Update 1:05 p.m. KQED's Stephanie Martin talked today to tech analyst/consultant/columnist Tim Bajarin, whose opinion carries a lot of weight in the industry. It's no exaggeration to say that after getting his hands on the new iPad, he was blown away and then some.
What was your impression of the new iPad?
This is really the most amazing display on any tablet. It's in higher resolution than your HD TV. Pictures and video are just stunning. It will dramatically set Apple apart even further from their competitors as a result.
So you're saying this is not hype...
No. I've talked to some competitors since then and they're scratching their heads. They don’t have a response to this. It's taken Apple almost three years to perfect the chip, to work the software and to get to this high-resolution display in this large size and then to manufacture it in the millions of units. It basically sets the bar for how all tablets will be viewed in the future.
It will force all of the other vendors, whether they're making smartphones or tablets, to try to do higher resolution screens. Whether they will be able to match Apple's quality is very much a question mark. I think at the very least Apple adds another two years to the competition from the standpoint of their ability to catch up.
You take a picture, and it's 44 % brighter and deeper color saturation alone. In an iPad 1 or 2, when you expand the picture out, you can see pixilation. But with the new iPad, you can expand it all you want and the resolution is so high you can't see any pixilation. You can't see any pixels at all. The picture or video is just clear as a bell.
The other thing that's really unique is written text. When you look at it on an iPad 1 or 2 or for that matter an Amazon Kindle, the crispness of the text is night and day.
Update 11:03 a.m. The deed is done. There's a new iPad model on the global block. The basics from AP:
Apple is revealing a new iPad model. New features include a sharper screen and a faster processor. It will go on sale March 16.
Prices aren't changing from previous models. They will start at $499. Versions capable of accessing cellular networks will cost $629 to $829. For the first time, the iPad will be able to access the faster 4G cellular networks.
Apple says the new display will be even sharper than the high-definition television set in the living room. The company says it will show more saturated colors than previous models.
Apple says the new model also will be four times faster.
In keeping with the tradition of turning the entire web into an extension of Apple's media department, we provide you with the following list of live blogs...