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Apple unveils the iPad 3

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March 7, 2012

Apple's new iPad3 goes on sale March 16

Apple's new iPad3 goes on sale March 16

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Apple's anxiously-awaited third generation iPad was introduced in San Francisco today, with a host of upgrades and additions including a bright new Retina display driven by an A5X chip with quad-core graphics, a 5-megapixel iSight camera and now, full 1080p HD video capture capability. With both Wi-Fi-only and 4G models, the new iPad 3 can connect to numerous speedy networks such as the 4G LTEs offered by AT&T and Verizon, and it still offers up to 10 hours of battery life.

The iPad 3's new Retina display boasts 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution (four times the number offered by iPad 2 screens and more than a million greater than HD TV offers). At 264 pixels per inch (ppi), the density is so great our eyes are unable to discern individual pixels when viewed from a normal distance. The result? Video, images, web pages and text appear especially sharp and realistic. A 44 percent increase in color saturation also enhances the viewing experience - Apple says the display simply looks deeper, richer and more vivid than that offered by previous models. With its now full 1080p HD video resolution, viewing movies on the iPad 3 is also appreciably improved.

The new iPad3 will be available in black or white
The new iPad3 will be available in black or white

To augment the Retina display's functionality, Apple designed its new A5X chip with double the graphics performance of the previous A5. This welcome upgrade better balances performance and power efficiency to ensure a smoother response from the Multi-Touch interface, while improving immersive gameplay and still offering all-day battery life.

Grabbing great video and stills will be noticeably easier with the new image-stabilized 5-megapixel iSight camera. Its advanced optics, coupled with backside illumination, will allow decent imaging, even in low-light conditions. Budding photogs can also use the newly announced iPhoto for iPad app to edit, enhance and share still shots with others - which is likely to take a bite out of Adobe's sales of its recently released PhotoShop Touch app.

To make the iPad 3 more "world ready," its Wi-Fi + 4G with built-in next-gen 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) offers enhanced support for rapid networks globally, including HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) - however Australians should note that the iPad 3 isn't compatible with Telstra's 4G network. Additionally, both CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) iPad users now have access to international roaming.

Boosted upload and download speeds are designed to make short work of pulling down graphics-heavy websites and emails with large attachments. With an optional supporting data plan, a feature called Personal Hotspot can be used to connect up to 5 other devices with your iPad via fast network connections using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB.

With iOS 5.1, which Apple claims to be the "world's most advanced mobile operating system," the iPad 3 sports a number of new functions and improvements: a reconfigured Camera app with a video stabilizer; support for English, French, German and Japanese dictation; compatibility with numerous iCloud services e.g. iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud; and extensive updates to iMovie, GarageBand and iPhoto to name a few.

In iPhoto, Multi-Touch will allow the easy sorting of photos and image retouching using fingertip brushes and iCloud photo journal sharing. In iMovie, you'll now be able to generate Hollywood-style trailers while recording HD video, and GarageBand will now come with a feature called Jam Session, which will allow a group of friends to play instruments and record music live while wirelessly connected on their iOS devices. Additionally, the iPad 3 can run almost every one of the 585,000 apps sold by the App Store, which adds an incredible amount of functionality to its already appreciable capability.

The bigger internal battery in the new iPad also results in slightly different dimensions and weight compared to the previous models. The Wi-Fi model weighs 652 g (1.44 lb) and the Wi-Fi + 4G 662 g (1.46 lb), compared to the iPad 2's 601 g (1.33 lb) to 607 g (1.34 lb). Dimension-wise it is 9.4 mm (0.37 in) thick to the iPad 2's 8.8 mm (0.34 in) - meaning anyone upgrading might also have to shell out for a new case, which is sure to please the hordes of third party case manufacturers. However, the width and height of the device are the same as the iPad 2, so Apple's Smart Cover and many slide in folio-style cases will also work fine with the iPad 3.

In all, there appears to be quite a lot to like in this new iteration of what, to some folks, in only two years, has already become an essential device for connected living. It's safe to assume that Apple will continue to grab a major share of the tablet market with their stylish and capable new iPad 3.

Pricing and Availability Info:

Beginning March 16, the new black and white iPads, still thin and light, will go for US$499 (16GB), $599 (32GB) and $699 for the 64GB model. Starting today, March 7, the iPad 2 drops to a more affordable $399 for those who can somehow resist that urge to acquire the latest and greatest.

For Wi-Fi + 4G equipped models (either AT+T or Verizon), suggested retail is $629 (16GB), $729 (32GB) and $829 for the 64GB model. The iPad 3 will also be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and the US Virgin Islands on Friday, March 16.

Source: Apple

About the Author
Randolph Jonsson A native San Franciscan, Randolph attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland before finding his way to the film business. Eventually, he landed a job at George Lucas' Industrial Light + Magic, where he worked on many top-grossing films in both the camera and computer graphics departments. A proud member of MENSA, he's passionate about technology, optimal health, photography, marine biology, writing, world travel and the occasional, well-crafted gin and tonic!   All articles by Randolph Jonsson
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12 Comments

All are good improvements, but disappointed by increased weight and thickness.

Vladimir Popov
7th March, 2012 @ 04:27 pm PST

Agreed Vladimir. since I bought the iPad 2 I've been left slightly disappointed with my purchase due to the lack of support for flash for IOS. This coupled with fact that you have to use iTunes completely turned me off ever buying a new iPad. Moral of the story? Buy the Samsung, and experience what most pc users will agree as normal external device management via windows explorer.

Ross Jenkins
7th March, 2012 @ 05:20 pm PST

Extra weight? Saves me a gym membership. Let's do it.

Lumen
8th March, 2012 @ 12:25 am PST

How can Apple advertise the iPad as 4G in Australia if it doesn't work on the 4G network. Surely they are in breach of advertising and consumer laws. Is it ethical to advertise something you don't deliver?

TallBloke
8th March, 2012 @ 01:49 am PST

No Thanks. Still be like living in a walled garden....not enough of my OWN choices.

Anthony N Di Wood
8th March, 2012 @ 04:19 am PST

Cigarette smoking went up by 50% three minutes after the IPad 3 was released...

JoeB
8th March, 2012 @ 04:33 am PST

Truly a (personal) disappointment to justifying purchasing this half-upgraded tablet. Asus Prime 700T is still looking 'prime to purchase'... as I can live with the lesser pixel count for more independent use and convenience of not being tied to iTunes. No Siri, no quad processor, no decent camera(s)... spells WAIT FOR the New iPad (4)... but money is going on Asus for the purchase. Android tablets were just allow to catch up, their next renditions will have the same or equal display, Apple offers nothing more that the Androids can't match. IMHO Either way, I have to learn Android or Apple... Android it is. TOTALLY DISAPPOINTED IN APPLE. They won't be counting my money in their inflated revenues this year... :(

Brent Eagleson
8th March, 2012 @ 08:39 am PST

Why are some people so obsessed about the size and weight?. Most end up putting it in a case which increases the thickness anyway, and it's not like you could fit it in your pocket to begin with! and if you can't handle a few extra grams in your hand then I suggest you go to the gym and man up.

D-Shift
8th March, 2012 @ 08:58 am PST

So far there is no mention of it being an "iPad 3". The Apple store only refers to it as "The new iPad". Which makes me wonder if the next iteration of this device will be called something complete different.

dpark76
8th March, 2012 @ 12:50 pm PST

as soon as they doubled the resolution (which quadrupled the number of pixels), they gave the graphics subsystem 4 x the workload to do.

So it's a bit of a concern they only doubled the graphics performance of the chip.

Any any extra chip performance is likely to consume more power, hence the need for a bigger battery (screen will pull more juice as well).

hence the thicker and heavier unit. Still weighs not much though.

Adrien
8th March, 2012 @ 04:04 pm PST

The new ipad sounds sexy but I'd reserve full judgement until I can get all hands on with it.

O-J McMinn
8th March, 2012 @ 10:46 pm PST

I so want one...and this article is making me want it even more. I'm also bummed that the glad that it weighs more...I wonder if the specs are the same regardless? I got hooked up with an iMainGo XP from work and have been using it with my iPad2 to watch movies and tv shows. I want to be able to still use it. I may wait a few months and see how things shake out. But, great and thorough coverage. Thanks! :)

Alex Winter
10th March, 2012 @ 05:22 pm PST
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