Author: Bob Buskirk
Earlier today Apple announced their 3rd generation iPad, not called the iPad 3 or iPad HD, just simply “the new iPad”. Just like all Apple announcements and keynotes it was very impressive and filled with information and demos. The biggest changes are obviously the display and new processor. With the new iPad you get the A5X processor (dual-core CPU and quad-core GPU) and Retina Display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536. The biggest question is on March 16th will you be buying this new iPad if you already own one of the earlier generation iPad’s or another tablet? Read on as we give you a full run-down of the features and specifications.
The new iPad Rundown
The new iPad is about the same size as the iPad 2, but a little bit thicker and heavier. The actual dimensions are 9.5” x 7.31” x 0.37” and it weighs in at 1.44lbs with the 4G version at 1.46lbs. Just like previous models you have the choice of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models.
As expected the new iPad has a retina display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536. This makes it the largest resolution display on a tablet and 4x as many pixels as the display on the iPad 2. This display also has 44 percent greater color saturation, and an astounding 3.1 million pixels, all in the same 9.7-inch display. This is going to make for one great display for watching movies, tv shows, taking photos, playing games and much more.
You need a powerful graphics processor to power this amazing display and you will find that in the A5X processor. We believe the new iPad is running the same dual-core Cortex A9 CPU, but now features the quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU, rather than the dual-core PowerVR SGX543MP2 which was in the A5 chip on the iPad 2. Apple says this chipset is 2 times more powerful than the A5 chip and 4 times more powerful than other tablet chipsets out there a.k.a. the Tegra 3 chipset from Nvidia. This means tablet games are going to get more and more powerful. Won’t all this processing power drain your battery quickly? Apple has gone with a 42.5 watt-hour battery that they say will give you 10 hours of battery life and 9 hours on 4G LTE.
So those are the 2 biggest improvements with the new iPad but there are many more. The camera has been improved once again. The new iSight camera will shoot 5-megapixel still images and record video at full 1080p. The camera optics are pretty impressive too. With an ƒ/2.4 aperture and a five-element lens, it captures light efficiently to produce a sharper overall image. And the hybrid infrared filter – typically reserved for expensive SLR cameras – keeps out harmful IR light for more accurate, uniform colors.
The new iPad now supports 4G LTE as well as other fast cellular networks. 4G LTE tops out at 73Mbps, while DC-HSDPA is at 42Mbps and HSPA+ is at 21Mbps. The announced LTE partners are Verizon, Rogers, Bell, Telus and AT&T. The new iPad will also be able to act as a WiFi hotspot if your carrier supports it. Besides the new LTE support you have 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.
So how does this new iPad stack up against other tablets? Well we know it definitely beats out the iPad 2. Offering a better GPU, display and camera as well as adding the 4G LTE support. Specs-wise the new iPad comes closest to the Asus Transformer Infinity. The new iPad does have a better display, but not by much (1920 x 1200 on the infinity). As far as processing power goes the Infinity is powered by the Tegra 3 platform. Keep in mind though the A5X is only a dual-core CPU, not quad-core. The graphics on the A5X are quad-core. The Tegra 3 is a true quad-core CPU and has a whopping 12-core GPU. The Infinity 32GB model will go for around $600 when available.
As I said there are 3 capacities available for the new iPad – 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. Prices are as follows: 16GB $499, 32GB $699, 64GB $699. Add the 4G LTE to these models and the prices become $629, $729 and $820 respectively.
So the big question is will you be getting one on March 16th? If you have an iPad 2 you will be getting a better display, more graphics power, a better camera and the 4G LTE support. For more information on the new iPad you can head over to Apple’s website. I’m just wondering why they did not call it the iPad 3 or iPad HD…