Apple’s new iPad: A first hands on [Video]

Apple’s new iPad is here and we’ve reported the full details on specs, but you might be wondering what it looks like, how it responds and whether or not it’s worth dumping your first generation iPad or iPad 2 for an upgrade.

While we can’t answer all of those questions today (I’ll be writing up a full review of the new iPad soon), my colleague David Sarno shot some video (see above) and shared some first impressions from the floor of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts where Apple unveiled its third-generation tablet on Wednesday.

PHOTOS: Apple unveils new iPad

Sarno said the new iPad’s retina display is a big improvement in resolution and detail over the first two generation Apple tablets, comparing the new iPad to holding an HD TV set in your hands.

The new iPad technically has a higher than high-definition display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, which is twice the resolution of the first two iPad models, which have 1,024-by-768-pixel resolution touchscreens.

The new display earns its “retina display” name because it offers up a density of 326 dots per inch, or dpi. Dpi is a measurement of how many pixels can fit into a square inch and anything with a dpi of 300 or greater is considered a retina display because individual pixels aren’t distinguishable to the human eye when a device is held about 10 to 12 inches away.

Sarno also said that the new iPad’s improved graphics processing unit is noticeably more powerful that what was seen on the iPad 2, having no problem handling complicated 3D graphics, such as games. Books look a lot clearer too, he said.

The new iPad packs an “A5X” chip set with the same dual-core processor as the iPad 2 combined with a new quad-core graphics unit that Apple says will offer four times the graphics performance of its predecessor.

In the video Sarno shot on his cellphone at the unveiling, we can hear others at the event saying that the new iPad appears to respond faster to touch input and that the screen looks “fantastic.”

Of course, seeing something on the show floor and living with it isn’t always the same, so stay tuned to the Technology blog for the new iPad review in the coming days.


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