Apple debuted the next generation of the iPad, which sports 2048 x 1536 pixels in super high resolution “Retina” display that’s four times that of its predecessors. Offering more than 1 million pixels more than an HD TV, the 9.7 inch screen features 3.1 million pixels with a 44 percent color resolution, according to Apple. The device runs on a 4G LGE wireless data connection.
At the recent Apple event at which the new iPad was the main attraction, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced the company had sold 172 million “post-PC” devices, which include the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, and accounted for 76 percent of the its revenues in the fourth quarter of 2011. In fact, Apple sold more iPads alone in the fourth quarter of 2011 than any individual PC manufacturer sold of PC devices in the fourth quarter.
“Apple has its strengths in the post-PC future,” Cook said. “It plays to our strengths. It’s what we love to do.
“We’ve taken it to a whole new level and are redefining the category that Apple created with the original iPad,” Cook added.
The iPad’s new display was referred to as a Retina display because the eye cannot make out the pixels when the iPad is held away at a normal distance, Cook claimed.
To handle the quadruple sizing in pixels, the new iPad carries Apple’s newest chip, the A5X processor, that provides double the graphics as the predecessor, along with a quad-core graphics system. The iPad 2 carried an A5 chip.
The new iPad supports wireless data standards of data speeds up to 73 Mbps. It supports networks HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA, as did its predecessor, but it also supports CDMA and GSM, and has an easier ability to roam internationally. Apple claims this will enable faster download and upload speeds.
The Personal Hotspot feature on the new iPad enables connection with up to five other devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB.
The new iPad also includes a 5 megapixel iSight camera on the back that features auto face detection, auto exposure lock, and auto focus lock. It records video at full HD resolution. The camera can also stabilize images and reduce recording noise. The device also supports a microphone on the bottom that enables dictation in English, French, German, and Japanese.
Despite the increased power of its display and improved processing power, the new device also has the same battery life of its predecessor, about 10 hours on WiFi, and nine hours on LTE.
The new iPad did gain a little weight, up to 1.4 lbs vs. 1.33 lbs, but whose going to notice? It’s also slightly thicker at 9.4 mm vs. 8.8 mm.
Storage space remains the same, as does pricing. WiFi only versions can be had at $499 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB, and 699 for 64GB. Ipads that have both 4G and WiFi support will cost $629 for a 16GB model, $729 for 32GB, and $829 for 64GB, available March 16 with preorders today.
Meanwhile, Apple will sell its iPad 2 at a bargain starting at $399 for its 16GB model, which puts it close to Android tablets like the Asus Transformer and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. Selling outmoded models for a bargain is an interesting strategy by Apple to compete against knockoffs. Even their old hand-me downs are better than the competition.
Apple also released the latest version of Apple TV, which supports 1080 pixels of full HD resolution, up from the previous 720. The device will integrate into Apple’s iCloud, which now has 100 million subscribers, and features TV shows from Apple’s partners the day after they air, similar to competitor Hulu, The new Apple TV will be available next week for $99.