Apple has launched the new iPad. The third iteration of the tablet that invented the market has been unveiled by CEO Tim Cook to a packed audience. Is it the giant leap forward that we were hoping for? Read on to find out.
Cook took to the stage to announce the new iPad, but not before the usual self-praise. ”When we set out to create the iPad we set out to create not just a new product but a new category, and to do that we said it had to be the best at doing everything in every category,” he said. “…browsing the web, sending emails… When we asked iPad users, they said that’s what we had done.” All well and good, but now it’s time for an update.
“Everyone’s been wondering who will come out with a product that’s more amazing than the iPad 2, with its big incredible screen, super fast chip, all day battery life and elegant thin and light design. Stop wondering. We are.”
And so, the new iPad. It’s similar to the iPad 2 in terms of form at 9.4mm thick, but a bold new frontier as far as specs go. What are we looking at here? For a start, there’s that display: just as predicted, the resolution has been bumped up to Retina Display status. That’s 3.1 million pixels – 64 per inch. That’s more than your HD TV.
That means full HD video at 1080p and stunningly crisp visuals a la the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. “You are going to see graphics, text, icons, sharper than you can imagine,” said Apple’s Phil Schiller.
Not only that, but all of the relevant apps (Safari, Pictures, etc.) have been scaled up to Retina Display standards. Developers needn’t worry: the new iPad scales up existing apps – especially text – to a decent Retina standard.
Next the insides. Apple’s seen fit to gift the new iPad the leaked A5X processor. That’s a dual-core number with quad-core graphics. It’s a big step up from the iPad 2s A4 dual-core processor, and provides far greater graphical powers and monstrously faster speeds. How much faster? Four times faster than the Tegra 3 chip.
Apple showed off a bunch of apps that let you really push that A5X chip to the limit, including a new, console-quality Infinity Blade title. Makers Epic Games said of the tablet: ”the Unreal engine is unleashing the power of the new iPad for unparalleled character detail and environments. This new device has more memory and a higher resolution than an Xbox 360 or a PS3.” Wow.
On top of that there’s what Apple’s calling the iSight camera: essentially the same 5-megapixel number that’s found in the iPhone 4S. Apple’s now named the cam to distinguish a standard, where you’re ‘happy to use it as your daily camera’. That comes with 1080p video recording, by the way.
There’s also voice dictation (but no Siri) and 4G LTE where available with hotspot sharing. The battery life is the same (at 10 hours) as the iPad 2, as is the price: £399 for the 16GB model, . Oh, and there’s a physical home button, still.
All in all, very, very impressive. Apple’s tied this into a new, streamlined and full HD Apple TV, which means you can load up your movies and music to the cloud and have your entire media content library synced in glorious 1080p.
UPDATE: Vodafone and Three have both said they will stock the new iPad in due course.
All that can be yours from March 16th – Apple’s fastest rollout ever, it says. Is this the iPad you were hoping for? Let us know below…