In addition to releasing its long-awaited iPad mini tablet, Apple on Tuesday introduced its fourth-generation iPad media tablet. The new device features very powerful Apple A6X system-on-chip, improved front camera, boosted-up Wi-Fi, global 4G/LTE support as well as Lightning connector.
Apple iPad fourth-generation features 9.7” display with 2048*1536 resolution (264ppi) and is based on the A6X (dual-core ARM Cortex-A15, quad-core PowerVR graphics core, 32nm process technology). The tablet features 1GB LPDDR2 RAM, 16GB/32GB/64GB NAND flash storage, 5MP rear camera with backside illumination, 1.2MP front camera, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS/Glonass (cellular version only), “world-ready” 3G, HSPA+ (21Mb/s), DC-HSPA (42Mb/s) and 4G/LTE (73Mb/s). The iPad 4 shares the form-factor with previous-generation tablet and comes in steel and glass design that is 9.4mm thick and weighs up to 662 grams/1.46 pounds.
According to Apple, the fourth generation iPad provides up to twice the CPU performance and up to twice the graphics performance of the iPad 3, while delivering 10 hours of battery life. Other new features include a FaceTime HD camera, twice the Wi-Fi performance when compared to previous iPad models and support for additional 4G/LTE carriers worldwide, which essentially enables nearly global support for 4G/LTE.
At first sight, the improvements of the fourth-gen Apple iPad over the third-gen iPad are not significant and one might call the new iPad as the iPad 3.5. Nonetheless, it should be noted that the new iPad with A6X SoC features custom ARM Cortex-A15 “Eagle” general-purpose processing cores, which are not only faster, but are more capable than the Cortex-A9 engines used inside previous-generation A5X. Moreover, since the new system-on-chip of the iPad 4 promises to double performance of graphics processing it may mean that it utilizes one of Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR 6-series “Rogue” graphics processors, which support all features of the latest graphics APIs including OpenGL ES ‘Halti’, OpenGL 3.x/4.x, OpenCL 1.x and DirectX 10 with certain family members extending their capabilities to full WHQL-compliant DirectX 11.1 functionality. Provided that the A6X truly features ARM Cortex-A15 “Eagle” and PowerVR 6 “Rogue” CPU and GPU, the new iPad 4 definitely has right to belong to the next-generation of tablets as both technologies will power slates that will become available in 2013.
The fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi models will also be available on Friday, November 2, in black or white for a suggested retail price of $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model and $699 for the 64GB model. Apple iPad with Wi-Fi+Cellular will start shipping a couple of weeks after the Wi-Fi models, beginning in the US on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. Fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi+Cellular for AT&T, Sprint and Verizon will be offered for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model.
The fourth generation iPad will be sold through the Apple online store, Apple’s retail stores, and select Apple authorized resellers in the U.S., Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.