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By 8 March 2012 | Categories: news

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Apple has finally pulled the wraps off the latest edition iPad. Referenced as simply “the new iPad”, the company’s third generation tablet boasts a high definition Retina display, a zippy new processor that incorporates quad-core graphics, as well as a 5 MP iSight camera with advanced optics. Oh, it’s also 4G (LTE) enable for much better connectivity speeds, that is if you have a cellular network that supports it.

Bucking the trend of a new Apple device being lighter and thinner than the previous generation, Apple’s new tablet is 9.4 mm thick compared to the iPad 2’s 8.6 mm frame and weighs (Wi-Fi + 4G version) in at 662 g, which is heavier than the iPad 2’s 613 g.

New Retina display

The Cupertino-based tech firm stated that the new iPad’s 9.7" (2048 x 1536) Retina display delivers four times the number of pixels compared to the iPad 2’s 9.7" (1024 x 768 pixels) LED-backlit IPS LCD touchscreen. According to Apple, this results in a pixel density which is so dense that the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels when held at a normal distance.

The iPhone maker said that the 3.1 million pixels in the Retina display are over one million more than one would find in an HDTV. Movies can now be viewed in full HD (1080p), and, as expected, the added pixels will make websites, text, photos and video look incredibly detailed, sharp and realistic.

New, quicker processor and improved snapper

Powering the new iPad is Apple’s A5X processor, which, like the current iPad 2’s A5 chip, sports a dual-core CPU but boast enhanced quad-core graphics. Cupertino said that this new application processor doubles the graphics performance of its A5 chip, which is also employed in the iPhone 4S. It did not yet divulge info on the processing speed of the A5X.

Also new is the 5 MP iSight camera that features advanced optics, allowing it to capture high-resolution photos as well as full HD video. As is the case with some forthcoming new Android-powered smartphones, including the HTC One X and LG 4X HD, the latest iPad’s snapper boasts backside illumination (BSI), enabling users to take detailed shots even in low-light conditions.

Besides BSI the iSight camera also features a new video image stabilisation feature that the company says will remove shakes whilst filming.
 

Enhanced connectivity and mobile OS

Like the iPhone 4S, the new iPad will enable users to download info much quicker from the internet, since the Wi-Fi + 4G versions of the new iPad boasts 4G (LTE) connectivity as well as support for fast networks worldwide using HSPA+ amongst others. By employing the Personal Hotspot functionality, users will also be able to share the fast network connection on their iPad with up to five other devices via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth 4.0.

Apple’s latest iPad runs on iOS 5.1, the latest updated version of the company’s mobile operating system (OS). New features include a redesigned camera app with video stabilisation technology, the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream, Personal Hotspot, and support for the new dictation functionality.

Dictation allows users to compose a message or note, or search the net, by using voice instead of typing. Apple said that dictation also works with third-party apps, enabling users to perform functions such as updating their Facebook status or compose a tweet.
 

Pricing and availability

Apple stated that the new iPad will be available in either black or white on 16 March. The US and numerous of other countries, including Australia, the UK, Canada, France, Germany and Japan, will be the first recipients, but as expected South Africa needs to wait, with no local release info available yet.

The Wi-Fi versions are going for a suggested retail price of $499 (around R3785) for the 16 GB model, $599 (about R4544) for the 32 GB model and $699 (approximately R5303) for the 64 GB model.

The iPad Wi-Fi + 4G will be available for a recommended retail price of $629 (around R4772) for the 16 GB model, $729 (about R5530) for the 32 GB model and $829 (approximately R6289) for the 64 GB model.

“The new iPad redefines the category Apple created less than two years ago, delivering the most amazing experience people have ever had with technology,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The new iPad now has the highest resolution display ever seen on a mobile device with 3.1 million pixels, delivering razor sharp text and unbelievable detail in photos and videos.”

In related news, Apple has surpassed the 25 billion milestone mark for downloads from its App Store at the end of last week.
 
 

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