Bare Facts: What’s new for iPad 3

Here’s a quick and dirty list of what’s new for Apple’s third-generation tablet:

1. Retina Display — Resolution high enough that your eyes can’t discern pixels from a foot away.

2. A5X Processor — A dual-core chip with quad-core graphics processing.

3. “iSight” 5-Megapixel Camera — 20401536 resolution. This was a serious weakness in iPad 2, and iPad 1 had no camera at all.

4. LTE 4G — For faster broadband performance.

5. 1080p HD video recording

6. Haptic Feedback — Physical vibration feedback, similar to what’s found on some smartphones or Cadillac’s CUE system.

7. Dictation — Take voice memos or post messages without using the on-screen keyboard. This was previously available through third-party apps like Dragon Dictation.

8. Mobile Hotspot — Connect your iPad to as many as five devices with wifi, bluetooth, or USB to share its data connection.


What is NOT new or improved:

1. iOS 5.1 — Same as before.

2. Slightly thicker and heavier — 0.11 lbs additional heft

3. The name — Officially, the third iPad is not called iPad 3. It’s called “the new iPad.”

4. The price — Starts at $499

5. Battery life — Expect 8-10 hours just like before.

6. Front-facing Facetime camera

7. Size — Still 9.5 x 7.31 inches

8. Display size — 9.7 inches with no iPad Mini planned

9. Storage — Still 16, 32, or 64GB with no external card slot

The price of iPad 2 drops to $399.

Is it revolutionary? No, but the new iPad is quite evolved. Modern iOS, Blackberry, and Android tablets are more capable than ever, but I still find myself bringing my traditional IBM Thinkpad on longer trips.

Worthwhile alternatives:
Blackberry Playbook
Asus Transformer Prime
Kindle Fire
Samsung Galaxy Tab

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