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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: March 8, 2012 @ 1:35 am

    The new iPad

    Ciara O'Brien

    So you wait, and you wait and finally, two iPads come along at once.

    Ok, not really.

    Apple announced an updated iPad at its event earlier, but also said it would continue to sell the iPad 2 – at a reduced price. So the iPad range has been expanded to two instead of a single model.

    On the surface, the third generation iPad looks the same as the iPad 2. If there are any differences, they’re almost imperceptible. And the device didn’t even get a new name, with Apple execs referring to it simply as “the new iPad” throughout the entire event.

    But there are a few things worth noting about the new iPad, most of them under the hood.

    What’s different:

    The display: You wouldn’t think that you’d notice much of a difference in the display; after all, the iPad’s display was already pretty impressive. But the Retina display is noticeably crisper on the models that Apple supplied for hands on demonstrations. Text was crisp and clear. Photo quality is brilliant. Add to that the improved colour saturation and you have a high quality, vibrant display that photos look great on. Yes, it’s not quite as many pixels as the iPhone’s retina display, but it’s unlikely that you’ll notice the difference. And its 3.1 million pixels is better resolution than your average HD TV.

    The camera: Speaking of images, the iPad’s rear camera has been bumped up to an iSight camera, and it uses advanced optics Apple developed for the iPhone 4S. It comes with all sorts of technology to improve image and video. Video is now 1080p high definition quality, instead of 720, and it also has image stabilisers that make it noticeably less “bumpy” when you’re recording. Though quite how many people use the iPad as a camera is another thing. And lately I have noticed quite a few people taking footage with theiriPads, so it’s something they would appreciate.

    The chip: It may not be quite what had been rumoured – the A6 quad core chip is simply the A5x – but it bumps up the specs a little and gives it a bit more oomph on the graphics department. This will come out in improved games graphics, as demonstrated at the event, and while the idea of the iPad replacing any games console is probably still a little hard to believe, it certainly won’t hurt the iPad’s reputation as a mobile gaming device.

    What else?

    The battery: yes, the battery life is the same at 10 hours, but considering how much of a drain on power the improved bits – the retina screen, the quad core graphics – getting 10 hours of battery life out of it is certainly an improvement of sorts.

    The wireless connections: 4G LTE connectivity may not be much use to Irish users – we don’t have the networks – but Apple gave an insight into what we can expect from it when it finally arrives here. In the meantime, new iPad owners in the US and other countries around the world will be able to take advantage of faster download speeds for everything from internet browsing to video streaming.While we just watch jealously.

    The iPad is launched on March 16th in countries such as the US and UK, but the good news is that Ireland gets it in the second wave – a whole week later. So on March 23rd, you could have the new iPad in your hands.

    • Peter O'Toole says:

      I think it’s important to stress that ‘it’s not as many pixels per inch (ppi) as the iPhone 4 but it’s a got alot more pixels. The iPhone 4 has 960×640 pixels and the iPad third generation has 2048-by-1536-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi).

      Peter

    • Jana says:

      Wish I was in a bigger and much happening country as the UK or the US

    • I think the iPhone 4S was 326 ppi, vs 264ppi for the new iPad.

      It looks great – obviously we were shown video and photos designed to show the retina display off to its rest, but between that and the increased colour saturation, it was a noticeable difference.

    • petee says:

      Is there a release date for Ireland yet ?

    • March 23rd for us. The 16th for the first wave of countries.

    • mik ke says:

      when preorders gonna start in Ireland?

    • petee says:

      it is strange that less than 24 hours before its release, their are still no prices or pre order on the apple website

    • It’s fairly safe I think to assume that the pricing will be the same for all European countries – which means starting at €479 for the 16gb wifi only version.