Mar 8, 2012
March 7 marked the introduction of Apple’s latest iteration of their flagship tablet. After many months of speculation and hard-to-find leaks, the wait is finally over. Once again, the Cupertino wizards have set another standard in tablet technology.
Meet the new iPad.
No no, it isn’t “iPad 3″ or “iPad HD” as the rumors said before. It’s just plain “iPad;” although Apple does describe it as the third-generation iPad. Nonetheless, the name game has returned the tablet back to its humble origins.
So what’s the difference from its two previous iterations? Let’s keep this short and simple, shall we?
The Low Down
The new iPad still retains the same size as the previous iPad 2, measuring in at 9.5″ (H) x 7.3″ (W). It’s a few millimeters thicker than the old one, and weighs a few grams heavier too (at 652g for Wi-fi only and 662g for Wi-fi/4G compared to 601g and 613g from iPad 2). This probably accounts for the expanded battery inside the 3rd generation Apple tablet. It also still comes in two color variants of black and white. At face value, nothing much has changed with the new iPad’s design, save for the black top cover on its rear for the 4G variant.
Inside the new iPad is an upgraded version of the A5 core, dubbed the A5X, a dual-core, low-power and high-performance system-on-a-chip with quad-core graphics capability. If you’re familiar with NVidia’s Tegra 3, the Cupertino geeks claim the A5X to be four times more powerful.
With an intense processing power, the new iPad has pushed its screen to new heights as well. Its improved Retina display clocks in a resolution of 2048×1536-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi)! Suffice to say, the new iPad has gone full HD… plus more. You won’t be seeing individual pixels with the naked eye anymore. You’ll be staring at crisp and crystal-clear images!
Speaking of images, the iPad still has a VGA Facetime camera up front. The back camera, however, gets a big overhaul. A 5-megapixel camera gets installed at the rear, and technically has similar configuration with the camera from iPhone 4S (namely the inclusion of a 5-element lens and an IR filter). Expect a lot more iPad-touting people to go “pro” on their photography. In addition, video recording is capped at 1080p, 30 frames per second.
Another addition to the iPad is a dictation feature. Just press the microphone button on the touchscreen keypad and start speaking. The technology similar to Siri has enough brain power to recognize and type your speech on the fly. But, speaking of Siri, there’s no confirmation of her inclusion to the 3rd-gen iPad.
Last but not the least, the new iPad is now capable of 4G/LTE connectivity with a minimum ideal speed of 21Mbps on HSPA+ and a max of 72Mbps using LTE. You can also now setup the iPad to be a Wi-fi hotspot.
Battery life is still clocked at 10 hours maximum for regular usage and 9 hours tops with 4G use. Not too shabby, considering that the A5X is low power, plus having the iPad handle 4G and Wi-fi.
The new iPad’s prices begin at $499 for the 16GB Wi-fi variant; $599 and $699 for the 32GB and 64GB respectively. Naturally, the 4G models are much more expensive, with the 16GB at $629, 32GB at $729, and 64GB at $829.
If you think the price is totally farfetched, why not snag an iPad 2 before stores phase them out?
The new iPad is scheduled for release on March 16, but pre-orders are already up on the Apple website.