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The New Apple iPad

March 7, 2012 - Dave Hecei
As predicted, Apple announced the next generation iPad tablet. In a surprise move, Apple has named it just iPad. Most of the slides during the Apple keynote listed it as ‘the new iPad’.

Most of what had been rumored about this next iPad came true. The biggest feature is the Retina type touch display. Retina is the LCD technology introduced in the iPhone 4. The new iPad has the same 9.7-inch LCD panel, but with a resolution of 2048-by-1536 pixels, which works out to be 264 pixels per inch.

This was definitely the theme during this keynote – HD. This even rolled over into the new built-in cameras. Apple calls it an iSight camera and it has a resolution of 5 megapixels. It can also shoot 1080P video. The front facing camera is a FaceTime camera. Glancing at the specs for the new iPad on the Apple web site lists the front camera's photo quality as VGA, which is still pretty poor. I’m surprised that this wasn’t improved.

Of course, all of these improvements require a new brain. The iPad 2 used the A5 processor. The new iPad uses a new chip called the A5X. This chip looks to have quad-core graphics power, but the CPU part is still dual-core. This was not really clearly discussed. No matter – the new iPad is very fast.

The other big news is the inclusion of 4G LTE cellular data. This is the next level in cellular data speeds. This is the future in cellular data, which essentially means that it probably isn’t available where you live. If it is, then you’re in for a real treat. Data speeds on LTE can be 2x to 8x faster than the 3G you have now.

Apple says that it will keep the base iPad 2 model in the store. It has 16GB of storage and is WiFi only. The price is not bad at $399, but I would of liked to see another $50 taken off of it. That way it could really put a hurt on the low-end Android-based tablets and possibly even the Kindle Fire, which is value priced at only $199.

Also announced during the presentation, a new Apple TV. No number for this either. It doesn’t look like much has changed here, just a faster processor and the ability to display 1080P content. This is not completely true. The new Apple TV does have a much improved user interface. The new Apple TV ties in nicely with the new iPad with Apple’s Airplay technology. By using Airplay, what you see on your iPad will be sent wirelessly to your HDTV. Now you can watch Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix video on your big TV. You can also use Airplay to display your games on your HDTV.

All in all, the new Apple iPad is pretty much exactly what was predicted. It has a better display, better camera, faster graphics, and LTE connectivity. Built in storage has stayed the same, along with the pricing. For WiFi only models it’s – 16GB for $499, 32GB for $599, and 64GB for $699. For the 3G/4G GPS models just add $130. You can pre-order yours now and they will be available starting March 16th. About the only thing that the rumors had wrong was the name, which I think iPad HD would have been so much better.


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