Wednesday, March 7, 2012

HappeningNow: The 3rd Generation iPad (iPad HD)

The new iPad is here. Apple's new tablet computer has arrived and its ultra-sharp 2048 x 1536 pixel Retina display is enough to set it apart from anyone else. It's almost like looking at a glossy magazine page.
It also has much more powerful guts, with a much faster processor, graphics and more memory. And it's 4G ready.

Retina display

The Retina display looks gorgeous. The screen has a 264 pixels per inch density. That's a total 3.1 million pixels in a full color IPS screen. The image color seems a lot better too. They say it has 44 percent more saturation than the previous IPS technology they were using.
Apple claims that it is still a Retina display because, when you held it at a normal distance, you just can't see the pixels. That distance is 15 inches. For the iPhone, which has a smaller screen, it is 10 inches. I can't wait to test this thing with all my comics (I wonder if Marvel will have to upload them all again).
The demonstrated it running a new version of Autodesk Sketchbook Ink, a new painting app that is vector-based and resolution independent. It actually seems like you are painting on a real page.

Processor and graphics power

The processor is an A5X, which includes a quad-core graphics module. It's going to need all that graphics muscle if it has to push 3.1 million pixels.
According to Apple, it's twice as fast as a Tegra 3 and has "four times" the graphics performance.

New camera

The new iPad has a new camera on the back. It has a 5-megapixel side-iluminated sensor, with 5-element lens and an infrared filter. It's basically the same configuration of the iPhone 4S.

1080p video recording

The camera is also capable of capturing 1080p video, which obviously looks razor sharp on the iPad's display. The video, like the iPhone 4S, is also stabilized.
Apple says it has temporal noise reduction, which is a rather clever technique that greatly reduces the noise of video by comparing what pixels actually move and guessing what is noise and what is actual detail.


The new iPad's operating system offers a new microphone button, which will allow you to dictate emails, presumably using Siri technology. No mention of actual Siri assitance.

4G LTE connectivity

Apple says the new 4G LTE connectivity will give you 21Mbps on HSPA+ networks, 42Mbps on DC-HSDPA and 73Mbps on LTE. Of course, these speeds are theoretical. It will run on both AT&T and Verizon networks. According to Phil Schiller, the new model "has the most wireless bands that has ever shipped."

Memory and other guts

Apple is not mentioning actual specifications for the guts of the machine, but it's pretty clear that the memory—not the storage, but RAM used for running the OS and the applications—has increased too, if only to handle the new resolution.
Mike Capps, from Epic Games, says that it has more memory than an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3. Presumably, his comment refers to graphics memory. We will know soon how much this is exactly.

Physical specifications

Surprisingly, they have kept the package practically just the same as the previous version: only 0.03 inches thicker than the iPad 2 at 0.37 inches (9.4 millimeters). The weight it only 1.5 pounds.

Launch date

You will be able to get it on March 16, but the preorder starts today. It will be available in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia on the same day.
The price is $499, $599 and $699 for 16, 32, and 64GB. If you want 4G LTE, you will have to spend $629, $729, and $829.



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