At its special media event today in San Francisco, Apple revealed the new iPad to the world, ending literally months of annoying rumours in the process.
As it turns out, a lot of those rumours proved to be bang on the money, mind. For starters, "the new iPad" (yes, that's it's official name) does sport a 2048x1536 Retina display (well, according to Apple's ever-changing definition of the term) with a pixel density of 264 ppi.
Making sure everything ticks along at high speed is the new A5X processor (with quad-core GPU) that purportedly offers up to four times the performance of Nvidia's recently revealed Tegra 3 processor.
In terms of other hardware, the new iPad's 5-megapixel camera appears to be the same model found on the iPhone 4S (which is to say, pretty darn good), meaning 1080p HD video recording is now possible on the tablet PC.
Apple has also incorporated some voice dictation software into the new iPad, with support for (British, American, and Australian) English, French, German, and Japanese. Oddly, the company isn't officially calling it Siri. Yet.
US and Canadian iPad owners can look forward to super-high internet speeds, for the new iPad comes with 4G LTE connectivity. The new iPad can also now be used as a connection hotspot, which will likely be blocked by the major UK carriers immediately, judging by previous experiences.
Impressively, the battery life of the new model is identical to the iPad 2's, meaning you can expect to get ten hours of juice from a single charge. The added bonus for 4G LTE customers is that the new iPad will be able to chew up 4G connections for a reported nine hours before it gives up the ghost.
Another impressive thing about the new iPad is the fact that Apple has somehow managed to keep the price point for the entry 16GB model the same as the iPad 2's, so prices start at $499 and rise to $699 for the 64GB version of the device. Both black and white variants will be available at launch.
"The new iPad redefines the category Apple created less than two years ago, delivering the most amazing experience people have ever had with technology," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said.
"The new iPad now has the highest resolution display ever seen on a mobile device with 3.1 million pixels, delivering razor sharp text and unbelievable detail in photos and videos."
Pre-orders for the new iPad are being taken now on the Apple Store, and it will launch simultaneously for the first time across the UK, US, Canada, France, Switzerland, and Japan on March 16th.