alaTest Takes a Sneak Peek at the iPad 3
As rumor would have it, Apple will be announcing the iPad 3 (possibly named iPad 2S or iPad HD) on Wednesday, March 7th. Since that’s just around the corner, we thought you might want to know just what the iPad 3 is expected to offer over its predecessors.
The Display: iPad goes Retina
The iPad’s most lacking feature has always been its low resolution 1024×768 display. In the original iPad, people didn’t mind, but after seeing the Retina display of the iPhone 4, people were expecting a major screen upgrade for the iPad 2 – they were disappointed.
The whole point to Apple’s Retina display is the idea that the pixels are so densely packed, that you cannot see them at a normal viewing distance with the naked eye. Apple controversially claims that this effect is achieved with pixel densities greater than 300ppi. Researchers of the field insist this number is closer to 477ppi; however, the iPhone 4’s display sports 326ppi, and they’re no denying that it is an amazing display.
And now it’s the iPad’s turn to don the retina cap. So far, there is no solid information as to what resolution the iPad 3 will have, but all signs are pointing to 2048×1536. For the 9.7-inch form factor, this would mean a pixel density of only 263ppi, so it’s uncertain if Apple will actually call it a retina display. Still, that resolution is considerably higher than the closest competitor, the Asus Transformer Prime HD which only has a 1920×1080 resolution.
The next big upgrade is the processor. The iPad 3 will feature Apple’s A5x processor. Not much is known about the A5x, but reports are hinting that it will be a dual-core processor, much like the A5 found in the iPad 2. Of course, this doesn’t mean it won’t be faster. We’ve seen how Qualcomm’s dual-core Snapdragon S4 can keep up with quad-core devices already.
The A5x is also expected to have a significantly improved graphics core, necessary for driving the high-resolution display. Newer architecture will also help improve performance as well as battery life. It may also have 1GB of RAM, a trend in mobile computing that Apple has yet to catch up with, preferring to stick with 512MB for its previous processors.
Connectivity: iOS finally sees 4G
Up until now, all of Apple’s cellular data devices have been limited to 3G only (including the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S). The iPad 3 will not only be getting 4G, but full 4G LTE. Rumor has it that an LTE-enabled iPad 3 will be launching on both AT&T and Verizon.
The Software: iOS 5.1 with Siri
Owners of the iPad 2 have felt betrayed by Apple’s refusal to allow Siri voice recognition support. Fortunately, the iPad 3 will be completely Siri enabled. Unfortunately, it’s looking like those with the iPad 2 will have to upgrade if they want Siri at their disposal.
Design and other goodies
According to reports, the iPad 3 will look almost identical to the iPad 2. This comes as little surprise, considering Apple’s usual design trends. What is surprising is the fact that the iPad 3 will be a bit thicker than the iPad 2. This is likely to allow for a larger battery, necessary for powering the higher resolution display.
It’s also expected that the iPad 3 will feature the same 8MP rear camera found in the iPhone 4S. Reports also claim that the front facing camera will be receiving an upgrade to HD status. Whether that means 1080p or 720p is uncertain. Either way, it will allow for Face Time HD video chatting, similar to the new MacBooks.
And that’s the bulk of it. Will you be upgrading to the iPad 3?