Apple Unveils iPad 3 Featuring High-Res Retina Screen and 4G Wireless

10:54 AM PST 03/07/2012 by Andy Lewis

The new model goes on sale March 16, along with an upgraded Apple TV that can display 1080p.

Apple today announced the iPad 3, the third generation of its popular tablet computer.  Apple is officially calling it the “New iPad” to distinguish it from the iPad 2.

The new model features an updated display with a higher resolution "retina" screen, similar to the one found on the iPhone 4S. The new display features a resolution of 2048x1536 pixels (higher than a 1080p TV at 1920x1080).

The iPad 3 also features a faster A5X processor to produce better graphics. Mobile users will be excited to see the inclusion of 4G LTE cellular technology, which offers much faster mobile downloads. Battery life remains the same as the iPad 2: 10 hours in standard, nine with 4G enabled.

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The iPad 3 also features a higher-powered 5-megapixel camera with advanced optics to allow similar quality pictures as the iPhone 4S and can record 1080p video.

Apple also added voice-recognition technology, similar to Siri on the iPhone 4S, allowing voice dictation of documents.

To the naked eye, the new iPad looks just like the iPad 2. But closer examination shows it is slightly thicker, to handle a bigger battery, and the sides are slightly more tapered.

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Pricing for the iPad with Wi-Fi remains unchanged at $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for 32GB and $699 for 64GB. Models with 4G are priced at $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB.

Apple is keeping a low-end 16GB Wi-Fi version of the iPad 2 for $399, a $100 price drop from existing models, and a Wi-Fi+3G version for $529.

Apple also introduced an updated Apple TV, which now features the ability to display full 1080p HD content.  

The Apple TV also features a new and more advanced interface that more closely resembles that found on the iPhone and iPad. Additionally, the Apple TV supports iCloud, allowing users to stream movies, TV and music directly from their cloud storage to their TV without an intermediary computer or iPad. 

The Apple TV will be available March 16. The price remains $99.

In his speech, Apple CEO Tim Cook emphasized the "post-PC world" and touted the iPod, iPhone and iPad as being the leading edge of that transition.

"A revolutionary device that defined a whole new category," he said. "In many ways, it's reinventing portable and outstripping the wildest of predictions. Any company would be thrilled to have just one of these devices. … We sold more iPads in the last quarter of last year than any PC maker sold of their PCs."

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