It seems like only last year that the iPad 2 was the hottest device on the market, with lines around the block and folks with wallets at the ready to pick up Apple's latest device. In fact it was last year and, like clockwork, Apple is about to release a brand new iPad for us all to salivate over/yell about.
That's right: Here comes the iPad 3.
Apple will be announcing their newest iPad at an event in San Francisco next Wednesday and here's what you need to know about it. To be clear, these are mostly rumors right now, but it's better to be forewarned and forearmed before you go rocketing down to the Apple store on March 7th.
The Price - Don't expect any bargain basement deals here. However, if you hop over to sites like Best Buy, the old iPad is now $50 off and should drop quite quickly over the next few weeks. If you've been thinking about getting an iPad at all, this may be a good opportunity to pick up a cheap iPad 2 or even a used model.
If you're looking for an upgrade, expect the iPad 2 to start at $499 with prices increasing with features and storage. The iPad 2 could drop below $300 with rebates and sales (if Apple keeps selling them).
The Screen - The new iPad should have a higher resolution screen than any comparable device on the market. The iPad 2 had a 1024 x 768 pixel display - acceptable, to be sure - but the iPad 3 should have a "Retina" display that will make text and images appear amazingly clear.
Like the iPhone 4's retina display, the iPad 3's will cram many more pixels onto an already pixel-dense screen. If you have bad eyesight or a read a lot on the iPad, this is the feature you're going to want to check out.
The Processor - Again, if history is any guide the new iPad will be considerably faster than the old model. You probably won't see much of a boost in Angry Birds pig-destroying speed, but hardcore iPad gamers will notice better graphics and improved reaction speed.
This will be a minor bump at best, but it will be noticable.
Siri - All signs point to Siri appearing on the iPad 3 this year. The service is already well-established and works well for millions of people. The only concern? The iPad doesn't really have an always-on network (unless you buy the 3G model) so Siri won't work unless you're near a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The Button - Here's a goofy bonus rumor: The iPad 3 won't have a button on the face. Notice the image above? See where the finger is? Bloggers are all in a tizzy that what we're looking at is the lower part of the iPad screen and (OMG) there's no button!
The iPad Mini - And here's another bonus rumor: Apple may announce an iPad Mini, a smaller iPad designed for reading. Think of it as a device that sits squarely between the iPod Touch and the 10-inch iPad 3. I'd give this 50/50 odds of actually appearing next week, although there are plenty of reasons it should. Reading on an iPad is fun, sure, but Kindles and Nooks have shown us that something smaller and lighter is a bit better on the wrists and eyes.
The Wow Factor, or Should I Buy One? - Look, it's an iPad. Many people will buy one, many people won't. Apple usually pleases their market with their regular upgrades, and people are probably already lining up outside the Apple store. There are definitely competing products out there, but nobody every went wrong buying Apple.
Question: Are you going to buy the iPad 3?
I'm Waiting For The iPad 6
Android For Life?
I'm Still Using The Original iPad
Total Votes: 21
Total Votes: 21
Are you planning to buy the iPad 3 or aren't you sold?
Image via Apple