With the rumored upcoming release of the Apple's newest tech toy, the iPad 3, speculations about the devices features have been cluttering cyber space. The third generation tablet is said to slam rivals such as Amazon's Kindle Fire and Blackberry's Playbook. Although product information isn't confirmed, here's a roundup of the latest rumors and educated guesses that you might not have heard yet.

1.The iPad 3 might not be the only tablet released by the electronics company this year. According to a report from PC Advisor, a second smaller, more affordable iPad boasting a 7-inch screen may also be launched in 2012. The device would cost $299, and would be considered the affordable iPad, compared to other releases. To put it as an analogy, this rumored tinier gadget could be to iPads what netbooks are to laptops.

2. Could the iPad 3 actually be the iPad 2S? There is no hard evidence supporting this claim, but a writer at ZDNet.com brought up a very interesting point. Apple's recent pattern shows that the iPad 2 just might be followed by the iPad 2S. After all, the iPhone 3G was succeeded by the 3GS, and the iPhone 4 was followed by the iPhone 4S.

3.The upcoming tablet will be thicker than its predecessor-but with good reason. The iPad 3 is rumored to be 1-1.5 mm thicker than the iPad 2, primarily because it will be sporting a decent amount of new hardware. A high resolution Retina Display and an A5X processor are among the additions.

4. Despite its slight bulkiness, the new piece of technology will be visually appealing. According to PC World, the iPad 3's resolution is said to be four times as sharp as the previous model. When comparing the iPad 3 display to one from the iPad 2 under a microscope, the difference in resolutions becomes readily apparent, with the iPad 3 display's pixels appearing to be one-quarter the size of those on the iPad 2, reported MacRumors.

5. Although basically the same, the iPad 3 shell will contain some minor differences from the previous generation tablet, reported PC Advisor. Arnold Kim from the MacRumors forum said the shell should look familiar as it seems to be the same part we previously published. However, he also added that that the improved lighting of the device reveals the more subtle changes.

With the Apple rumor mill hard at work, there is sure to be more updates and revelations before the new device is released. The iPad 3 is said to be currently in production, as iPhone 5 news blog writer Michale Nace wrote that critical parts of the iPad 3 are being produced and assembled, making a March release date believeable.

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