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4G iPad Debuts with Faster Processor, Improved Display

third-generation iPad
The Apple 4G iPad retains the familiar look and feel of previous-generation iPads.

Apple formally took the wraps off the new iPad Wednesday morning. The third generation of Apple's popular tablet device incorporates a speedier A5X processor, 4G LTE support, and a higher-resolution Retina display.

Among the iPad's new features are a speedier A5X processor, a dual-core system on a chip that offers a quad-core GPU. The previous-generation iPad 2, which will continue to be sold alongside the "new" model, is built around a dual-core A5 chip operating at 1 GHz.

The 4G iPad also sports a significantly improved display. The 4G iPad's Retina display, like that of the iPhone 4S, offers a pixel density of 264 PPI, with a total resolution of 2,048 x 1,526--four times the total pixels of the iPad 2's XGA display, which had a pixel density of 132 PPI.

Other hardware features in the 4G iPad include:

  • New support for 4G LTE, with continued support for 3G and Edge;
  • 10-hour battery life (same as the previous model) or nine hours when running 4G;
  • Hotspot support (where supported by the carrier);
  • A back camera capable of capturing 5 megapixel still images and 1080p HD video at 30 FPS;
  • A front-facing, VGA-resolution camera;
  • Support for Bluetooth 4.0; and
  • Support for 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi.

Also at the event today, Apple made some software announcements, including the launch of iPhoto for iPad ($4.99), incorporating several features not currently available in the desktop version, such as editing brushes; iOS 5.1; an upgraded version of iWork an iLife apps for iPad; new features in iCloud; and some upgrades to iTunes.

Apple also launched a new version of the Apple TV, an update to the company's smart set-top box that now includes 1080p support and an updated UI. It will be available March 16 for $99.

The 4G iPad is expected to ship March 16 for $499 for the base 16 GB WiFi model. The 32 GB and 64 GB WiFi models will sell for $599 and $699, respectively. The base 4G model will start at $629 for the 16 GB version. The 32 GB and 64 GB 4G models will sell for $729 and $829, respectively. Preorders are available now. The iPad 2 will continue to be sold and will start at $399 for the WiFi version, $529 for the 3G version.

Additional details about the third-generation iPad can be found on Apple's education portal. Details about educational pricing can be found at the Apple Store for Education.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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