Photo: Associated Press
Apple’s new iPad goes on sale in stores on March 16.What? You didn’t know? Sorry! Pre-orders for launch day delivery are already sold out, so if you want to get your hands on one this Friday, you’ll have to wait in line at an Apple Store or AT&T/Verizon store.
Get there early.
Since last week’s announcement, we’ve been getting a ton of questions regarding Apple’s new iPad.
Let’s make it easy for you.
If you’re still on the fence about buying a new iPad, here’s a quick FAQ of all the important stuff it has.
What is a Retina display?
The new iPad’s screen will have a resolution that’s so high it’ll be nearly impossible to detect individual pixels with the naked eye. Apple calls the screen a Retina display, and it’s very similar to the one on the iPhone. The Retina display makes text and photos pop, almost as if they were printed on paper. In short, everything you see will be clear and crisp, much better than what you see on the iPad 2 and other tablets.
What’s so special about the new iPad if it looks exactly like the iPad 2?
A lot. It may not look like much has changed with the new iPad from the outside because many of the improvements are inside. In addition to the Retina display mentioned above, there’s now a quad-core processor for making improved graphics and overall speed. The new iPad also has a dictation feature that lets you talk to type. (Sorry, no Siri.) If you want a wireless plan, the iPad is now compatible with 4G LTE networks for faster data speeds. Finally, video nuts will be able to shoot full 1080p HD video with the iPad’s 5 MP camera. In fact, the camera uses the same optics as the iPhone 4S.
How much does it cost?
The new iPad will have the same pricing structure as the previous models. Wi-Fi models cost $499, $599, and $699 for the 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB versions, respectively. The 4G LTE models cost $629, $729, and $829 for the 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB versions, respectively.
That’s too expensive! What should I do?
Apple will keep the iPad 2 around for another year. You can get a 16 GB Wi-Fi model for $399 or a 16 GB 3G model for $529.
What the heck is this “4G LTE” we keep hearing about?
LTE is a wireless technology that lets phones, tablets, and other mobile devices access the Internet at speeds that are about 10 times faster than the 3G connection you’re probably used to. At times, LTE speeds can rival your home’s Wi-Fi network. Apple will offer an LTE model of the iPad that runs on AT&T and Verizon.
Since LTE is a new technology, it’s not as widely-available as 3G. AT&T has LTE in about 30 cities right now. Verizon’s LTE network covers almost 200 cities. If you don’t live in an area with LTE, your iPad can still get a normal 3G signal. Both networks will continue adding LTE service to more cities throughout the year.
How much will a data plan cost me?
AT&T and Verizon sell month-to-month data plans for the iPad, meaning you won’t be locked into a two-year contract. You can cancel your subscription at any time.
On AT&T you get: 250 MB for $14.99 per month, 3 GB for $30 per month, and 5 GB for $50 per month.
On Verizon you get: 1 GB for $20 per month, 2 GB for $30 per month, and 5 GB for $50 per month.
How long will I have to wait?
Since Apple already sold out of pre-ordered iPads for launch day delivery, new orders are taking two to three weeks to ship.