Apple new iPad: Need to Know

Apple new iPad

The new iPad is set to go on sale from 8am today and many Apple fans have spent the night queuing outside stores around the world, eager to be get their hands on the highly sought after tablet.

We breakdown the features of Apple's latest device to see what all the fuss is about and help you decide whether it's worth splashing the cash on.

What exactly is the new iPad?

The "new iPad" is the third generation tablet from Apple and is unofficially known as the iPad 3.

The device is practically identical to its predecessor when it comes to screen size and design. It comes with a 9.7in screen, but is a tad thicker (0.6mm) and around 50g heavier than the iPad 2

Apple has beefed up the new iPad in four key areas, however - display, processor, cameras and network connectivity.

Sadly, Apple has not added a Thunderbolt port so users cannot carry out high-speed data transfers just yet. A removable memory card slot and Adobe Flash support also remain elusive and it's safe to say they will probably never make an appearance on Apple tablets.

What is all the fuss about the Retina display?

The most talked about new feature is the Retina display,' which having debuted in the iPhone 4 has finally made it across to the tablet range.

New iPad users will be treated to a scrumptious resolution of 2048x1536 with a 264 pixels per inch (PPI) density. Apple has squeezed in a total of 3.1 million pixels into the 9.7in screen, and the firm is confident pixilation will no longer be a problem.

We expect the Retina display to make the iPad a far better e-reader as text will be sharper. The quality of images and video playback will also be significantly improved, as colour saturation is enhanced by 44 per cent.

Apple claims the display on the new iPad is the best on a mobile device to date and, from what we have seen so far, that claim looks to have some merit.

Which processor has Apple used?

The new iPad will ship with Apple's own custom built A5X chipset. The company said this setup contains a dual-core processor and comes with quad-core graphics capabilities.

The processor in the new iPad has been clocked at 1GHz, which is the same speed as the A5 chip used in the iPad 2. Early benchmarking has revealed Apple used 1GB of RAM in the latest model, double what was included in its predecessor (512MB).

Unsurprisingly, these hardware specifications will make this the most responsive iPad to-date when it comes to opening, closing and switching between apps. We also expect the in-app and browsing experience to be very responsive.

During the launch event, Apple boldly claimed the A5X chipset delivers four times better performance than Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor, despite the latter coming with a quad-core processor and 12 GPUs. The Tegra 3 is found in Android devices such as the Asus Transformer Prime and it will be interesting to see how the devices stack up against each other.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.