Everyone knew the iPad mini was going to be announced by Apple today, but the company caught a great many people off guard when it also took the wraps off a new version of its full-size tablet.
Although Apple has labeled this the fourth-generation iPad, it’s more of a speed-bumped version of the third-generation one. The major change is a new processor: an Apple A6X rather than the A6 that is in the model released last Spring. Although Apple kept mum on details like clock speed, the company said this chip will offer twice the performance of its predecessor.
In addition, the front-facing camera has been improved so that it can take 720p video.
A change that’s a bit more controversial: instead of the Dock Connector that Apple has used for many years, this tablet will have the smaller Lightning port that was first seen on the recently-released iPhone 5. This means users of this model will need an adapter use cables designed for previous iPads.
Aside from these changes, this model is essentially identical to the third-generation tablet from Apple. This means it is going to have a 9.7-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels.
Price and Availability
The prices for updated iPads will be the same as the ones for the current versions, so a WiFi-only model with 16GB of storage capacity will be $500. Adding 4G LTE will bump that up by $130.
The fourth-generation Apple iPad has already replaced the third-gen model on Apple.com.