Today, at a press conference at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Apple has announced a new iPad, new Apple TV and a new version of iOS.
The new iPad is a huge upgrade over the iPad 2. The new iPad will, as expected, come with a Retina display. In this case, the resolution is 2048×1536. This places the pixel density at around 264 ppi, which Apple considers a retina display (viewing distance is larger for the iPad, so it is more forgiving than the iPhone). The iPad will also have 40% greater color saturation than the iPad 2. The iPad also comes with the new A5X chipset. The A5X has added quad-core Graphics (note: this is not a quad-core CPU, but a quad-core GPU). This means that the iPad will be capable of some pretty ridiculous graphics. The iPad will also have a new iSight Camera, so the front facing camera will be able to record at a higher resolution. As expected, the iPad will also gain a 5MP rear camera with the same features as the iPhone 4S camera (5-lenses, auto exposure, and auto-focus). The rear camera will also be capable of recording 1080p video with automatic image stabilization and noise reduction. The iPad will also ship with Voice Dictation, note this is NOT Siri, a bit of a surprise, since it has been out on the iPhone 4S for 6 months or so. With this release, Siri (and yes, Voice Dictation) is also getting a bit of an improvement, as it is now available in Japan. This update will ship with iOS 5.1 also to be released today. The new iPad will also come with 4G connectivity, note this is not fake -4G like AT&T and T-mobile have been pitching, but Actual LTE. LTE will be from Verizon and AT&T (as well as Bell, Rogers, and Telus for you Canadians) and will still be at the same price points as 3G data currently is for the iPad 2. Due to the non-conformity of LTE, there will still have to be separate iPads for AT&T and Verizon, kinda sucky, but each version will support all other protocols (HSPA, HSDPA, etc). The iPad is now capable of being used as a personal hotspot, assuming your carrier supports it. Even with all of these seemingly power-hungry features, the iPad will still retain the same 10 hour battery life on Wi-fi, and 9 on 4G. The iPad will also fall at the same price points, $499 for 16gb, $599 for 32gb, and $699 for 64gb. For the 4G version, there is the same $130 surcharge, and pre-orders start today! For those looking to wait in line (as I probably will) the ship date is March 16th. Apple has also dropped the price of the 16 gb iPad 2 by $100 and will keep it on-sale.
Apple has also announced a new Apple TV. The new Apple TV will support 1080p, as rumored, and has a new more iOS-Like interface.The interface looks very interesting, Almost like a combo of the current interface and the iPod Nano. In order to properly tie-in the new Apple TV, iTunes in the cloud will also now support movies (in 1080p no-less). The new Apple TV will retain the same price-point of $99 and will be available next week with pre-orders going live today.
Thanks, Engadget and The Verge for their Live-blogs