Apple took the tech-world spotlight Wednesday to announce the latest version of its popular iPad tablet computer.
Apple also introduced an updated Apple TV set-top box that streams video at 1080p, and iOS 5.1, which is available Wednesday.
Here are the highlights of the San Francisco Apple product event.
The "new iPad"
Apple hasn't called it the iPad 3 - yet.
It's simply calling it "the new iPad", and whether that name will stick isn't clear.
The new device is roughly the same size as the previous model but is equipped with a few new features.
The tablet will be available on 16th March 2012, with pre-ordering starting Wednesday.
Pricing remains the same across the board for all models, with the WiFi-only 16GB model starting at US$499 (€379), and the 4G LTE models starting at US$629 (€478).
The iPad 2 will get a price drop of US$100 (€76), and be available only with 16GB on both WiFi and 3G models.
The rumors were spot-on here.
The iPad has a 2048-pixel-by-1536-pixel so-called "retina display" at 264ppi, for a total of 3.1 million pixels.
At this resolution, with users holding the tablet about 40cm from their face, Apple says individual pixels are invisible to the human eye.
It is claiming 40% better color saturation as well.
5MP camera sensor
The iPad's new 5MP camera has roughly the same components as those in the iPhone 4S, minus its 8MP sensor.
It will feature backside illumination, a 5-element lens, hybrid IR filter, and an Apple-designed ISP.
It will also have auto-exposure and auto-focus.
1080p video recording
The new tablet adds 1080p video recording—again, not unexpected, but definitely welcome.
Apple has integrated video stabilization into the software as well as temporal noise reduction.
This will go nicely with its iMovie for iOS update, which is available Wednesday.
The new iPad's A5X chip has quad-core graphics processing.
No numbers were mentioned, but that is typical Apple.
The processor is designed to efficiently display the additional resolution that comes with the retina display, which will likely require some heavy number crunching, especially when it comes to games.
The new iPad will support 4G LTE.
According to Apple's breakdown, the tablet now has 21Mbps HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA at 42Mbps.
LTE speeds are at 73Mbps.
So far in the United States, mobile network operators Verizon and AT&T are confirmed, and will be two separate devices.
No mention of other carriers.
The tablet will also be world-ready, and the senior VP of worldwide marketing at Apple says that this device is shipping with "the most bands ever" and described it as "no small feat."
Size and battery Life
The new iPad 3 is 9.4mm thin, and weighs 635 grams.
It's slightly heavier than the iPad 2, but lighter than the original iPad.
Apple claims the new iPad on 4G will have the same 10-hour battery life as the iPad 2 on 3G.
Apple TV and iOS 5.1
Apple said its new Apple TV with 1080p support will be available "next week" — we presume on 16th March 2012 — with pre-orders beginning Wednesday.
The TV will have a new user interface that's slightly closer to what we see in iOS.
iOS 5.1 and iPhoto will be available at the App Store Wednesday.
The Apple mobile Operating System (OS) iOS 5.1 is a free upgrade and iPhoto is US$4.99 (€3.80).
The new iPad will be available from 16th March 2012 first in the following countries:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong