The New iPad
After months of rumors, speculation, and endless reports from the likes of the Wall Street Journal, the new iPad has finally been unveiled. Everyone was expecting an iPad 3, or iPad HD, or possibly an iPad 2S, but the name is simply "iPad".
Dimensions and Differences
While the new iPad looks nearly identical to the iPad 2, there are a few physical differences. This new model is 9.4mm thick, while last year's model was "only" 8.8mm. The new iPad is also a bit heavier: 1.44 pounds (or 1.46 for the 4G version) as opposed to 1.33 pounds. All in all, not much of a difference; if you put the two devices next to each other, you probably wouldn't notice the differences at first glance.
iPad Side View
A view from the side, showing how similar the new iPad is to its older brother.
New iPad, Same Design
It's thicker and heavier, but the new iPad still has an aluminum back, speaker grill in the bottom corner, and a camera in the upper-left. The camera is in the same place, but it's all new; a 5 MP sensor with some of the same optics you'll find on the iPhone 4S. The button layout is the same as the iPad 2.
The Retina Display
Perhaps the worst-kept secret in tech over the last few months, the Retina Display is coming to the new iPad. The screen size is still 9.7 inches, but there's a new 2048x1536 panel, which makes for over 3.1 million pixels and a ppi (pixels per inch) count of 264.
iPad 2 and New iPad Text Comparison
It's hard to tell in this image, but text will look dramatically sharper on the new iPad. This screen has four times as many pixels as the iPad 2 display, so everything is going to look sharper, crisper, and downright gorgeous.
The iPad's A5X Chip
There's no A6 chip in this new iPad; instead it's called the A5X. Speed specifics are TBA for now, but it's an SoC (system on a chip) with a dual-core CPU and quad-core GPU.
Verizon and AT&T 4G LTE
The new iPad is a 4G LTE device, and there will be models for both Verizon and AT&T. This isn't "fake" HSPA+ 4G service, so you can expect real-world upload and download speeds in excess of 30 Mbps.
Included Apps on the iPad
As far as apps are concerned, here's what comes on the iPad right out of the box.
Models, Pricing and Availability
Similar to the iPad 2, there are three storage options for the new iPad: 16, 32 and 64 GB. On top of that, you can choose between WiFi-only and 4G+WiFi models. Verizon and AT&T are both signed on with the new iPad, so you can choose between the two for LTE service. All six models will be available next week on March 16th.
iPad Voice Dictation
Siri is not making an appearance on the new iPad...yet. That could come in a software update (like iOS 5.2 or 6.0), but if you want to talk with the robot, you'll need an iPhone 4S. The new iPad does have a dictation function, however, so whatever you say can be saved as text on the tablet.
New iPhoto for the iPad
A new iPad and updated operating system (iOS 5.1) means some new apps are on the way! Apple retooled its iPhoto app, and it looks like some serious photo editing software is coming this way. One touch editing and brushes galore are already making this app a favorite amongst those who followed the announcements this morning.
iPhoto on a MacBook Pro
The new iPhoto running on a MacBook Pro.
GarageBand for the new iPad
GarageBand is also getting a facelift. While it was already available for the iPad 2, this updated version allows up to four iPads to connect wirelessly to collaborate on music, and there's iCloud functionality built-in.
Apple iOS 5.1
All of the iLife apps are being updated with iOS 5.1, including iPhoto, iWork, and iMovie. iWork is simply being updated for the Retina Display, while iMovie gets trailer creation and storyboards, and iPhoto is a wholly new app for the device.
AirPlay and the new iPad
Apple is making a big push with AirPlay, so you'll be able to stream content from your iPad to your TV via compatible hardware (like the Apple TV).
The New 1080p Apple TV
Speaking of Apple TV, a new 1080p model goes on sale on March 16th for $99. This iOS-powered device has a 1080p interface, and it can play 1080p content. Goodbye 720p!
The new iPad, Apple TV and AirPlay
Streaming content form your iPhone or iPad to your TV, via AirPlay and Apple TV.