The new iPad: Everything you need to know

Apple has announced the new iPad, still known as the iPad or the next-generation iPad, but we suspect many will be calling it the iPad 3. The new Apple iPad was unveiled by Apple CEO Tim Cook at a press event in San Francisco with a live simulcast in London, making what he claimed were "amazing improvements" to their tablet.

We've pulled together all the information into one place, a one-stop shop for your Apple iPad 3 news, so if there's a detail you're looking for, we've got you covered.

New iPad release date UK

It has been confirmed that the iPad release date in the UK is Friday 16 March. You can expect to queue for it and you can expect shortages in stock. We'll be bringing you all the details of where you can get it from once it goes on sale.

New iPad pre-orders will be starting today (7 March) on the Apple Store website and you can expect iPad deals from networks selling the 3G version. Three have announced that they will be stocking the new iPad, but no details on their prices just yet, we suspect it will be similar to iPad 2 prices, with various data deals.

New iPad Retina display

As rumours suggested, the new Apple iPad bumps up the resolution drastically. The iPad 2 offered you a resolution of 1024 x 768, a pixel density of 132ppi. It was suited to the job and not that far different from the majority of other tablets out there. 

But Apple isn't one to sit still, especially with HD displays becoming commonplace on a wide range of mobile devices. The iPad HD screen is still an 9.7-inch IPS display, but the resolution is 2048 x 1536, giving you a pixel density of 264ppi. That means it's incredibly sharp and detailed, cutting down on the need to zoom to see finer print and so on. Apple also claim 44 per cent great colour saturation than previously.

You can see how the new iPad stacks up against the iPad 2 right here and see more examples of the new iPad Retina display here.

New iPad camera

As expected, the new iPad camera has been improved over the iPad 2. You'll now get Full HD 1080p video capture from that rear camera. It features a 5-megapixel backside illuminated sensor, using the same optics and the iPhone 4S, but with a lower resolution. Apple is calling it the iSight camera, as it has done in the past. iOS 5.1 brings software stabilisation to the camera.

On the front is the FaceTime camera, with VGA (640 x 480) quality video.

iPad Wi-Fi, iPad Wi-Fi + 4G

There are two versions of the new iPad. The iPad Wi-Fi and the iPad Wi-Fi + 4G. LTE on the new iPad will be available on supporting networks. The hardware will support HSPA+, DC-HSDPA and LTE, so you get a wide range of mobile bands to use. The new iPad will be 3G ready world-wide and ready to roam, says Apple.

You'll also be able to create a personal hotspot using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB, as long as your network supports it.

New iPad processor

Many assumed that the new iPad would come with a quad-core A6 processor. That isn't the case. Instead you'll find an A5X SoC processor, which Apple claims provides "quad-core graphics", whatever that might be. It has been designed to support the high-resolution Retina display and is said to offer double the graphics performance of the A5 chip.

New iPad battery life

Surprisingly, Apple claims that the battery life of the new iPad is as good as the iPad 2, which was impressive at 10 hours of realistic life. You'll get the same in the new iPad, and Apple says you'll get 9 hours on mobile data, which is pretty impressive.

New iPad size and weight

The new Apple iPad measures 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4mm and keeps the design of the iPad 2, but expanding the 8.8mm of the previous Wi-Fi version to 9.4mm. Both the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 4G are the same dimensions, the Wi-Fi weight now sits at 652g, the Wi-Fi + 4G is 662g, both heavier than the previous 601g.

New iPad apps

There are currently more than 200,000 apps designed specifically for the iPad in the App Store. With a step-up in screen specs comes a widening potential for developers to take advantage of the snappy Retina display that the new iPad offers. Apple has also updated its core apps - Safari, Mail, Photos - for the new resolution. There is also an update to iMovie and GarageBand and the new iPhoto app has been announced, detailed here and yours for £2.99.

Apps will upscale, but Apple is asking developers to improve their apps to make the most of the new display. 

New iPad accessories

Apple made no specific announcements about accessories for the new iPad, but the existing Smart Cover, launched with the iPad 2, still fits and works perfectly. 

If you don't fancy going for Apple's own accessories, you can be assured that all the usual suspects will offer cases, docks and covers to keep your new tablet safe. And don't forget, the iPad is best friends with the updated Apple TV which now gives you 1080p support, so you might want to look into that too.

New iPad price

The new iPad will have six versions available in the UK, three Wi-Fi and three Wi-Fi + 4G (in black and white colours, so actually there are 12 versions). There will be 16 and 32 and 64GB versions of the Wi-Fi edition, which will cost you £399, £479 and £559 respectively, the same prices that the iPad 2 launched at.

There will be 16, 32 and 64GB versions of the Wi-Fi + 4G edition, which will cost you £499, £579 and £659 respectively and you'll need a micro SIM.

The iPad 2 will now be available from £329 and sold alongside the new iPad.

New iPad review, pictures, hands-on

We'll be bringing you a full iPad review once the new tablet is ready to go on sale. In the meantime, check out preview photos and first impressions right here.

Anything else you need to know? Just let us know in the comments below...



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