Apple has introduced its third generation iPad the company simply referred to as the " new iPad" during its launch last night, rather than the rumoured names of iPad 3 or iPad HD. The Cupertino giant's new product supports 4G LTE networks to take the Apple tablet to the next level and which should help them maintain its advantage over other tablet manufacturers vying for a slice of Apple's market share.

The new iPad has dimensions of 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4 mm and weighs 652g. The Apple iPad 2 was 241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8 mm and weighs at 607 g. It retains the same 9.7in screen but with a higher resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels with ~264 ppi pixel density. The iPad 2 has 768 x 1024 pixels resolution coming with ~132 ppi pixel density. Apple also revealed that the new iPad will ahve 44 per cent better colour saturation than iPad 2.

In terms of storage capacity there are the same three versions of the new iPad at 16GB, 32GB and 64GB priced at £399, £479 and £559 respectively - again the same as the launch price for the iPad 2. One of the biggest differences is the availability of 4G versions with the 16GB costing £499, 32GB costing £579 and the larger 64GB for £659. Although Apple will continue selling iPad 2, the company has dopped the price by £70 in order to attract more budget concious shoppers.

When it comes to connectivity, the new iPad supports HSPA+ offering speeds up to 21Mbps , DC-HSDPA up to 42Mbps and 4G LTE up to 73Mbps. The 4G speed in new iPad will make it 10 times faster than standard 3G iPads. Other basic features include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and EDR.

One of the biggest differences is the new 5-megapixel "iSight" camera which features auto focus, touch focus, geo-tagging, HDR and face detection. And it can also record 1080p videos at 30 frames per second and the camera sports a 5-element lens. There is a secondary VGA camera on the front as well. Overall it's a big improvement from Apple's iPad 2 camera, which was only 0.7-megapixels offering 720p video recording.

The event began with the revealing of iOS 5.1 which is now available but brings with it only some small bug fixes. Ahead of the annonucement there had been a lot of rumours that the new iPad would be powered by a quad-core CPU, but this turned out to be false as the new chip inside the latest Aplpe tablet is in fact the dual-core A5X chip. However this does feature boosted grapghical capabilies with a quad-core GPU that Apple says will ouperform the 12-core GPU of the Tegra 3 chip.

Apple has also imprved the battery over the iPad 2 by a huge 70 percent, but this doesn't mean you're going to get 17 hours use from a single charge. Becasue of the new iPad's higher-resolution screen the battery life will remain at 10 hours or if you are on 4G, then you will get nine hours. For Verizon in the US, the 4G network is classified as LTE 700 MHz Class and 2100 for AT&T. Verizon Wireless, Vodafone and AT&T will host and sell 4G wireless plans to 4G iPad users.

Apple also revealed Japanese language support for Siri and other features including the launch of iPhone for iPad, an updated iMovie, iLife suite and Garageband apps. Apple's new tablet is available for pre-orders now and will hit stores on 16 March.