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Apple event reveals truly resolutionary new iPad

- March 8th, 2012

iPad_HandHero_PRINT

Today’s Apple event went off without a hitch and as expected Apple unveiled a new 3rd generation iPad; they’ve also updated Apple TV as well as a number of their flagship applications like iPhoto, GarageBand and iWork suite.

While in the past Steve Jobs called Apple’s latest and greatest revolutionary, this time, the release is of the new iPad is being referred to by the company as somewhat “resolutionary.”  Hoping to add to the 15.4 million iPads shipped in Q4 of 2011, the main feature, totally expected, is its new high resolution high-definition Retina display. Its 9.7” 3.1 million-pixel display boasts a resolution of 2048 x 1536 at 264 pixels per inch with a million more pixels than an HDTV and 44% better color saturation than before.

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A5X Processor & 5MP Camera

The iPad’s power has also been bumped up with the new A5X processor, clock speed unknown, featuring quad-core graphics. The iSight camera has been upgraded to 5 megapixels from the current 0.7mp. Like the iPhone 4s the camera features backside illumination, video image stabilization, face detection, autofocus and white balance and will capture 1080P HD video. This makes it a serious contender, although it may look silly holding it up to compete in the point and shoot market.

Compared to its predecessor, it’s minutely thicker at 9.4 mm thin and adds a tad of weight to tip the scale at a respectable 1.4lbs.

The new iPad also features voice dictation, although Siri, Apple’s voice enabled personal assistant found on the iPhone 4S, was not mentioned in the rollout.

Although like the 4S, there is a microphone enable key on the virtual keyboard to allow you to take notes, write messages and search the web. It’s also designed to work with third-party apps so you can put out Tweets or update your Facebook status without typing.

4G LTE

As we had hoped, the new iPad features ultrafast 4G LTE (73Mbps) compared to iPad 2 (3.1Mbps on EV-DO & 7.2 on HSPA).  Apple said specifically that this high-speed feature is available through AT&T and Verizon in the U.S., and in Canada through Telus, Rogers and Bell, the country’s largest carriers. And if your carrier or plan supports it, you can set up a Personal Hotspot with your iPad and share your connection with 5 other devices over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB.

The iPad will still maintain its 10 hours of battery life and should even last   9 hours when running on 4G. My guess is that they’ve upped the internal battery’s capacity to maintain this.

What’s in a name?

Throughout the presentation, everyone waited patiently to hear what this revolutionary device would be called. In the end, it wasn’t iPad HD or iPad 3; Apple’s 3rd generation tablet referred to as the new iPad is simply called iPad – much to everyone’s surprise.

Apple iOS is also been upgraded to 5.1 to support the new iPad. It includes a new Camera app, the ability to delete photos from your Photo Stream and it supports dictation in English, French, German and Japanese.

Same Price

The new iPad Wi-Fi models will be available in black or white for $519 (CAD) for 16GB, $619 (CAD) for 32GB and $719 (CAD) for the 64GB model. iPad Wi-Fi + 4G will sell for $649 (CAD) for 16GB, $749 (CAD) for 32GB and $849 (CAD) for 64GB model – same as the iPad 2 was.

The new iPad will ship on March 16th in Canada, as well as Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and the US with a number of other countries following on March 23rd. Pre-orders start today.

With respect to the iPad 2, looks like it’s still going to be around at least for a while with the 16 GB Wi-Fi model dropping $100 to $ 419 (CAD) and the Wi-Fi + 3G to $549 (CAD).

Apple TV 1080p

Apple also announced today an upgrade to Apple TV. The new version of the puck inspired box will feature 1080p programming with a simpler and refined user interface and you’ll even be able to access your purchases right via iCloud.  Apple TV will ship Mar 16th and will retail for $109 (CAD). It requires iTunes 10.5.  If you already own a second-generation Apple TV you can get the new user interface free now through a software update.

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Upgraded Apps

To go along with the new iPad Apple introduced the new iPhoto for iPad and iPhone as well as updates to iMovie and GarageBand. iPhoto has been majorly updated allowing you to use multi-touch features and simple gestures to sort through and work with all of your photos and even retouch enhance and edit the finest details of selected portions of your photos with your finger.

GarageBand adds Jam Session, which allows multiple users to wirelessly connect devices together and play and record music simultaneously. Another new feature is  Smart Strings allowing you emulate a string orchestra with one finger. Note Editor will allow you to adjust a touch instrument recording without having to start playing all over. iPhoto, iMovie 1.3 and GarageBand 1.2 are available now for $4.99 CDN. The iWork suite has been updated to take advantage of the HF features. Price per app remains at $9.99.

So, how soon will you be getting the new iPad?

 

Greg Gazin is the Real Canadian Gadget Guy.

Follow me on Twitter @gadgetgreg.

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4 comments

  1. John Blaze | March 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Me go get it. I already got it

  2. Alex | March 9, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    The resolution war has begun, although useless… Since the resolution of the Ipad is greater than that of any video playback device or service such as youtube (1080p) being the highest resolution currently broadcast, the Ipad will have to upscale the videos that are played back and cause artifacts on screen.

    There is no real benefit unless videos are specifically made to be played on the Ipad (hd)

    games and apps will have to be updated to even have any benefits.

    Also you represented the resolution inaccurately, the screen size is the same, SO the image is basically just cramped with more pixels not stretched out, the image on the other hand due to the resolution will be stretched (causes artifacts) to accommodate the resolution.

    This is a huge gimmick of a product to be selling at above 500 for even just 16gb of space.

  3. Jack | March 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Alex, technically your comment is not completely correct. High quality images are taken with an optical low pass to eliminate moire. Because of that, there are not 100% sharp edges generally. To that end, upscaling can be a mathematically perfect algorithm that does not create artifacts.

    Unless, of course, the image is artificially generated … i.e. text in which case it will have artifacts.

  4. jag | March 10, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Aside from the issues you guys mentioned, my issue would be the size of a 1080P video file. If you have a 1080P 2 hour movie, that’s like 6 gig minimum? So even with a 64gig Ipad HD you can only put 9 movies max?

    I think Apple should have introduced at 128gb Ipad…

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