The new iPad 3: Everything you should know


Earlier today, Apple wrapped up its press conference detailing what we thought would be called the iPad 3. The new tablet is the same size and shape as its predecessors, but changes a lot of things under the hood. For quick information on the new tablet, check out our news recap. But if you have a bit of time, we’ve compiled a more comprehensive list of things you should know about Apple’s next hot device.

It’s not an iPad 3. It’s “The new iPad”

The first thing that confused us is the name. Instead of going with the name iPad 3 or iPad HD, Apple has gone back to the basics and is simply calling this the ‘iPad,’ or “The new iPad.” While this naming convention is sure to confuse and annoy us geeks and press people of the world who must write about “The new iPad” everyday, it shouldn’t mean much to you (unless you’re one of us!). It’s a third-generation iPad. 

Same size and design

While it’s called the new iPad, it looks exactly like the old iPad. The new device has the same exact design and nearly identical dimensions as the iPad 2, though it’s slightly fatter (9.4mm vs. 8.8mm) and slightly heavier (652g vs. 601g) due to the larger internal battery needed to run the ‘resolutionary’ screen you’re about to read up on.

It’s Resolutionary!


We can’t imagine Steve Jobs approving a word like ‘Resolutionary,’ but that is how Apple is describing the new iPad’s screen. It is still 9.7 inches (diagonally), but the new screen packs 2047×1536 pixels, or twice the resolution of the iPad 2. While this resolution is essentially the 3:4 aspect ratio equivalent of the widescreen 1080p (1920x1080px) format, Apple is right to tout that an iPad packs many more pixels than even 1080p devices do. Supposedly this will improve the viewing experience dramatically, as demonstrated by Apple many times, though we played with a high-resolution Asus Transformer Infinity recently and didn’t notice too much of a leap. However, that was not iOS and not an iPad.

Apple is also bringing back the term “Retina display,” which was used to describe the 960×640 pixel resolution of the iPhone 4 and 4S. However, the scale for what constitutes a “retina display” has slid downward with the marketing. While the iPhone 4 has a 326ppi (Pixels Per Inch) display, which means that a normal person (said Steve Jobs) wouldn’t be able to distinguish pixels at 10 inches away). The new iPad may have a much higher resolution, but it’s also a much larger screen, giving it a 264 ppi. At that rate, you would have to hold the iPad 15 inches away (we think) to not notice any pixelation. Is it a Retina display? We don’t know, but it’s still probably the best one on the market.

Quad-core graphics (but not processing)

Like many of the upcoming high-end Android smartphones and tablets, the new iPad will have a quad-core processor in it, and in true Apple fashion, it is a custom chip built by the Cupertino company itself. Strangely though, it’s not the main processor that’s quad-core: it’s the graphic processor (GPU). The central processing unit (CPU) is likely still dual-core, but Apple is deceptively pushing the entire tablet as a quad-core device. If we were to follow Apple’s logic, then all Android devices running the quad-core Tegra 3 processor would actually be labeled as 12-core devices, since that’s how many cores are in the Tegra 3 GPU. 

Marketing lingo aside, no specific specs on its clockspeed or capabilities are yet known, but Apple showed off some impressive new games by Namco and Epic during its press conference and claimed that the iPad now had power comparable to gaming consoles like the PS3 and Xbox 360. Without knowing more, we can’t necessarily disagree. 

As for the rest of the tablets relevant hardware specifications, we know that it will still come with either 16, 32, or 64GB of internal storage, we are guessing it has 1GB of RAM, and it has an audio headphone jack and standard Apple charging and dock port. Sorry guys, still no microSD or Micro USB. The camera is quite nice though.

Be sure to check out our full spec comparison between the new iPad, iPad 2, Asus Transformer Prime, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.

iSight for all


The name is cheesy, but if you compare the new iPad camera to that of the iPad 2, it looks like it will be an entirely new experience. The iPad 2 had a cheap and crappy camera, but Apple has integrated what appears to be the same rear camera as the iPhone 4S (and it’s nice) into its new tablet. It can take photos at 5 megapixels, record video at 1080p and has other standard features like autofocus and tap to focus. Unfortunately, there is no flash and the front-facing camera is still VGA (640×480 pixels), meaning Apple isn’t making many upgrades to enhance FaceTime.

The iPhone 4S camera is probably the best smartphone camera around, which is why this announcement is particularly exciting. Combined with the high resolution of the new iPad’s screen, this camera could do some cool things. To celebrate, Apple is releasing a few new apps as well.

iOS 5.1

If you own an iPhone 4S, you’ve used iOS 5.1. In this update, Apple added support for iCloud, which syncs up your files and backs them up remotely as well as a number of other enhancements like an app notification tray (a la Android) and other small enhancements like Twitter integration, AirPlay mirroring, and iMessage. 

iPhoto joins iMovie, iWork, and GarageBand


Apple has developed a new app called iPhoto, designed to work in conjunction with the new iSight camera on the iPad. This app allows users to edit their photos, and easily tweak color, exposure, and contrast among other things. You can also use your fingers like “brushes” and adjust small details of your photos, then share them straight to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or iCloud. AirPlay Beaming is also supported. iPhoto will cost $5 and will be available soon.

Updated versions of iMovie, iWork, and GarageBand will be released with a few new features each. Check out our New iPad apps rundown for more information. 

Siri: No, but how about voice dictation?

Rumors pointed toward Siri being released for iPad, but it looks like Apple isn’t ready for that just yet. The new iPad will not come with Apple’s favorite little assistant, but it will have a new button on the keyboard allowing for voice dictation. This feature should be fairly straightforward, assuming it works well. You talk and the iPad types what you say.

It’s got the 4Gs

iPad-3-touchingWi-Fi is great and 3G does the job, but if you want a fast connection anywhere, 4G LTE is the best option (assuming it’s in your area, of course). The new iPad will have models starting at $630 that support 4G LTE on both Verizon and AT&T. Unfortunately, when you purchase a new iPad, you will have to specify whether you want an AT&T or Verizon model. Because the two carriers use different LTE bands (technical jargon you don’t really need to know), you won’t be able to switch from AT&T to Verizon. Your iPad will be locked in. A cheaper Wi-Fi model will also be available, as usual.

(Note: From what we gather, the 4G models will also be compatible on 3G networks.)

Battery life: 10 hours

Previous iPads have had 10 hour battery life (9 hours on 3G), and Apple is maintaining that standard on the new iPad, despite its battery draining high-resolution screen, quad-core processor, and 4G LTE connectivity. This is possible because the battery is a bit larger, pushing the thickness of the new iPad from 8.8mm to 9.4mm. We welcome the girth and doubt most users will notice much difference.

New iPad, same price

The new iPad is also maintaining the same $500 – $830 pricing scheme that all previous models have adhered to. If you want a 16GB Wi-Fi-only iPad, it will cost $500; 32GB will run you $600; 64GB will run you $700; and if you want 4G LTE, add $130 to the price. For those seeking a discount, we suggest checking out the iPad 2.

iPad 2 now $400

As it has done with some iPhone models, Apple will continue to sell the iPad 2 Wi-Fi and 3G models for a discounted $400. It may be just clearing out inventory or it may plan to sell the old iPad for a longer duration of time, possibly to combat cheap Android tablets. We aren’t sure. If you don’t care as much about screen resolution, cool games, photo editing, 4G LTE, or taking fancy pictures, then the iPad 2 may be a good option for you.

How to get it

Apple has already opened pre-orders for the new iPad, which you can find by visiting Your new iPad will ship on March 16. (Be warned, the purchasing site seems to be going up and down. The site is likely being bombarded with hundreds of thousands of pre-orders.)


You can finally throw away your PC; Photoshop is coming to the iPad

A full version of Photoshop is coming to the iPad -- and soon, other tablets, as well. Adobe also launched several new features for Photoshop and Lightroom, including a new Content-Aware Fill tool.

Apple sends out invites for October hardware event, new iPad Pro expected

The new iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and Apple Watch aren't the last devices we'll see from Apple in 2018. There are plenty of rumors about a new iPad coming this year too, and it may share some design similarities with the new phones.

How does Microsoft’s newest Surface stack up against the Apple iPad Pro?

In an era where everyone is taking a bite at Apple’s products, we’ve stacked up the 12.9-inch iPad Pro against the latest Surface Pro 6. Check out this comparison guide to see which one gives you more bang for your buck.

Google Pixel 3 vs. Apple iPhone XS: Does Google’s A.I. take down Apple?

The Google Pixel 3 is here, boasting top-tier specs like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and 4GB of RAM, and some of the world's best artificial intelligence features on a phone. But can it take out the Apple iPhone XS?

A strap for everyone: The best Apple Watch bands you can buy right now

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far and there's something for everyone.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.

Camera shootout! Testing the latest Pixel, iPhone, and Galaxy Note in real life

Which takes the best photos, the Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS Max, Galaxy Note 9, or Pixel 2 XL? We put the cameras on all these top-notch phones through their paces to see which performs best in the real world, from low light to portrait mode…

Which new iPhone is the best? iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XR

Apple has three new iPhone models to choose from this year, making the choice a little harder than usual. What's the difference between the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR, and which is best?

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from XS on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.

Apple’s latest feature ensures MacOS apps are safer than ever

MacOS is mythically known for being more immune to viruses than Windows, but that doesn't mean there isn't room to make it safer. Apple is using an app notarization feature to protect users from downloading malicious apps.

Will Apple introduce a new MacBook at its Oct. 30 event? Here's everything we know

Whether it's called the MacBook Air or just the MacBook, Apple is highly rumored to introduce a new, affordable laptop in 2018. We discuss reports about upgrading displays, processors, sign-in features, and more.

Apple CEO demands Bloomberg retract its Chinese surveillance story

Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling on Bloomberg to retract a story alleging that Apple had purchased compromised servers that allowed the Chinese government to spy on Apple. Apple's investigation found no truth to the story.

Sams's Club offers $100 gift cards for iPhone XR pre-orders

After months of rumors and speculation, Apple has finally taken the wraps off of the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now that the phones are out, you might be wondering how you can get them for yourself.

It’s about time! A USB-C magnetic charger for the Apple Watch has finally arrived

While most of the buzz surrounding Apple has been about the iPhone XR, the company also introduced a new Apple Watch accessory. Starting October 24, a USB-C magnetic charger will be available for purchase.