The iPad has become the must-have gadget of the twenty-teens, easily the most forward-thinking of the many cutting edge products that fan favorite Apple currently produces. Whereas Macs have become a stable, ubiquitous presence in both personal computing and the business world, and iPhones have set a new universal standard for tools we all use on a daily basis, the iPad has spent the last few years exploring – and carving out – new territory on the tech frontier.
Not everyone thought they needed a not-quite-computer, bigger-than-phone smart media device. In fact, not everyone thinks they need it even now. But this has built a mystique around the tablet that's done as much as anything else to contribute to its popularity, and now competitors in droves are showing up with tablets of their own design to try to match or, laughably, beat the iPad at its own game.
So what are the actual specs on the iPad 3?
Like all previous iPads, the iPad 3 is lean if nothing else. This one manages to come in a hair thinner – that's one millimeter – but surprisingly nearly 3 ounces lighter. That's impressive since the iPad 2 was already a pared down device, and this one performs even better. The iPad 3 has front, side and back cameras, with the front and back in 1080 pixels (the side is VGA). There is an economy option with 16 gigs of storage, a superuser option with 64, or the 32 gig option the rest of us are going to get. The screen measures almost 10 inches and has a stunning 1024 x 768 resolution, and the whole thing runs on a 1.2 GHz processor. All that with 12 hours of battery life and iOS 6 as your operating system.
What do all these specs add up to? Well, according to early reviews, a very satisfying user experience: it's faster, with more RAM, better cameras and display, and there's a model that supports Spring 4G service. If you're the type who needs a super-portable media center, or you just like to impress your friends, the iPad3 offers you a lot more power.