Apple has finally launched its new iPad and we know what you are thinking, 'didn't they already do that a couple of years back'. The thing is, instead of naming the new device iPad 3 or iPad 2S or even iPad HD (like many predicted), the company decided to simply call it 'The new iPad'. But enough on the name, let's have a look at what is new in the device that the company claims is the 'poster child of the post-PC world'.
In terms of look and feel, the Tablet is almost identical to its older brother, the iPad 2. But the difference lies in its thickness and weight; the new iPad is slightly thicker (0.6mm) and a little heavier (51grams) than its predecessor.
The Tablet has a 9.7 inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch high-resolution Retina display with IPS technology and it has a pixel resolution of 2048x1536 at 264 pixels per inch (ppi). The Retina display is the high point of the device since it has four times the number of pixels in the iPad 2 and a million more than an HDTV, so you can expect razor-sharp text, richer colours and everything to be perfectly detailed. The company has already gone ahead and said that the new iPad's display is the best display ever on a mobile device.
"The new iPad redefines the category Apple created less than two years ago. It now 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," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
It runs on Apple's iOS 5.1 (the latest update to the iOS 5) and offers a number of new features and enhancements that include; a redesigned camera app with video stabilization technology; the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream; support for dictation in English, French, German and Japanese; Personal Hotspot; and it works seamlessly with iCloud. It is powered by Apple's new dual-core (yes no Quad-core here) A5X chip with quad-core graphics and according to the company, it will deliver a fast, responsive user experience while supporting the incredible Retina display. Also, with double the graphics performance of the A5 chip, it will provide a balance between performance and power efficiency. Users have the option of selecting between models with 16, 32 and 64GB of internal memory (unfortunately no 128GB model).
The Tablet comes with a new 5 megapixel iSight autofocus rear camera with tap to focus and face detection in still images. It can also record full high definition videos (1080p) up to 30 frames per second (fps). A front facing FaceTime camera with VGA-quality photos and video at up to 30 fps has also been provided in the device. On the connectivity front, the Tablet has Bluetooth v4.0, Wi-Fi and it also comes with 4G LTE (at least the rumours were right about something), so expect amazing speeds. Also, Apple promises the same battery life of 10 hours on Wi-Fi and up to 9 hours on 4G for the Tablet, which is amazing considering it comes with the new Retina display.
The new iPad also supports dictation, so users can tap the microphone icon on the keyboard (similar to the one in the iPhone 4S) and then say whatever they want typed and iPad converts their words into text. Dictation can be used to write messages, take notes, search the web, among others, and it also works with third-party apps. Apple also introduced the iPhoto app, along with major updates to iMovie and GarageBand, hence completing its suite of iLife apps for iOS. iLife and the iWork apps, Pages, Keynote and Numbers, have all been updated to take advantage of the new iPad Retina display.
The price of the Tablet in the US will be $499.00 (16GB), $599.00 (32GB) and $699.00 (64GB) for the Wi-Fi only model and $629.00 (16GB), $729.00 (32GB) and $829.00 (64GB) for the Wi-Fi+4G model (basically the same prices at which the iPad 2 was available earlier). The 16GB model of the iPad 2 is also available for purchase with a reduced price tag of $399 for the Wi-Fi model and $529 for the Wi-Fi+3G model.
The Tablet will come in black and white colours and it is available for pre-order on Apple's website, but with a March 16 delivery date. The new iPad will also be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and the US Virgin Islands from March 16. Unfortunately, as of now there is no mention of an Indian launch date and price, but considering the fact that the iPad 2 was available in the Indian market within a month of its US launch, we can be optimistic about its early availability in the country.