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Apple Calls the New iPad...the New iPad

The new iPad supports 4G LTE, which will make it pricier than the old iPad

Apple unveiled the new iPad Wednesday calling the third-generation device simply the new iPad, not iPad 3 or iPad HD.

The dingus does, however, have that to-die-for high-resolution retina display it was rumored to have.

It also has a souped-up A5X chip, and a new five-megapixel iSight camera.

The new chip includes quad-core graphics said to be 4x better than a Tegra 3 or 2x better than the performance of the iPad 2.

The camera's advanced optics can capture 1080p HD video and includes a new video image stabilization feature that removes the bumps and shakes typically seen when filming with a handheld device.

The screen, the same 9.4-inch size as the iPad 2, offers 264 PPI, which means the human eye can't see an isolated pixel. The resolution, as expected, comes in at 2,048 by 1,536, or 3.1 million pixels, a million more than HDTV.

Web pages, text, images and video look incredibly sharp and realistic, with 44% more color saturation.

iPhoto works on the new iPad and it sounds like there's nothing that can be done to a photograph that can't be done on an iPad, suggesting that Apple is staking out the content creation market.

Apple has added a new feature called photo beaming to transfer pictures between devices and backside illumination for taking pictures in low-level light. The iWorks suite and iMovie have also been updated to show off the widget's features.

As suspected the device is a tiny bit fatter (9.4mm compared to 8.8mm) and a tad heavier (1.4lbs versus 1.33lbs). Given the widget's functionality nobody's going to notice.

The thing will take dictation turning speech into text in English, French, German and Japanese. (There's a special mic button on the keyboard.)

Pricing is the same as for the iPad 2, which Apple is keeping, cutting its entry-level price to $399 for 16GB and Wi-Fi starting now. The iPad 2 with Wi-Fi and 3G is now $529.

The new iPad supports 4G LTE, which will make it pricier than the old iPad: $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB. With just Wi-Fi, which is the best most of the world can muster, it'll cost $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB and $699 for 64GB.

Apple claims the new Wi-Fi-only iPad will deliver 10 hours battery life, the 4G models nine hours.

The new iPad is supposed to deliver 10 times faster download and upload speeds so web pages load quickly and e-mails with large attachments can be sent and received with relative ease. Personal Hotspot (which needs a supporting data plan) can be used to share the iPad's fast network connection with up to five other devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB.

It comes in black or white and deliveries start next Friday, March 16, in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and the US Virgin Islands. Apple is taking orders now.

Deliveries elsewhere are set to start on March 23 beginning with Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

The device is supposed to run most of the 585,000 apps in the Apple App Store including the 200,000-odd native iPad apps. There's also iTunes and iBooks.

Apple said iPad, iPhone and iPod delivered 76% of its revenue last year. It sold 172 million of these so-called post-PC devices and 315 million iOS devices.

Apple has also updated its TV box, which streams videos to TV sets, to support higher-definition video. It cost $99.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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