Features of Apple’s New iPad

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Apple's New iPad
Apple's New iPad

The new 9.7-inch Apple  iPad has 2048 x 1536-pixel retina display, 5-megapixel camera (with the same optics sensor from the iPhone 4S) and 1080p video recording. It is available March 16 in black and white, powered by A5X chip (with quad-core graphics) and supports 4G LTE networks. It’s 9.4 millimeters thick and 1.4 pounds.

Wi-Fi only iPads cost $499 for 16 GB, $599 32 GB and $699 for 64 GB, while 4G versions cost $629 for 16 GB, $729 32 GB and $829 for 64 GB. Pre-orders started, and the devices will be in stores March 16 in these 10 countries: U.S., UK, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.

Retina Display:

Four times more pixels than iPad 2. Razor-sharp text. Richer colors. The Retina display transforms the entire iPad experience. So everything looks and feels incredibly lifelike and perfectly detailed.

The most touted feature of the new iPad is its ultra-high-resolution “retina” display, which clocks in at 2,048 x 1,536 pixels — a million more pixels than a 1080p HDTV. Thanks to the extra pixels and the iPad’s new graphics processor, the screen has 44% better color saturation. The screen’s pixels are so small, Apple says it had to change the design of the LCD itself to elevate the pixels above the circuitry to prevent distortion. Apple calls it the best display ever made for a mobile device, and — from the specs — it’s hard to disagree.

A5X Processor:

To drive those millions of pixels in the retina display with the same fluidity of previous iPads, the new model features an upgraded processor, called the A5X. It’s a dual-core processor, though it features quad-core graphics. Full specs aren’t known yet, but benchmarks and teardowns revealed the previous A5 chip (found in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2) was a 1GHz processor. The new one is likely somewhere between 1 and 1.5 GHz.

iSight Camera:

Apple upgraded the iPad’s camera to capture 5-megapixel still pictures and 1080p video (at 30 frames per second), though that’s still less than the iPhone 4S’s 8MP camera. However, megapixels aren’t the most important thing about a camera. The backside-illuminated sensor, large f/2.4 aperture and automatic image stabilization will improve the quality of your photos and videos, especially in low light. However, the front-facing camera got no love, remaining at VGA resolution.

4G LTE:

Apple is working on two LTE versions of the iPad with AT&T and Verizon in the U.S., as well as Rogers, Telus and Bell in Canada. Both LTE U.S. models will be 3G ready, too.

Dictation:

There’s no Siri on board the new iPad, but Apple added a dictation option, accessible via a dedicated button on the virtual keyboard. You can use the new dictation feature to send a text message, search the web or write a note. Apple says it’ll even work with third-party apps, letting you tweet or post to Facebook just by speaking.

AirPlay Video Streaming at 1080p:

Apple upgraded the iPad’s ability to use AirPlay streaming — that is, transmitting video to the Apple TV wirelessly — to 1080p. That makes complete sense, since the Apple TV just got an upgrade to 1080p. This doesn’t appear to be complete mirroring, however, since Apple specifies that “AirPlay Mirroring” is only done at 720p (as opposed to “AirPlay video streaming”). Both the iPad and the iPad 2 will mirror to the new Apple TV at 1080p resolution over a hard-wire connection.

Bluetooth 4.0:

Upgrading the iPad to Bluetooth 4.0 is helpful in a number of ways. Thanks to its ability to work with the newer low-power Bluetooth devices, it’ll allow accessory manufacturers to build things like keyboards that you won’t need to recharge for months or even years. Bluetooth 4.0 will also let the iPad interact with wearable devices like medical sensors, gathering data like heartbeat or blood sugar level and relaying it to medical personnel when needed.

Much Bigger Battery:

All these great new features — especially the retina display — demand more power, yet the new iPad has the exact same battery life as the previous model. That’s because it has a brand-new battery, rated at 42.5 watt-hours, almost double the previous model’s 25 watt-hours. It appears, though, Apple hasn’t had a breakthrough in battery storage, since leaks prior to the event showed the battery is simply physically much larger.

Camera:

The new iPad features Apple’s 5-megapixel iSight camera. Designed with advanced optics, it lets you shoot gorgeous photos and 1080p HD video.

Thicker Design:

Because of all the new radios, layers and gizmos in the latest iPad, it’s actually bigger than before. The new iPad is 0.37 inches thick, or 0.03 inches thicker than the iPad 2, which was 0.34 inches. It’s heavier, too: 1.44 pounds to 1.33 before. The bigger design apparently doesn’t affect Smart Covers, and it’s still smaller than the first iPad, which was 0.5 inches thick and 1.5 pounds. Still, the heftier new iPad is interesting proof that Apple will compromise on design for performance — albeit only slightly.

iPhoto Features:

iPhoto on the iPad features smart browsing, multi-touch editing, professional quality effects, brushes, photo beaming and photo journals.

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