Apple Unveils 4G iPad, Updates Apple TV

Apple took the wraps off its third-generation iPad during a debut event on Wednesday.

The new iPad boasts a faster A5X processor, new 4G LTE support and a higher-resolution "Retina" display.

The A5X processor is a dual-core system on a chip that works with a quad-core GPU. The previous-generation iPad 2, which will continue to be sold alongside the "new" model, is built around a dual-core A5 chip operating at 1 GHz.

third-generation iPad
The Apple 4G iPad retains the familiar look and feel of previous-generation iPads. (Source: Apple)

The 4G iPad also sports a significantly improved display. The 4G iPad's Retina display, like that of the iPhone 4S, offers a pixel density of 264 PPI, with a total resolution of 2,048 x 1,526 -- four times the total pixels of the iPad 2's XGA display, which had a pixel density of 132 PPI.

Other hardware features in the 4G iPad include:

  • New support for 4G LTE, with continued support for 3G and Edge;
  • 10-hour battery life (same as the previous model) or nine hours when running 4G;
  • Hotspot support (where supported by the carrier);
  • A back camera capable of capturing 5 megapixel still images and 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second;
  • A front-facing, VGA-resolution camera;
  • Support for Bluetooth 4.0; and
  • Support for 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.

Also at the event, Apple made some software announcements, including the launch of iPhoto for iPad ($4.99), incorporating several features not currently available in the desktop version, such as editing brushes; iOS 5.1; an upgraded version of iWork an iLife apps for iPad; new features in iCloud; and some upgrades to iTunes.

Apple also launched a new version of the Apple TV, an update to the company's smart set-top box that now includes 1080p support and an updated UI. It will be available March 16 for $99.

The 4G iPad is expected to ship March 16 for $499 for the base 16 GB Wi-Fi model. The 32 GB and 64 GB Wi-Fi models will sell for $599 and $699, respectively. The base 4G model will start at $629 for the 16 GB version. The 32 GB and 64 GB 4G models will sell for $729 and $829, respectively. Preorders are available now. The iPad 2 will continue to be sold and will start at $399 for the Wi-Fi version, and $529 for the 3G version.

Additional details about the third-generation iPad can be found on Apple's education portal.

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About the Author

Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters.