iPad 3 Pre-Announcement Rundown

Mar 5, 2012
16

The time is nigh for the announcement of Apple's next big product, and chances are it's an iPad 3, iPad HD, or iPad 2S - have a look with us at all the information that's been tipped on this product thus far. Here we sit less than 2 days before the next Apple press event which we'll of course be attending and liveblogging to you as the information all comes down - and we've got so much information already! Of course none of the rumors, tips, or leaks have been verified by Apple, nor can any of them be truly confirmed until the big A lets their lips loose in reality, but let's make some educated guesses based on sources close to the action, shall we?

High Definition Retina Display

First of all, there's been so much news surrounding the idea that this version of the iPad will have a massively improved display panel that it's essentially impossible at this point that it wouldn't. This model of the iPad has been rumored to be having a Retina quality display at 2x the quality of the current model iPad 2. With 2048 x 1536 pixels jam packed into the same physical display size as previous models, this feature fits in perfectly with the tagline for this event:

"We have something you really have to see. And touch."

The touch bit we must simply conclude means that this is, indeed, a touch-screen device as it always has been and that it wont be a television or something absurd like that, no touching allowed. There is a chance that there may be some improvements made on the technology behind the touch screen interface, but it is unlikely.

Improved Processing Architecture over the A5 chip

Inside every computer is a processor, or an SoC (System on Chip), the iPad 2's current processor being the dual-core A5 chip. The same generation chip is also on the iPhone 4S, though the builds are ever so slightly different due to their needing to work on different hardware. What the iPad 3 has been tipped to be carrying is one of two possible chips: the A6 or the A5X. The less likely of these two is the A6, a hypothetical SoC with four CPU cores and improved graphics processing technology.

The more likely option is an A5X chip, this bit of architecture still dual-core and having the ability to work with 4G LTE connectivity for data. This version of the chip would also include more powerful GPU cores to work with all the new pixels this iPad has in action.

Cameras

Both the front and the back-facing cameras on the iPad line have been tipped to be set up for improvement, this quite likely due to Apple's big push for better photos in the iPhone 4S as well as the relatively unimpressive quality of the iPad 2's current shooters. The iPad 2 currently features a 1-megapixel camera on the back, while the improved model iPad 3 could very well have a 3 megapixel camera on the front and an 8 megapixel camera on the back to keep up with the rest of the highest-powered tablets on the market today. The front-facing camera has also been tipped as possibly having the ability to work with 720p video chat through iChat.

The Rest

For the rest of the odd rumors I must show you the timeline below. What we've got here is tips on everything from a set of three units, each with different sizes, to a triangular tablet ala The Office. Of course you'll be able to decipher which of these 10 "winners" are realistic and which are complete hooey, but do know this: they're all entertaining. That's for sure!

The Real Deal

We'll be at the event for the release of this device this Wednesday at 10AM PST sharp. We've got both a liveblog at live.slashgear.com and news coming through to the main SlashGear news feed as well all throughout the event, and you can bet you'll be getting top notch reporting and perfect photographs from the event all event long. This may well be the biggest iPad release yet - be there or be square!


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