New iPad features everything but a new name

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new iPad, with a sharper screen and a faster processor, on Wednesday in San Francisco.

Associated Press

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new iPad, with a sharper screen and a faster processor, on Wednesday in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple gave the new iPad a bunch of new features but no new name.

When it goes on sale next week in the U.S. and several other countries, it will be "the iPad" or perhaps "the new iPad" — not "iPad 3" or "iPad HD," as some had speculated.

The lack of a new name could cause confusion for buyers, particularly since the older model, the "iPad 2," will still be sold.

The new iPad revealed Wednesday has, as expected, a sharper screen, driven by a faster processing chip that acts as the "brains" of the device. What was more surprising was that the new features mean the tablet computer will be slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad 2, because it needs a larger battery to power the high-resolution screen.

The battery life remains the same: about 10 hours of use.

Prices aren't changing from the previous models. They will start at $499. Versions capable of accessing cellular networks will cost $629 to $829.

Apple is keeping the basic model of the iPad 2 in production and dropping the price to $399.

Apple said the new display will be sharper than the average living room high-definition television set, and show more vibrant colors than previous models.

"We are taking it to a whole new level and are redefining the category that Apple created with the original iPad," Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the launch event in San Francisco.

The new iPad will go on sale March 16 in the U.S., Canada and 10 other countries. A week later, it will go on sale in 25 more countries.

Compared to the iPad 2, the new model features a higher-resolution camera on the back, similar to the one that comes with the iPhone 4S.

The new iPad will be 0.37 inches thick, compared with 0.34 inches for the iPad 2. The weight is going up from 1.33 pounds to 1.44 pounds for the Wi-Fi-only model.

Apple also confirmed that the new model will come in a version that can use Verizon Wireless' and AT&T's "LTE" wireless broadband networks. They offer speeds that are faster than the "3G" networks used by previous iPads and current iPhones.

Apple is updating some of the software on the tablet to take advantage of the new features. For example, it's introducing a version of the Mac's iPhoto photo organization and manipulation program for the iPad.

Apple also said it would start letting users store movies in its iCloud remote storage service, so they can be accessed through the Internet by PCs and Apple devices. It already lets users store photos, music and documents in the service.

Apple is also upgrading its Apple TV set-top box so it can play movies in 1080p, the highest-resolution commonly used video standard.

New iPad vs. iPad 2

Apple starts selling its new iPad in the U.S. and several other countries March 16. Here's a look at the key differences between the new iPad and the iPad 2, which will continue to be sold:

New iPad specs

• Prices: 16-gigabyte Wi-Fi-only model for $499, 32 gigabytes for $599 and 64 gigabytes for $699; 4G models cost $130 more

• Screen size: 9.7 inches diagonally

• Thickness: 0.37 inches

• Weight: 1.44 pounds (1.46 pounds for 4G model)

• Screen resolution: "Retina display," 2048 by 1536 pixels

• Cameras: 5-megapixel camera on back and a low-resolution camera on front, for videoconferencing

• Video recording: high-definition (1080p, comparable to the resolution of a 40-inch flat-panel TV), up to 30 frames per second with audio

• Battery life: 10 hours

• Dual-core A5X processor (quad-core graphics subsystem)

• U.S. wireless carriers: AT&T, Verizon Wireless

• U.S. release date: March 16, 2012

iPad 2 specs

• Prices: 16-gigabyte model with Wi-Fi for $399, 3G-capable version for $529 (Originally same as new iPad pricing)

• Screen size: same as new iPad

• Thickness: 0.34 inches

• Weight: 1.33 pounds (1.35-1.36 pounds for 3G models)

• Screen resolution: 1024 by 768 pixels

• Cameras: High-definition (720p) camera on back and a low-resolution camera on front, for videoconferencing

• Video recording: high-definition (720p, comparable to the resolution of a 40-inch flat-panel TV), up to 30 frames per second with audio

• Battery life: 10 hours

• Dual-core A5 processor

• U.S. wireless carriers: AT&T, Verizon Wireless

• U.S. release date: March 11, 2011

Gadgets & Gizmos

Follow the latest on Apple's announcement at tampabay.com/blogs/latest-gadgets.

New iPad features everything but a new name 03/07/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 9:56pm]

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