Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - Jen­nifer Dud­ley- Ni­chol­son trav­elled to San Fran­cisco as a guest of Ap­ple.

Ap­ple ups the piz­zazz.

Ap­ple’s ipad has new fea­tures and a price cut, writes Jen­nifer Dud­leyNi­chol­son AF­TER cre­at­ing the tablet mar­ket in 2010, Ap­ple will seek to lock down its lead­ing po­si­tion with a third edi­tion of the pop­u­lar tablet this month.

The com­pany, which has sold more than 55 mil­lion ipads to date, launched the new tablet in Aus­tralian stores re­cently, with new fea­tures and a lower price.

While ex­perts have la­belled the up­grades in­cre­men­tal and the com­pany faces stronger com­pe­ti­tion than ever, con­sumers will have the final say, start­ing in Australia.

Be­low is a break­down of the new ipad’s ma­jor up­grades, as un­veiled in San Fran­cisco ear­lier this month.

PIXEL PARTY Ar­guably the big­gest up­grade to the new ipad is its screen. As pre­dicted by many, the third- gen­er­a­tion ipad will fea­ture a Retina Dis­play that of­fers dou­ble the res­o­lu­tion and four times as many pix­els as the ipad 2.

As a re­sult, the screen can now show off full high- def­i­ni­tion footage as it was in­tended to be seen and, world­wide mar­ket­ing vice- pres­i­dent Phil Schiller con­tends, de­liv­ers enough pixel den­sity that you can’t pick out the pix­els with the naked eye.

‘‘ When you turn on that new ipad you are go­ing to see graph­ics, text and icons sharper than you imag­ine,’’ he says.

The ipad’s screen will fea­ture lower pixel den­sity than the iphone 4S screen, at 264 pix­els per inch, ver­sus 326ppi, but Ap­ple says its colour con­trast will also be boosted by 44 per cent.

Graph­ics- heavy apps will need to be up­graded to make full use of the en­hanced screen.

CAM­ERA IN FO­CUS The ipad 2 added cam­eras for the first time but the third ipad takes pho­tog­ra­phy more se­ri­ously. The tablet’s new rear cam­era will fea­ture a five- megapixel back­lit sen­sor and a five- el­e­ment lens like that of the iphone 4S.

The so- called isight cam­era will also have a wide f2.4 aper­ture for low- light shoot­ing, au­to­matic face de­tec­tion, in­fra- red fil­ter for more ac­cu­rate colour and the abil­ity to cap­ture full HD video. Re­sults ap­pear sim­i­lar to a rea­son­able phone cam­era.

4G OR NOT 4G Ap­ple’s in­com­ing tablet will be the first 4G prod­uct for the com­pany, but it will not be com­pat­i­ble with Australia’s cur­rent 4G ( LTE) net­works.

Tel­stra and Op­tus net­works will use the 1800MHZ fre­quency, not sup­ported by this ipad; a dis­tinc­tion that Tel­syte re­search di­rec­tor Foad Fadaghi says could con­fuse some Aus­tralian users.

‘‘ They should have had it cer­ti­fied on the Tel­stra net­work and had it ready to go at launch,’’ Fadaghi says.

But the tablet will be com­pat­i­ble with dual- car­rier HSPA net­works in Australia, and could de­liver down­load speeds up to 42 megabits a sec­ond, though real- world speeds are likely to be slower.

WHAT’S MISS­ING De­spite early ru­mours, Ap­ple did not add a quad- core com­puter pro­ces­sor to its lat­est tablet, as in some of its ri­vals. In­stead, the com­pany opted for a quad- core graph­ics pro­cess­ing unit on its A5X chip.

Ex­perts fore­cast­ing a smaller ver­sion were also proven wrong and this ipad ac­tu­ally added a lit­tle weight and bulk ( 49g and 0.61mm).

NEW PRIC­ING While Ap­ple main­tained ipad 2 pric­ing for the new model in the US, Australia won a dis­count due to the strong dol­lar.

It will be of­fered in Australia for $ 40 ( wi- fi) or $ 50 ( 4G) less than the pre­vi­ous model.

The 16GB ipad 2 will re­main on sale and will re­ceive a $ 150 price cut to $ 429; a sav­ing Fadaghi says will make com­pet­ing with Ap­ple’s tablets in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult for its ri­vals.

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