's the best they could come up with? So, how will this work--in the store, there'll be the previous generation "iPad 2", and the current generation "iPad"? This doesn't make any sense! Why wouldn't they call it something like iPad HD? Or at least 3? They've intentionally created confusion...I have no idea why they'd do this?

  1. Grendelmon

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And by the time the iPad 4 comes out, most apps will finally support the native "retina" resolution of the "new", er, old? iPad 3...

    Been there done that with the 4th gen Touch. Sorry Tim, but non-retina apps look like a** on high res displays.

  1. garmonbosia

    Joined: Dec 1969


    excuse me

    I'll be in my bunk.

  1. bnowrooz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    My rant

    What the carriers are doing w.r.t. 4G is nearly criminal. contents of my mind posted already:

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPad Version

    Looks like they want to drop the revision philosophy for iPads. If this is the case then they will do it for all their products. In fact when you think about it they already do this with all their other products except for the iPhone.

    I am not sure this is a good idea but it looks like this is the future and it seems to work for all their other products.

  1. Bermy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not enough for me

    Where is Siri Apple??? EPIC FAIL! There is no reason this device should not have Siri as the iPhone 4S has on it. I dont want a cell phone but I want Siri on my ipad! Sorry, I wont be upgrading this version until it does.

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple Online Store sucking for air

    Think they'd be ready & experienced enough by now to handle these kinds of days. Nonetheless, the Apple Store is crashing constantly in trying to take my order; I tried to place it over a dozen times.

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Unhappiness rules here after a new product?!?!?

    The tremendous display resolution increase alone is a very good reason to upgrade from a previous version. Ebooks now will be almost as good as printed, and of course photos will be gorgeous. Samsung's best offering is still a mock up, and it will take a while for the competition to catch up.

    On top of that Apple chose to increase the number cores to the graphics processor twice as much than to the main CPU, this is a very wise move so as to keep the overall performance on a par as the iPad 2 (at least) yet keep battery consumption acceptable.

    The camera and it's processor are much better, comparing favorably with the best the competition can offer. H3ll even connectivity has been improved.

    Siri is still a beta offering, it "works" horribly even in the UK. The iPhone 4S WAS a bit of a let down, that's why it needed Siri; not this device.

    I say this product does raise the bar quite a bit; either Apple fans wave gotten too spoiled by an incredible streak of computing improvements, or the full depth of the advancements (granted, more evolutionary than revolutionary) is yet to sink-in.

    This new iPad proves the market is yet far from mature, but definitely getting there at a good pace.

    And do I have to say I am not the greatest Apple fan?

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