Yesterday, Vietnamese website Tinhte.vn revealed the very first unboxing video of the new iPad, as well as benchmarking it with the Geekbench 2 app. Now, they’ve shared on their forums some new photos of the retina display in action. It is clear just how much sharper the screen is, especially when it comes to the text and app icons (notice the icons for Angry Birds and PvZ HD). It’s been noted that the retina-enabled apps are 2.5 to 3 times the size of the previous versions (google translation):
These applications developed by Apple has been upgraded to support the Retina screen, for example with Keynote (iWork software sets), this application previously only content of 115MB but its latest version is 327MB. Numbers from 109MB or 283MB up to, from 95MB to 269MB Pages, iMovie from 70MB to 404MB. On average, these applications increased 2.5 to 3 times the older versions mostly to support the Retina Display resolution, besides adding some new features.
Apple has confirmed earlier this morning that the new iPad will go on sale in Apple retail stores at 8am local time on Friday, March 16. The initial wave of launch countries include the US, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the UK. Yesterday, a leaked photograph of an upcoming App Store display revealed this very info, though it wasn’t clear at the time whether it would apply to the other countries as well. As for those in the US, the new iPad will also be available at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart. If you’re planning on lining up for one (or two) in the wee hours of Friday morning, your best bet is still an Apple Store, where there’ll be plenty more iPads in stock compared to the other brick-and-mortar chains.
The complete press release can be found after the break.
According to 9to5mac, Apple Stores will open earlier – at 8:00am – on Friday, March 16 to begin selling the new iPads. This comes from a “friend in retail” who provided the site with a snapshot of an upcoming Store front signage with the 8am launch time (presumably that would be 8am in your own time zone). This will be quite the change from last year, when the iPad 2 officially went on sale in stores at 5pm. With online pre-orders now pushed back to the 2-3 week time frame, those who wish to get their hands on the newest iPad come March 16th will undoubtedly have to line up in stores nice and early. Also of note: it is not currently known if the new iPads will also be available at 8am in Apple Stores in Canada and other initial launch countries.
Tinhte.vn, the website that benchmarked the New iPad, have also posted an unboxing video and images of a 16GB Wifi + 4G model they received several days ahead of its official release. Their initial impression of the 3rd gen iPad is that while it’s slightly heavier and thicker, the changes may not really be that noticeable to the user. As for the retina display, images look “really smooth”. Here’s the google translated version of their quick run-through:
The folks who run the Vietnamese site Tinhte.vn appear to have gotten their hands on the New iPad and promptly put it through a Geekbench test, confirming that the latest iTablet does indeed have 1GB of Ram (988MB). This will be the first iDevice to hit the 1GB mark; both the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 have 512 MB of ram. As for the Geekbench score, the new iPad settled at 756, which is on par with benchmarks from that of the iPad 2. Not surprising considering that the processor clocks in at 1GHz, meaning there’s no bump in CPU speed. For the complete breakdown of the Geekbench test, hit the source to check out the rest of the screenshots.
9to5mac is reporting that the iPad 3′s release date is set for March 16th, 9 days after the official unveiling planned for tomorrow at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. This comes from a reliable Apple Store source’s info that ”preparations are being made for a big Apple Store event which will culminate on Friday, March 16th”. If you’ll recall, the iPad 2 was first announced last year on March 2nd, and 9 days later, was released on March 11th. So time frame wise, a March 16th launch date is certainly possible, and perhaps even highly probable.
Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview was released on Wednesday morning, and within a day, it had more than a million downloads. The upcoming OS is a complete departure from the Windows as we all know, with a Metro-style interface that relies heavily on touch and gestures. So how does Windows 8 running on a tablet stack up to iOS on an iPad? Quite well it seems. The Verge have posted a great video (above) showing the two OSes side-by-side, including a rundown of the features we can expect from Windows 8.
DigiTimes is once again stoking the flames for the rumoured 7.85-inch iPad, which they first suggested was likely a few months ago. In a new report published today, DigiTimes’ sources claim that manufacturers in Apple’s supply chain have already started delivering samples of the smaller iPad for “verification”, with volume production to begin in Q3 of 2012.
Makers in Apple’s iPad supply chain have started delivering samples of 7.85-inch iPads for verification, with volume production likely to begin in the third quarter of 2012 at the earliest, according to industry sources.
The belief is that Apple is planning on launching the 7.85-inch iPad to compete with Amazon’s $199 7-inch Kindle Fire and other similarly sized tablets. The same sources have pegged the 7.85-inch iPad’s price at US$249-299, and the rumoured 8GB iPad 2 to sell for US$349-399 when released. Now before you get overly excited about a smaller iPad, just know that DigiTimes has been known to be wrong before with their reports, so cautiously take it with a grain of salt.
As Apple has scheduled an event on March 7, sources from its upstream supply chain pointed out that the company is expected to launch two iPad 3 models – a 16GB version and 32GB version.
In addition to iPad 3, Apple is also expected to unveil an 8GB iPad 2, allowing the tablet PC series to cover different segments and to defend against Windows 8-based tablet PCs, the sources noted.
An 8GB iPad 2 is entirely possible – even likely – as it falls in line with a capacity (and price) drop found in that of the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 after nearly a year of being released. An iPad 3 launching without a 64GB model however, seems a bit strange, especially given how the iPad 2 does come in 64GB versions. And with the expected hi-res display in the third gen iPad, you’d expect that users would want even more space to store their HD videos and whatnot. Well, we’re only less than a week from the unveiling, so we’ll soon find out if this info is completely accurate.
For those of you eagerly anticipating the arrival of the iPad 3, mark March 7th on your calendar. Apple has begun sending out invites to a special media event that will take place on Wednesday, March 7 at 10am PST, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. The graphic on the invite shows an iPad with what appears to be a high-res screen and the tagline “We have something you really have to see. And touch.”. Recent rumours have pointed to a rear camera with more megapixels, a retina display, a quad-core process and possible support for LTE. And the Taiwanese newspaper Apple Daily even published pictures of what they claim is the next-gen iPad. Pretty soon we’ll see of which these rumoured upgrades will hold true, and thankfully, we only have 8 days to wait before the official unveiling.