Apple unveiled a third-generation iPad enhanced with features aimed at keeping it on top of the booming tablet computer market.
The new iPad boasts a more powerful processor, eye-grabbing resolution on par with that of an iPhone 4S, and the ability to connect to the latest 4G LTE telecom networks that move data faster than their predecessors. Here’s all that is new about the new iPad
New iPad but no new name
Apple gave the new iPad a bunch of new features but no new name. When it goes on sale next week in the United States and several other countries, it will be ‘the iPad’ or perhaps ‘the new iPad’ — not ‘iPad 3’ or ‘iPad HD’, as some had speculated. The lack of a new name could cause confusion for buyers, particularly since the older model, the ‘iPad 2’, will still be for sale. But the naming practice is consistent with Apple’s practices for the iPod. New models have been simply called ‘iPod’. Consumers are left to figure out which generation of the product they are looking for.
Retina display: Apple for the eye
The new iPad unveiled on Wednesday comes with improvements that may not be readily apparent to the casual observer. It has, as expected, a sharper screen. Apple said the new display will be sharper than the average high definition television set. In a hands-on demonstration, text shown on the screen was noticeably crisper. The higher resolution won’t make a difference, however, for most Web images, which are of low resolution. The new screen should be able to show all the detail in high-definition movies,which the iPad 2 does not. The new screen can also show deeper and more vibrant colours than previous models, Apple said. The new iPad 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.
Faster processing chip
Apple’s latest iPad sports an array of technology advances that, while less than revolutionary, may prove enough for now to keep rivals like Amazon.com and Samsung at bay. While stopping short of vaulting ahead of Motorola and Samsung, the device — which comes 4Gready and boasts a quad-core graphics processor — is capable enough to help safeguard its two-thirds market share. It features an A5X chip. Apple also confirmed that the new model will come in a version that can use Verizon Wireless’ and AT&T Inc’s ‘LTE’ wireless broadband networks. They offer speeds that are faster than the ‘3G’ networks used by previous iPads, and current iPhones. The new A5X chip with quad-core graphics was specifically designed by Apple to deliver a fast, responsive user experience while supporting the incredible Retina display. With double the graphics performance of the A5 chip, the A5X provides a superb balance between performance and power efficiency.
Prices are the same
Prices aren’t changing from the previous models. They will start at $499. Versions capable of accessing cellular networks will cost $629 to $829. Apple is keeping the basic model of the iPad 2 in production and dropping the price to $399. That could help Apple regain some market share from cheaper tablets like Amazon.com Inc’s $199 Kindle Fire. Samsung Electronics and other makers of full-size tablets have cut their prices to below $500. Heavier than predecessor What was more surprising was that the new features mean the tablet computer will be slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad 2, because it needs a larger battery to power the high-resolution screen. The new iPad will be 9.4 millimetres thick, or 0.37 inches. That compares with 8.8 millimetres, or 0.34 inches,for the iPad 2. The weight is going up from 1.33 pounds to 1.44 pounds for the Wi-Fi-only model. The original iPad weighed 1.5 pounds.
Battery life up
The battery life of the new model remains the same: about 10 hours of use. Apple says the battery capacity is 70 per cent higher than for the old model, which suggests that it could have kept the old screen and extended the battery life to 17 hours instead of upgrading
the screen resolution.
5MP iSight camera on the back
Compared with the iPad 2, the new model features a higher-resolution camera on the back, similar to the one in the iPhone 4S. The new iPad features a 5-megapixel iSight camera with advanced optics, a backside illumination sensor, auto white balance, and face detection for incredible still images. And you can record 1080p HD video, too.
Apple is updating some of the softwares on the tablet to take advantage of the new features. For example, it’s introducing a version of the Mac’s iPhoto photo organisation and manipulation program for the iPad. Apple would start letting users store movies in its iCloud remote storage service, so they can be accessed through the Internet by PCs and Apple devices. It already lets users store photos, music and documents in the service.
There’s a new microphone icon on the iPad’s virtual keyboard that can be pressed to dictate emails or other notes on the device. The new iPad supports dictation, another amazing way to get things done just using your voice. Instead of typing, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard, then say what you want to say and the new iPad listens. Tap done, and iPad converts your words into text. You can use dictation to write messages, take notes, search the web and more. Dictation also works with third-party apps, so you can update your Facebook status, tweet, or write Instagram captions
There are six flavours of the new iPad, with different access capabilities and storage amounts:
■ Wi-Fi only, 16 gigabytes of storage, $499
■ Wi-Fi only, 32GB, $599
■ Wi-Fi only, 64GB, $699
■ Wi-Fi and 4G cellular connection, 16GB, $629
■ Wi-Fi and 4G cellular connection, 32GB, $729
■ Wi-Fi and 4G cellular connection, 64GB, $829