The excitement that build-up to the launch of the new iPad, earlier on Wednesday morning, has finally subsided. The Cupertino-based technology giant unveiled its latest tablet at the Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts in San Francisco, alongside a parallel "special event" at York Place in North London.
Check out a round-up of the features of the tablet that Tim Cook simply called "the new iPad", rather than the expected iPad 2S or iPad 3...
Dimensions: The new iPad has a 9.7-inch screen, weighs 1.4lbs and is 9.4mm thin.
Retina Display: The new tablet offers an ultra-high resolution (2048x1536 pixels) Retina Display, as a result of fourfold increase in the number of operating pixels.
A Slashgear report indicates the difference between the new tablet and the iPad 2 is "vast". The report says the pixels, when the screen is held at arm's length, are "completely indistinguishable" and it is only when the user get up close to the screen they can spot the difference.
Dual-Core Processor and Quad-Core Graphics: The new iPad features an A5X dual-core system-on-chip with quad-core graphics. This arrangement is what powers the high-resolution display and offers 44 percent greater saturation. According to the company, the new chip is twice as fast as NVidia's Tegra 3.
The company also indicated that all their stock apps had been customised for their new display and existing third-party apps would be similarly scaled up.
Camera: The new iPad has a 5 megapixel iSight camera with a CMOS sensor and advanced optics. It can also record videos at 1080p.
Other features include auto focus, video stabilisation and a hybrid IR filter, as well as faced detection and auto exposure. 9to5Mac reports Apple has retained a VGA camera in the front that can record at 30fps.
4G LTE: The tablet offers 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity, for the high-end models. These will start retailing at $629. It can support speeds of up to 21 Mbps on HSPA+, 42 Mbps on dual-carrier HSPA+ and 73 Mbps on LTE. There will be carrier support from AT&T and Verizon in the US. However, due to frequency band differences, the US' two leading carriers will require different models. Finally, Apple also offers personal Wi-Fi hotspots.
Battery: The new iPad has the same battery as the iPad 2, which, on the face of it, could cause problems. This is particularly to be noted because the new A5X chip looks like being a power-hungry one. Nevertheless, Apple insists the new iPad can run for up to 10 hours at a time.
Operating System: Apple also confirmed the launch of iOS 5.1 on the day. It was also confirmed that the update would be portable to all existing iOS devices. The software will include multi-language dictation (including French, German and Japanese), camera enhancements and fixes for bugs that cause drop in audio levels.
iPad Smart Cover
The iPad Smart Cover is designed to protect the iPad from dust and scratches. In addition, it can act as an alternative to setting the device to enter a "hibernation" mode. Finally, it can also act as a stand.
Apple Care+: The AppleCare+ for iPad covers repair and techncial support for two years from the date of purchase. The extended protection plan also provides cover for up to two incidents of accidental damage, subject to a $49 fee. The plan includes the iPad, the battery and selected accessories, either purchased before (two years) or during the plan period. The plan must be purchased within 30 days of that of the iPad, which is scheduled to be released on 16 March.
iCloud: iCloud stores music, photos, apps, mail, contacts, calendars, documents and other personal information at one centralised place. In addition, it allows for wireless transfer of above information from one iDevice to another.
AirPlay: AirPlay allows the user to stream collections of photographs, music, videos and films from the iPad to HDTVs.
iPhoto: The iPhoto is a fun and intuitive app for a more pleasant photo-viewing session. Double-tap the image and iPhoto automatically selects similar photos in the library... straighten a crooked photo using the automatic horizon detection or crop out distracting backgrounds... and adjust exposure, contrast and saturation with a flick of the fingers. Get iPhoto from the App Store for $4.99.
GarageBand: Jam with friends using this music app... it even allows recording on-the-fly. Grab it from the App Store for just $4.99.
iMovie: iMovie lets you record a HD video trailer or make home movies. Be an independent filmmaker by spending as little as $4.99 to get this incredible app.
Watch the launch trailer for the "new iPad"
The prices are $499, $599 and $699 for Wi-Fi models and $629, $729 and $829 for 4G LTE models, with storage variants of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB respectively. The new iPad launches on 16 March in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.
Apple will also continue to offer the 16GB iPad 2 in two variants: Wi-Fi ($399) and Wi-Fi + 3G ($529). iPad 2 prices, however, may be slashed after the due release of the new tablet.