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iPad 3 officially announced: Retina display, 4G LTE, 5mp camera, 1080p recording confirmed

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The iPad 3 is finally here!  Apple officially announced the arrival of the iPad 3 ending months of speculation and rumors surrounding the next-gen iPad.

During the press event held today, Apple confirmed a ton of new features in the iPad 3, many of which had already been rumored weeks before today.  But alas, we can finally say, for sure, it will have a retina display.

The iPad 3 will feature a Retina display packing 3.1 million pixels, the most ever in a mobile device.  The 9.7-inch screen resolution is 2048x1536 (264ppi), making the iPad 3's screen easily the best available on the market.

The iPad 3 won't only have better resolution though.  It also boasts 40% improved color saturation.

Apple also confirmed the iPad 3 has an A5X processor and quad-core graphics chip, which Apple says is "four times the performance" compared to the Tegra 3.

The iPad 3 will also feature an improved iSight camera with a five-megapxiel, backside illuminated sensor and a five-element lens.  It's very similar the the one on the iPhone 4S.  The camera is also capable of capturing 1080p video along with software stabilization.

The fourth feature is voice dictation offering full-voice recognition for U.S. English, British, Australian, French, German, and Japanese.

One of the most talked about potential features is, of course, the LTE rumor.  Yes, the iPad 3 will have 4G LTE, sporting 21 Mbps HSPA+, as well as an LTE radio capable of pulling down 73MBps on both Verizon and AT&T in the United States.  Outside of the U.S., Rogers, Bell and Telus will support 4G LTE.

All will be 3G world-ready, Apple confirmed.

You'd think with all of these new features the battery life would be worse than the iPad 2.  Thankfully, that is not the case as Apple said the iPad 3 will sport 10 hours of battery life with 9 hours when connected to 4G.  Unfortunately, the iPad 3 is slightly heavier than the predecessor weighing 1.4 points.  It is 9.4mm thin.  Oh, and it's available in black or white.

Overall, not a bad upgrade from the iPad 2.  Even better, is that it won't cost anymore.  Apple confirmed prices for the iPad 3 will start at $499 for the 16GB model.  Of course, the models with more space and 4G LTE will cost significantly more.  Check out our full iPad 3 pricing breakdown here.  Pre-orders begin today in anticipation for the iPad 3's March 16th worldwide launch.

For up-to-date gaming and tech news follow @Matt_GZ on Twitter.

[Engadget]

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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