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New Apple iPad unveiled, UK release date 16 March

Now with 'Retina' display


Apple announced the new iPad at its HQ in Cupertino

Apple has ended months of speculation by announcing the latest edition of the iPad.

As was predicted by many it has a new screen with a higher resolution, dubbed the ‘retina display’ just like the iPhone 4/4S. Apple claims the new processor, the Apple A5X, has a 4x faster graphics processor. This means improved graphics in games, though tasks that don’t involve graphics aren’t improved.

The new iPad also comes with the same 5Mp camera as the iPhone 4S, which means it now shoots 1080p video. In a separate announcement Apple confirmed an upgrade to its Apple TV box, which can now also stream 1080p video as compared to the 720p quality video of its predecessor.

Demos of iPad apps included updated versions of its Garage Band, iMovie and iWork apps, and the introduction of iPhoto for iPad – a photo editing app that’s also available for Apple computers.

In a change to its recent trend, the iPad announced today has no numeric value. It’s known simply as the iPad or the ‘new iPad’.

New iPad UK release date and pricing

Apple confirmed that the new iPad will go on sale in the UK on 16 March. It will sell at the same price as the current version, which means prices will start at £399 for a 16GB version without 3G. The iPad 2 will still be available, but at a reduced price – UK prices haven’t been confirmed yet, but the US price is $100 less than the new iPad.

On the subject of the new iPad versus the iPad 2, Ben Stevens, Which? technology expert, said: ‘The improvements made to the new iPad look great, but many of them will also be available on the iPad 2 when updated to the new iOS 5.1 version of operating system. Couple these new OS benefits with the reduced price of the iPad 2, and the decision to upgrade to the more expensive new iPad comes down to whether you want a slightly faster device with a better camera’.

iPad retina display explained

The key new feature of the new iPad is the so-called ‘retina display’. It doubles the resolution of the iPad from 1,024 x 768 to 2,048 x 1,536. Full HD 1080p televisions have a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, which makes the resolution higher than any publicly available TV screen.

Apple claims this high resolution means text is ‘sharper than newspaper’ and that the colour saturation (aka colour gamut) is 44% better on the retina display than on the previous two iPads.

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