Apple threw a curve ball at the October media event by announcing the iPad 4 alongside the much-anticipated iPad Mini and a new line of Macs. The newest iPad represents an incremental upgrade to the iPad 3, with no major new features added to the tablet. However, the iPad 4 does have an upgraded CPU that provides twice the performance as the iPad 3. It also has an improved front-facing camera, support for dual-band Wi-Fi and extended 4G LTE coverage.
iPad 4 Features:
- Dual-core A6X chipset with quad-core graphics processor offering twice the performance as the iPad 3
- 9.5 inches long and 7.31 inches wide, weighs 1.44-1.46 lbs and only 0.37 inches thick
- "Retina Display" with 2,048 x 1,536 resolution and a 9.7 inch LED backlight Multi-Touch display
- Back-facing 5 MP iSight camera capable of 1080p video and featuring autofocus, face detection and backside illumination.
- Front-facing "FaceTime" camera capable of 1.2 MP photos and 720p HD video.
- 16 to 64 GB Flash storage
- 4G LTE, DC-HSDPA and HSPA support, with 4G LTE support on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon
- Siri and Voice Dictation
- AirPlay video streaming to Apple TV 3rd generation at 1080p and Apple TV 2nd generation at 720p
- AirPlay Mirroring at 720p
- Dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n with support for 802.11n on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Lightning connector
- 10 hours of battery life, 9 using 4G and 1 month standby
- External speaker
- iOS 6.0
- Compatible with iPad apps and all iPhone apps
Is the iPad 4 worth the upgrade?
The iPad 4 represents a significant upgrade for owners of the original iPad and the iPad 2. In addition to a much faster CPU and graphics processor, the iPad 4 has a Retina Display, support for 4G LTE and dual-band Wi-Fi and has Siri, Apple's "intelligent assistant". This makes the iPad 4 an excellent upgrade to the original iPad and a very good upgrade compared to the iPad 2.
For iPad 3 owners, the new iPad's processor is twice as fast whether it is crunching numbers or displaying graphics on the Retina Display. It also has dual-band Wi-Fi and improvements made to both the front-facing camera and the way photos are processed. However, this doesn't add up to a great upgrade for most iPad 3 owners.
How much does the iPad 4 cost?
The iPad 4 has the same pricing scheme as previous iPads. It comes in two flavors -- 4G LTE and Wi-Fi -- and has three sizes for storage -- 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. Here's a pricing breakdown:
Wi-Fi: $499 for 16 GB, $599 for 32 GB and $699 for 64 GB.
4G LTE: $629 for 16 GB, $729 for 32 GB and $829 for 64 GB.