The third-generation iPad, or “new iPad” as Apple is currently calling it, is a solid upgrade from its predecessor, the iPad 2. Since its March 7th release, the new iPad has received almost universal approval. According to one survey by ChangeWave Research, 98 percent of owners have been either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their purchase.
Prior to the launch, speculation regarding its anticipated features was rampant. While some suggestions proved to be mere fantasy, several key features were introduced into the new iPad. The five features most widely mentioned include:
1. Retina Display.
At a resolution of 2048 x 1536, the display is simply stunning. The high definition display incorporating a total of 3.1 million pixels—four times more than the iPad 2—provides the highest resolution currently available in any mobile device, even exceeding that of HDTVs.
2. 4G LTE.
As with the iPad 2, you can choose between a Wi-Fi-only model or one capable of connecting to cellular networks. The new iPad, however, steps it up by providing access to 4G LTE networks. Now you can browse, stream, and download faster than ever. Furthermore, your iPad can be used to create a hotspot for up to five other devices. Be aware, however, that your data plan provider will ultimately determine whether you can benefit from this improvement and to what extent.
3. Rear-facing iSight Camera.
The same 5 megapixel digital camera that Apple included in the iPhone 4S has now been incorporated into the iPad. The built-in illumination sensor will, according to Apple, allow you to take “great-looking pictures whether by sunlight or candlelight”. To make taking quality photos even easier, the camera is equipped with facial recognition, autofocus, and “tap to focus” tools. The camera is also capable of full HD (1080p) digital video recording—a step up from the 720p video capability of the iPad 2. (Note that the front-facing camera remains unchanged from the 0.3 megapixel version installed in the iPad 2.)
4. A5X Processor.
The new iPad is equipped with a dual-core processor with quad-core graphics processing capability, which means the processing speed has been increased significantly. In particular, this is good news for those who play graphic-intensive gaming apps and who use the iPad to view movies and television shows.
5. 10 Hour Battery Life.
Yes, the iPad 2 also boasted a 10-hour battery life. However, considering the power increase required by the graphic, cellular, and processing features, maintaining the battery life at 10 hours actually signals a remarkable improvement in battery capacity. While the result is that some users (11 percent) have reported a noticeable increase in heat, Apple assures that—while the battery may run hotter than in the previous generations—it remains within safety limits.
The new iPad is still, well, new. However, early signs indicate that users are very satisfied with its new and improved features. Even so, it won’t be long before speculation turns to the anticipated features in the fourth generation iPad.