Apple held its iPad event today in San Francisco, just as planned, and showed the world the new iPad. The new tablet is the same size as the old, 9.7" screen, but it is sporting a new Retina Display with a 2048x1536 resolution. The new screen has a 264ppi and improved color saturation, so it should look even better than the old. Powering the whole thing is the new A5X processor and quad-core graphics chip, which Apple says is four times as powerful as NVIDIA's Tegra 3. I think we will just have to wait for comparisons before that debate is settled, as I am sure NVIDIA will have a thing or two to say about it. The new iPad has an iSight camera, similar to the one on the iPhone 4S, but this one is just five megapixels. It has a backside illuminated sensor with a five element lens and is capable of shooting 1080p video.
Apple is pulling a cue from Google and Android by including a dictation key next to the keyboard. That key will allow you to speak instead of type your messages, and it should come in handy for longer messages. The new iPad can act as a WiFi hotspot depending on carrier restrictions, but if you are thinking you are limited to 3G speeds, you would be wrong. The new iPad is packing a 4G LTE radio that will work on both Verizon and AT&T, with Apple claiming speeds of up to 73Mbps being supported. There is also a 21Mbps HSPA+ modem for those not wanting to spring for an LTE model. Outside of the US, Bell, Rogers, and Telus will have 4G versions to run on each company's network, so international users should be set.
Apple says the new iPad can deliver 10 hours of battery life on WiFi and nine hours on LTE, which that last one will be impressive if true. The tablet weighs in at 1.4 pounds and has a thickness of 9.4mm. The new iPad will come in 16, 32, and 64GB capacities, priced between $499 and $829, and will be available on March 16th in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and Australia. Other countries will get it on March 23rd.