The new iPad delivers impressive bells and whistles
March 12, 2012
by Mark Ollig

Just before Apple’s presentation began last Wednesday, I briefly imagined a smiling Steve Jobs walking out onto the stage, wearing his characteristic blue jeans and celebrated black turtleneck shirt, triumphantly holding in his left hand Apple’s newest iPad.

His presence was noticeably missed last week.

Apple’s new iPad announcement was made at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco.

This is the same location where Apple unveiled the original iPad and iPad 2.

It has been almost two years (April 3, 2010), since the first Apple iPad was released to the public.

The iPad 2 came out on March 11, 2011.

Days before last week’s official announcement, new iPad name rumors were being bandied about on Twitter, tech blogs, and social networking sites.

Folks were suggesting the new iPad would be called the iPad 3 or iPad HD.

None of these guesses were right.

Apple is simply calling it “The new iPad.”

Last Wednesday, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, took the stage and began his presentation about this latest iPad computing device.

One major improvement in the new iPad is the use of Retina display technology, which Apple originally introduced on the iPhone 4.

The Retina display provides an amazingly crisp and clear resolution of the icons, text, video, photos, paintings, and graphics on the display screen of the new iPad.

The new iPad 9.7-inch LED-back-lit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display has an incredible 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution. It uses IPS (in-plane switching) technology, which provides quick response times, and better viewing angles.

There are 264 pixels per inch in the new iPad display screen.

This amounts to a remarkable 3.1 million total pixels on the new iPad display screen – which is the most of any mobile device out there.

This improved resolution amounts to having four times as many pixels as on the iPad 2, which means a dramatic improvement will be seen when reading printed text. The text fonts will be much easier on the eyes, and the clarity and sharpness of the text will look as if one was reading it from a newspaper or magazine.

There will be noticeable improvements when watching movies, surfing the Web, reading emails, and looking at photographs using the new iPad versus the iPad 2.

“When you hold this [the new iPad] at a normal distance, in this case 15 inches or even closer, your retina in your eye cannot discern those individual pixels,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of product marketing.

Inside the new iPad is Apple’s powerful dual-core A5X custom-designed chip with quad-core graphics, which was specifically designed to assist in operating the Retina display and video stabilization.

Improved features of this new iPad include an iSight camera with 5-megapixel backside illuminated sensor, 5-element lens, autofocus, auto exposure, autoface detection, and a tap-to-focus optical system.

There is also advanced optics using an IR (Infrared) filter.

The new iPad will record video in HD (High Definition) 1080p resolution using video stabilization.

Apple’s FaceTime camera used for video calling is built-into the new iPad.

The new iPad will operate over Wi-Fi, and AT&T and Verizon 4G LTE networks.

Apple’s new iPad can also be used as a personal Internet- sharing “hotspot” providing Wi-Fi networking for up to five other computing devices.

The one feature that is not included on the new iPad (which I was hoping would be) is the intelligent, digital personal assistant called Siri – currently used on the iPhone 4S.

I look for Siri to be available in next year’s iPad model.

The new iPad does have voice dictation which performs speech to text conversion for note taking and email.

Over 112 million Americans – one-third of the US population – will own a computing tablet by 2016, according to a new Forrester Research report.

Apple, of course, dominates the current “tablet wars” with its iPod and iPad computing devices.

During the Apple presentation, Tim Cook repeatedly mentioned how we are living in a post-PC world, saying “Apple has its feet firmly planted in the post-PC future.”

Post-PC tablet devices such as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad are, in fact, beginning to replace traditionally-used mobile laptop computing devices.

In 2011, Apple sold 172 million post-PC devices, which represented 76 percent of Apple’s revenues for last year.

Not only does Apple dominate computing hardware sales with its tablet devices, it just went over 25 billion in downloaded user software apps.

Right now the computing tablet business is hot, and computing devices like the iPad will continue in its popularity and will become commonly used for entertainment, education, and as one of our personal and business “computing tools.”

Cook stated there were over 100 competing computing tablets introduced into the market in 2011.

Apple’s new iPad models are priced at $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, and $699 for 64GB.

A quote written in a Jan. 28 column by Tony Bradley of PC World was displayed on the large screen used during the Apple presentation. It said, “The iPad is so ubiquitous, and so entwined in mainstream culture already, that it is hard to imagine a time without it.”

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