After weeks of speculation Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the new iPad in San Francisco overnight, which features a higher resolution display, a powerful A5X chip for improved graphics performance and super-fast 4G connectivity.
The third generation of the tablet device, dubbed “the new iPad” by Apple, will be available in Australia on Friday 16 March, in either black or white.
It features a new retina display that delivers four times the number of pixels of the iPad 2 as well as a 5-megapixel iSight camera. It’s slightly thicker than the iPad 2, measuring in at 9.4mm compared with the iPad 2’s 8.8mm, but this is being attributed to its new HD display.
According to Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller, the device 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.”
For business users, the new iPad has built-in next generation 4G LTE connectivity, which supports fast networks worldwide including HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA. This improved network connectivity will mean faster download and upload speeds, allowing for quicker loading of web pages and faster sending of emails, especially with large attachments.
At this stage however, the new iPad LTE 4G chip only supports the 700MHz and 2100MHz frequencies, and as no local LTE networks use this frequency, the 4G model will be restricted to HSPA+ performance.
The new iPad also features dictation, allowing users to use their voice to record messages, take notes or search the web, which the software then coverts into text. The Dictation software also works with third-party apps, allowing users to update Facebook statuses, tweet, or write Instagram captions.
Apple will launch 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models of the new iPad. The Wi-Fi model starts at $A539 for 16GB, $A649 for the 32GB model and $A759 for the 64GB.
For Wi-Fi + 4G models, the 16GB will be priced at $A679, the 32GB at $A789 and the 64GB at $A899.
The iPad 2 will be sold alongside the new iPad, with a price reduction. The 16GB Wi-Fi model will set you back $429 and the Wi-Fi + 3G model will cost $569.