Apple have at last thrown the wraps off the new iPad at a press event in San Francisco today. Bucking the trend for numerical updates, they’ve gone, not with ‘iPad 3’ as was expected, or even the rumoured ‘iPad HD’, but simply with the ‘New iPad’. The biggest physical difference from its predecessor seems to be a Retina display at a whopping 2048 x 1536 resolution, the new version containing 3.1 million pixels, the most ever in a mobile device. This works out at 264 pixels per inch, more than four times the resolution of the iPad 2, and with 44% better colour saturation, this promises to be a pretty amazing screen.
The new device is powered by an Apple A5X processor, with quad core graphics, promising double the performance of the A5 chip found in the previous model.
The rearward-facing iSight camera sports a 5-megapixel backside illuminated sensor, 5-element lens, IR filter, and can shoot 1080p HD video with image stabilization. The camera also sports auto exposure, auto focus and face detection capability.
Other new features include Voice Dictation via a microphone key on the software keyboard and support for 4G LTE networks – basically the next generation of wireless mobile broadband, which has yet to appear in the UK but is expected to be rolled out sometime this year.
The new unit is 9.4mm thick and weighs in at 1.4lbs – slightly heavier than the iPad 2. Battery life remains at a quoted 10 hours, and it ships with iOS 5.1, which Apple also released today. Pricing is the same as for the old model, while schools, colleges and thrifty people will be delighted to note that the iPad 2 will continued to be sold for $100 less than the base model of the new version.
WiFi + 4G
Available, as before, in black or white finish, the new iPad’s release date is March 16th in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland and Japan, with 25 more countries joining in the fray on March 23rd. To accompany the new version of iOS, all the iWork and iLife iOS apps have been updated, with the much-anticipated iPhoto for iOS also making an auspicious debut to complete the lineup.