By Oliver Libaw | Digital Crave
Wednesday, adding more power, an optional 4G Internet connection, and a supersharp HD display, but keeping the overall look and feel of the previous model.
|Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple iPad event. (Getty Images)|
High-Resolution Retina Display
As expected, the new iPad features a screen with roughly twice the resolution of the iPad 2. The Retina display, as Apple calls it, first debuted in the iPhone 4 and quickly drew raves for its crisp, detailed images. The iPad's 2048x1536 display makes it the first Apple tablet able to show movies in full HD.
|Apple's Phil Schiller senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing speaks about the new iPad during an Apple event in San Francisco, California March 7, 2012. (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)|
The new device also has an A5X processor with quad-core graphics.
Speedy 4G Internet Connection
Apple is offering a 4G connection through both AT&T and Verizon on its new iPad. It's the first Apple device to feature the fast wireless technology.
Battery Life, Size and Weight
The new device can run for 10 hours, said Apple Vice President Phil Schiller. It will last nine hours when on 4G. It weighs 1.4 pounds, and is 9.4 mm thick.
Pricing and Release Date
The new iPad is available in several models. A basic 16GB model costs $499. 32GB is $599 and 64GB is $699. Models with 4G connections cost $629, $729 and $829, respectively.
It will be available March 16, Cook said.
Apple TV Upgrade Also Unveiled
Apple also showed off a new version of its Apple TV device, which lets users stream audio and video from iTunes. The new gadget has an improved interface and supports 1080p resolution for full HD video. The price remains the same at $99.
Tablet Competition Heating up
The iPad dominates the hot tablet market, but it's facing increased competition. A report by Forrester Research estimated the iPad had 73 percent of the tablet market as of last September. But that was before Amazon's hot-selling $199 Kindle Fire debuted. The market research firm iSuppli estimates Amazon shipped 3.9 million Kindle Fires in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with 15.4 million iPads shipped by Apple.
There are other challengers, too. Microsoft is preparing a touchscreen-friendly new version of Windows that will further blur the lines between a tablet and traditional computer. And Samsung, Asus, Toshiba, and others continue to improve tablets running the Android operating system, though none of the devices has caught fire the way the iPad has.
With a gorgeous new display and other improvements, the new iPad may be enough to keep Apple's hot streak alive.