For the past few months there has been plenty of speculating regarding the new iPad. Apple fans all over the world have been looking forward to this day; the new iPad has finally been confirmed at the Apple event that was held in San Francisco today.

So, what does this new device have to offer? One of the rumors regarded the retina display (as was explained in a previous blog) and CEO Tim Cook has happily announced that this high resolution display is used for the new 9.7-inch iPad. It has a 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution and a 3.1 million pixel screen spread, which qualifies this display as a retina display (the dpi of the new iPad is 326). The color saturation has improved by over 40% than before, which also affects the image quality.

Another speculation has been confirmed: the iPad is powered by an A5X processor, including quad-core graphics. According to Apple, compared to Tegra 3, the new iPad’s processor works twice as fast and the graphics performance is four times better than an Nvidia chip. The battery life is still 10 hours (9 hours on 4G) and the iPad is 9.4mm thin, weighing 1.4lbs. This indicates that you are able use the new and improved features with the same battery life that you’re used to on the previous generation of iPads.

Additionally, the new iPad connectivity has improved and now has 21Mbps HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA at 42Mbps and LTE at 73Mbps and Apple uses AT&T, Verizon, Rogers, Bell and Telus as LTE partners. The 4G LTE technology has increased loading time significantly, and even though the various bands of LTE means separate devices for AT&T and Verizon, all will be 3G world-ready so roaming is possible around the world.

What about the camera? The iSight (rear) camera operates at 5MP (up to 1080p recording) and includes a backside illuminated sensor, a 5-element lens, IR filter, auto exposure, auto-focus and ISP built into the A5X chip. Although the front camera hasn’t changed, Apple has done a terrific job with these additions as they will improve the overall user experience of the camera.

Is Siri on the new iPad? Yes she is! The voice dictation feature supports US English, British, Australian, French, German, and Japanese, which is quite impressive.

Other aspects that were covered at the event included the apps for the new iPad. Here are a few to look forward to:

–          Sketchbook Pro from Autodesk: this new drawing app focuses on line art; it can export images greater than 100 megapixels and is available in April, exclusively on iOS.

–          iWork has been updated and you can purchase it for $9.99, the update is free if you already have purchased the app.

–          Garage Band now has Smart Strings: a note editor you can push through iCloud.

–          iMovie now includes storyboards and new editing features and is priced at $4.99 (the update is free if you already own the app).

–          iPhoto has new gestures, new effects, multi-touch editing, and you can beam photos directly between devices. It also has a map that uses geotags and a weather icon and uses both to tell you what the weather was like. It works the same on the iPhone and is priced at $4.99 and is currently available.

All the technological improvements influence the gaming graphics, which is a major benefit for all iPad gamers. The new iPad is expected to be very successful and will be available on March 16, in the colors black and white. The prices are: $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, $699 for 64GB and there is no 128GB available yet. The 4G prices are respectively $629, $729 and $829: pre-orders start today!

Are you planning to get the new iPad? Tell me about it in the comments!