The media invitations are out and the countdown has begun – 6 days left. The next-gen iPad, dubbed iPad 3, is expected to be unveiled by Apple on March 7 at a special media event in San Francisco. The event will take place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts – the same place where the previous models of iPad were introduced. Expectations are high among Apple fans, about iPad 3’s features, and everyone is anxious to catch a glimpse of the product that has grabbed all the online media attention for the past few weeks.

However, as always, Apple is keeping tightlipped, allowing the excitement and anticipation to build up to a fever pitch. But for those who can’t be patient, here’s a rundown of features we expect iPad 3 to boast of (and not boast of).

Retina Display

Apple is using Retina Display in iPhone, which is much superior to Super AMOLED Plus and LCD2 screens. The new iPad will home a 9.7-inch screen (same as iPad 2) with a resolution of 2048x1536 pixels. It doubles the resolution of iPad 2, making it the best ever screen in any electronic product released by date.

Quad-core processor

A4 processor in the original iPad, A5 in iPad 2 and now… Apple will be certain to fit A6 processor chip in iPad 3. There are rumors that Apple can also release a low-spec iPad 3 with A5X processor (dual-core) chip. Apple has been testing both these chips (A6 & A5X) on iPad 3 to know that which one suits best. The winner can be either of these. So the processor being used in iPad 3 can either be quad-core (new) or dual-core (improvised version of A5). However, we’re betting on Apple powering iPad 3 with a quad-core processor.

4G LTE connectivity

3G technology is not new anymore and unable to satisfy the users’ hunger of bandwidth. Competitive mobile devices like Android smartphones/tablets and Windows Mango phones are coming with 4G compatibility. In order to remain in competition, the next iPad needs to be LTE-enabled.

Better camera

Apple iPad 2 is not meant to be used as camera. And this is where the rival tablets beat Apple. The upcoming iPad will likely have 5- or 8-megapixel camera capable of shooting 1080p videos. The camera module is expected to be same as in iPhone 4S. The front facing camera in iPad 3 will also record HD videos – 720p or 1080p.

Siri – the Virtual Assistant

Siri is a key spec in iPhone 4S and it is also expected in iPad 3. Apple fans will be disappointed if Apple doesn’t include it in the upcoming iPad. The voice assistant found in iPhone 4S is a beta version of Siri. In iPad 3, Siri will be more powerful as Apple is expected to add more features to the previous version.

More expensive

Apple dominates tablet market and releasing a low-end device is not in its blood. For a high-end device, buyers have to pay more. In this regard, iPad 3 will cost you more than iPad 2. The device is expected to cost $70-$80 more than its predecessor as it will boast of significant hardware and software advancements.

Same design but thicker

The 9.7-inch screen will remain unchanged in iPad 3. But rumors are high that Apple is working on a relatively small-screen iPad named iPad Mini. The casing of iPad 3 (images leaked online) may be thicker than before, to pack a bigger battery that can hold up juice for a long time. However, the new tablet is expected to be thicker by a mere 0.8-1.5mm.

No 30-pin connector

It is rumored that Apple is getting rid of the old 30-pin connector, which is found in every Apple mobile product (iPod/iPhone/iPad). The reason behind it can be to save some more space or to adopt another fast connectivity method. Apple may use the microUSB technology or some another alternative to 30-pin connector, possibly a micro dock connector.

What are your expectations from iPad 3? Leave your comments below.

(Reported by Johnny Wills, Edited by Surojit Chatterjee)

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