Apple media event: new iPad, iOS 5.1 and updated Apple TV

Just as expected, Apple have today released a new version of their tablet PC offering, simply marketed as the ‘new iPad’.

The device has a new 2048 x 1536 pixel display, doubling the resolution of the iPad 2’s 1024 x 768 pixel screen in both directions. This simple scaling means that applications won’t need any layout adjustments, although they will of course need to be updated with higher resolution imagery.

In order to run all those pixels, the new iPad features a new quad-core A5X processor. Image capture will also be improved with the new 5MP camera with auto-exposure and auto-focus, which can record in 1080p.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the iPad will now support 4G LTE mobile networks. Many commentators had suggested, quite sensibly, that as LTE coverage is extremely limited (indeed, there are no commercial providers currently in the UK), that Apple would wait for another day before adding this feature. However, when taken in the context that the company is aggressively marketing a “post-PC” world, creating the demand for these networks which will allow us to much more easily move away from fixed Internet links makes sense. Perhaps most excitingly, technology introduced on the iPad often makes a progression to the iPhone later in the same year, and it’d be nice to think it sets a precedent for a LTE iPhone in 2012.

The new iPad is slightly thicker and slightly heavier than the previous model, although the battery life remains the same. Pricing will also remain the same, starting at £399 for the 16GB, WiFi version up to £649 for the 64GB, 4G and WiFi version.

Apple have announced the availbility of iOS 5.1 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, which should be downloadable from today. I’ll be covering the new features in this release in a separate post.

Finally, Apple also announced an updated Apple TV which now supports 1080p output with a new interface. It’ll be available from the 16th March for £99.

Today’s media event brings an updated iPad with tangible new features, and as a result it’s likely that the new device will be a commercial success.

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