Apple just unveiled the brand new iPad on Wednesday. As far as we can tell it’s just being called the “new iPad.” Not the iPad 3 or the iPad HD, although there are references to the “third generation iPad” on Apple’s website. It’s a pretty stunning device and I’ve already argued that it offers new enhancements to change the tablet game all over again. You may have been there for our live blog or hitting the TechnoBuffalo homepage as we broke the news, but in case you weren’t, here are the top five features of the new iPad as we see them.

Retina Display

The Retina Display is definitely the highlight feature of the new iPad. It doubles the sharpness of the previous iPad 2 with a 2047 x 1536-pixel resolution. That’s like having an HDTV in your shoulder bag, folks, except it can be used for email, gaming and more. You already know that. Just know that it’s much sharper and a huge advance over any other tablet’s display currently on the market. Yes, I’m fanatically in love with the Super AMOLED Plus screens on Samsung’s smartphones, but the sharpness just wins this round for me, hands down.

4G LTE Support

Oooo weeee! This is what we were looking for and Apple included it. The new iPad is capable of running on AT&T and Verizon’s brand new and super fast 4G LTE networks. Here in New York City, I’ve noticed that both are capable of providing faster download and upload speeds than my Time Warner Cable connection — that’s impressive and I’ve loved the speeds on other smartphones and tablets, including the Motorola Xyboard 8.9 tablet that I use regularly. Add in support for sharing the connection with other Wi-Fi enabled devices and the new iPad is that much sweeter. Better yet, the tablet supports HSPA+ and HSDPA networks, which means you’ll be able to take advantage of “4G” or 3G speeds in international markets. Seriously, it supports all of these bands:

  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth 4.0 technology
  • Wi-Fi + 4G for AT&T model: LTE (700, 2100 MHz); UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • Wi-Fi + 4G for Verizon model: LTE (700 MHz); CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz); UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

Quad-Core Graphics

Apple’s new iPad is equipped with a dual-core A5X chip, but it also supports quad-core graphics. That means we can expect some killer games, including Epic Games’ Infinity Blade: Dungeons. As a huge fan of Dungeon Hunter 2 and other dungeon-crawler hack-and-slash style games I can’t wait to give this one a whirl. NVIDIA has killer games for its Tegra 3 quad-core processor in the pipeline too, and that chip offers 16 graphics processing cores, but at this point I think Apple’s going to beat it to the market with the amount of games available. It’s going to be a wait-and-see approach here, though, and I won’t make too many judgements until I try games that take advantage of the quad-core GPU in the new iPad and NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 chipset.

5-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording

Plenty — and I mean plenty — of other devices already offer 5-megapixel cameras, even 8-megapixel cameras, with 1080p HD video recording. But it’s nonetheless one of the newer and more appreciated features on the new iPad. It remains to be seen how great the images and videos turn out, but we know for sure that the iPhone 4S offers among the best recording and photo snapping cameras on the market today. Aside from, perhaps, Nokia’s freshly announced 808 PureView phone, which has an incredible 41-megapixel camera!

Killer Battery Life

Apple included a 42.5-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery in the new iPad. Despite adding a better GPU, a faster processor and support for 4G LTE networks, there’s little to no sacrifice on battery life. The Cupertino-based company still promises 10 hours of battery and 9 hours of juice on 4G LTE networks. The iPad 2, by comparison, offers the same 10 hours of battery life and 9 hours of battery life on 4G LTE networks. Usually, we see a sacrifice in usability time when it comes to 4G but that appears it won’t be the case with the new iPad. Of course, we’ll know much more once we get a unit in for testing.

The new iPad is up for pre-order beginning today and starts at $499. It should arrive in your hands by March 16th. You can bet we’ll be doing in-depth video and text reviews of the new device as soon as we get our hands on one, so be sure to stick around!

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