Referring to its revolutionary device as the 'poster child of the post-PC world' the third generation Apple tablet or the new iPad to give its official name was unveiled by Tim Cook with some of the features that had long been rumoured and few more that may have took some by surprise.
The question is, is there enough to convince iPad 2 users that it's worth the upgrade? We've picked out ten things that really matter about the new iPad and why it might be worth opening the wallet for. Ready to read why this may well be your next tech purchase? Off we go…
1. Retina Display and a (slightly) new form factor
The nearer we got to the announcement, the more apparent it had become that Apple were going to add a higher resolution screen to the iPad, bringing it in line with the iPhone 4S and the iPod Touch. Doubling the screen resolution to 2048 x 1536, that’s 3.1 million pixels crammed into the new Retina display which Apple claims is the “The most ever in a mobile device." Like the iPhone 4S it will have 264ppi which makes it enough to be regarded as a Retina display. 40% more colour saturation should mean richer, more vibrant images which is great news for multimedia viewing.
It seems that toting that Retina display has added some extra girth to the new iPad taking the thickness from 8.33mm to 9.44mm and weighing in at 1.4lbs which is up from 1.3lbs. So it’s bigger, but shouldn’t in theory be significant enough to change you handling experience.
2. iOS 5.1
The new iPad will come packing the latest iOS update which will bring a new Camera app primed for the new iPad snapping features which includes the ability to turn your iPad into a personal hotspot while there is also support for dicatation in English, French, German and Japanese which we will explain next.
3. Voice dictation
The microphone located at the bottom of the device, now enables users to talk to their iPad and convert words into text. Seemingly born out of Apple's relationship with Dragon, all you'll need to do is tap the microphone icon on the keyboard and you can turn your chat into messages,statuses and even take notes.
4. iSight camera
Bringing it line with the iPhone 4S in the snapping department, the new iPad now has a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with an illuminated sensor, as well as an IR filter, auto-exposure, auto focus an a 5-element lens amongst other features. For those of you take pictures with an iPad, you are probably going to be happy with that.
5. Quad-core GPU graphics
Already one of the 2012 buzzwords, the new iPad packs a A5X processor which delivers quad-core prowess in the graphics department and should ramp up its overall gaming performance. Add to that a dual core CPU processor and you'll also be getting a slick multi-touch, browsing and navigation performance.
6. Battery life
Despite the quad core processor and Retina display, Apple insists that the iPad 2 will boast the same 10 hour battery life as its predecessor, which is good news considering the new tech on board.
7. 1080p Recording
Already capable of 1080p output via the HDMI adaptor, there’s more iPhone 4S-esque features with the introduction of 1080p video recording which looks set to have software stabilization under the hood to improve your shakey full HD shooting.
The Retina display ensures that the new iPad is prepped for high quality snaps and now a new iPhoto app has been introduced bringing with it new gestures, new effects, multi-touch editing and will allow you to send images directly between devices. Think iMovie but for your iPad photos.
9. UK Price
So how much is an iPad going to cost you? Well, we don't have UK pricing yet but, the good news is that it should follow a similar pricing model as the iPad 2 and starts from just £399 . Kicking off with the 16GB Wi-Fi only model, those looking to snap up the third-generation iOS tablet will need to part with £399 with those requiring 32GB or 64GB of internal storage having to splurge £479 or £559 respectively.
On the Wi-Fi + 3G front, wannabe iPad 3 owners looking to access the web at will need to part with £499, £579 or £659 depending on their choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB storage options.
10. UK Release date
A new iPad UK release date is slated for March 16th as many had tipped prior to the announcement which means you will only have to wait a few weeks before getting your hands on one. Get your cash ready people...