The main point of the march 7th event was of course the announcement of the iPad 3. As always the rumour mills were working overtime right until the event took place, with numerous speculations of the specifications of the device. Ultimately Apple improved on the areas that were lacking from the iPad 2 in order to further keep the distance between their rivals but as to not break the winning formula that they had already achieved.
Firstly the main upgrade is the inclusion of a Retina display. The resolution of the display is 2048x1536 with 3.1 million pixels and 264 ppi. This means that for the size of the device the iPad 3 screen has a better display that some HD TV’s. In fact the display had such a high resolution that Apple had to use a different screen from the one they were presenting on because the resolution wasn’t high enough to fully showcase the new Retina display.
Rumours speculated that the A6 chip will be announced, however Apple announced the A5X which would mean that the upcoming iPhone 5 will no doubt bring in the A6 chip. The A5X processor has a quad-core graphics chip in order to bring out all those pixels on the gorgeous Retina display. To give you an idea of the speed of this new chip the A5 in the iPad 2 was twice as fast as Tegra 2 chips which are notably used in Android tablets. The A5X chip will be four times faster meaning Apple’s competitors are again playing catch up for the next year at least.
Another improvement from the iPad 2 is that of the camera, basically they have included an iSight camera with the same performance of the iPhone 4S. It has a 5 mega-pixel backside illuminated sensor and five element lens. The IR filter, auto-exposure and auto-focus all help in taking great photos in any lighting conditions. Video recording in 1080p and software stabilization software all help to capture great looking videos.
The last major improvement is that of the iPad 3’s connectivity. The iPad 2 on 3G reached speeds of 3.1mbps. The iPad 3 is able to reach speed of 21mbps on HSPA & HSPA+, 42mbps on DC-HSDPA and an amazing 73mbps on 4G LTE. Unfortunately currently the UK government is stalling on the 4G implementation and therefore those of us in the UK will not be able to fully take advantage of these top speeds at the moment. Hopefully by the end of this year we should start to see more 4G implementation from our networks.
Again the iPad 3 can be used all over the world with the inclusion of two mobile antennas tuned to 12 different bands, allowing for online access where ever you may travel to. The iPad 3 can now be used as a personnel hotspot allowing other devices to use it’s connection, this is dependent on whether your particular network allows it however. This is the most connected device in terms of wireless bands to be ever shipped allowing for a truly global product.
So with the inclusion of the Retina display, faster processor, better camera and all those wireless band, one could assume that battery would suffer. Incredibly Apple has maintained the same great battery performance from the iPad 2 even with those improvements. The iPad 3 has ten hours of battery life from standard usage and 9 hours of battery life from 4G usage.
The iPad 3 retains is sleek design with it being only 1mm thicker than its predecessor, which in fairness you wouldn’t notice. The weight is slightly gone up with the iPad 3 weighing in at 652g for the WI-Fi only model and 662g for WI-FI + 4G. Compared to the iPad 2 there is an increase of 50g on each model, again nothing that would be greatly noticeable.
So the price, typically Apple retains the prices of their new devices from their previous models and again this is what they have done.
16GB 32GB 64GB
£399 £479 £559
WI-FI + 4G
16GB 32GB 64GB
£499 £579 £659
Pre-orders opened from the 7th March so click here to get more info.
So the only question left is are you going to buy one? I certainly will be upgrading from my iPad 2 and getting myself the 3. Leave your comments below if you are going to purchase one or not, if yes, then which model are you going for.