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New iPad sees Apple tablet go high-definition

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Apple has today announced the next generation of the iPad, featuring a high-resolution screen, 4G connectivity, a faster processor and a better camera.

The company, which shifted a staggering 15.4m iPads in the fourth quarter of last year (more products than any other PC manufacturer), unveiled the new tablet at a major launch event in San Francisco.

Despite speculation that we would see the iPad 3 or iPad HD today, Apple has simply introduced what it calls the "new iPad".

New iPad

© Apple



The headline feature is that the 9.7-inch screen has a new high-definition 'Retina Display' at an impressive 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution, a big increase on iPad 2's 1024 x 768. The new iPad supports 264 pixels per inch on its HD display, which is more than the human eye can individually distinguish.

At the launch, Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller said the screen has 'over a million' more pixels than an average HD television, adding: "Images just pop out. They are so much more colourful and richer in their detail."

As expected, Apple showed off the new high resolution display via a series of graphics-focused apps, including a design package called Sketchbook Ink and Epic Games' new game, Infinity Blade: Dungeons.

New iPad (third generation)

© Apple

New iPad (third generation)

© Apple



> New iPad launch: Features and updates in pictures

Apple's productivity apps, Keynote, Pages and Numbers, are all being updated to take advantage of the new iPad's Retina display, while iMovie has been given more advanced editing tools to support the HD video capabilities.

Popular music making service GarageBand has been updated for the new iPad, and image editing tool iPhoto has been introduced to the tablet.


The higher resolution display requires more power, and so Apple has fitted the tablet with the new dual core A5X chip, which boasts four times the performance of the iPad 2's A5 chip.

The new iPad also comes with an improved 5-megapixel iSight camera built in, better than the much maligned 2MP snapper in the iPad 2. Video recording is now in full HD 1080p resolution, and the camera has image stabilisation and temporal noise reduction.

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new iPad

© PA Images / Paul Sakuma/AP



Apple has further announced that the new iPad will come in a 4G LTE model, supporting super fast speeds of up to 73mbps, which will provide a big boost for things like video streaming and high definition gaming.

In the US there will be two different versions available on AT&T and Verizon. A new Personal Hotspot in the tablet enables users to share the fast network connection with up to five other devices using WiFi, Bluetooth or USB.

Ofcom is to run a major auction of 4G mobile spectrum later this year, but the services are unfortunately not expected to become available in the UK until 2013 at the earliest.

The new iPad is slightly thicker and slightly heavier than its predecessor, going up from 8.8mm to 9.4mm, and from 1.3lb to 1.4lb respectively. It will have the same battery life as the iPad 2 - 10 hours on normal running, or nine hours on 4G.

New iPad (third generation)

© Apple

New iPad (third generation)

© Apple



The new iPad will come with iOS 5.1, an update to Apple's operating system which rolled out today and brings various new features, including support for voice assistant Siri in Japanese.

Another nice feature is that the keyboard in the new iPad now has a microphone icon, enabling users to have their words transcribed automatically by the system. All punctuation needs to be said for the system to include it, such as 'comma' and 'full stop'.

Apple said that pre-orders for the new iPad will start today and the product will go on sale in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and Japan on Friday, March 16.

Pricing will be the same as for the iPad 2 across WiFi and WiFi/3G models in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models. The WiFi/4G model will start at £499 for the 16GB version.

Also today, Apple confirmed that the iPad 2 price will drop to £329 for the 16GB WiFi model and £429 for the 16GB WiFi/3G model.

> Apple TV updated to support HD movie streaming
> 'Infinity Blade: Dungeons' revealed for new iPad by Epic Games


Scroll through a gallery of the new iPad launch below:

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