Apple took the veils off its new tablet at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco in the presence of select few and called the holy grail “New iPad.” The new iPad comes packed with robust specs and some pretty cool upgrades that could help Apple maintain a solid lead over competitors in the tablet space for quite some time.
However, not everything about the new iPad is something to write home about. Here’s a quick rundown of what we expected from the new Apple tablet and what we actually got.
Retina Display with New Touchscreen Technology
Many reports are pointing to an iPad 3 with a Retina display that doubles the available pixel resolution on the iPad 2. This would be an incredible amount of pixels, more than what is needed to show 1080p HD videos. Other manufacturers are popping out tablets with high resolution HD displays, Apple might not want to, but it has no choice in the matter.
The latest buzz was also that Apple may include an emerging tactile technology developed by touchscreen interface solutions provider Senseg. Unlike general touchscreens, Senseg haptic touchscreens come alive with textures, contours and edges that users can feel. Perhaps, that’s why the media invite reads, “And touch.”
What we got: Apple dished out a tablet that comes with 2048x1536 pixels resolution. This is a crazy amount of pixels in a 9.7-inch device. It means the new iPad has more pixels than your HDTV has. However, no new touchscreen technology whatsoever. We still wonder what the “And touch” in the media invite stood for.
Quad Core Processor
We haven’t seen the true potential of dual core processors due to many applications failing to take full advantage of it. Nonetheless, quad core processors are turning up to replace the dual core chips at the high end section of the market. We expect Apple to follow suit with an A6 Quad Core processor, but there could be a chance that Apple might stick to dual cores due to meager battery gains or none at all.
What we got: The new iPad packs an A5X quad core chip. Not A6. We aren’t grumbling because the new iPad will offer a faster performance.
Rumors of the next Apple iPad jumping the gun with a 12-megapixel camera might just be just that, a rumor. A better guess is to expect the same 8-megapixel camera found in the iPhone 4S. Remember, the iPad is too big to be used as a camera replacement. The iPhone 5 on the other hand could come packed with a 12-megapixel camera instead.
What we got: Apple introduced iSight in the new iPad. The new tablet boasts of 5-megapixel camera that uses the same optics sensor as iPhone 4S. Add full HD 1080p video recording capability, autofocus and face detection features and you’ve got yourself a tablet that would tempt you to lock away your pocket digital camera for a long time to come.
Will the next iPad come with 4G support? Yes. Would it be 4G LTE? No. LTE chips are not battery life friendly enough for Apple to jump in, and the fact that not many consumers are using 4G LTE makes for another good reason why Apple wouldn’t see it as a good investment just yet.
What we got: 4G LTE finally comes to iPad, making it the first device from Apple to run on the super-fast 4G network. According to Apple’s Phillip Schiller, the new iPad will work with Verizon, AT&T, Rogers, Bell and Telus. And where there’s no 4G coverage, the iPad will automatically switch to 3G.
Of course, Siri will be onboard. It’s Apple’s new love child that is taking the world by storm, months after its first outing on the iPhone 4S. Siri on the next iPad could be an updated version that is geared towards fixing current problems.
What we got: No Siri in the new iPad. Perhaps Apple is waiting for Siri to get out of its beta form?
The new iPad will also pack iOS 5.1 and 4G will not kill the battery. The battery life in the new iPad remains the same as in iPad 2 – 10 hours (9 hours on 4G).
The price of the new iPad, which comes in black and white color options, starts at $499 (it means no price hike). Pre-orders began on Wednesday and the new tablet will hit stores on March 16. Apple also decided to continue production of iPad 2, whose price has been slashed by $100 (across the board). Perhaps an indication that Apple is taking the threat from Kindle Fire and BlackBerry Playbook seriously?
(Reported by Vamien McKalin, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)
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