iPad 3 Rumors & Thoughts – Part 1: Hardware

With Steve Jobs gone and his legacy not completely publically known or understood, the iPad 3 is almost a complete unknown as well, though the rumor mill has been churning lately. Let’s take a look at some of the rumors and see what’s what.

I’ve been reading the authorized Steve Jobs biography, and quite honestly, I’ve been learning a great deal. Apple very much *IS* Steve Jobs, and vice-versa. It’s been an interesting read. Much of the design and thoughts for the iPad itself came before the iPhone. It was put on hold to address and release the need for the iPhone. However, the magic that is the iPhone will forever be beholden to the iPad. This was probably one of the most interesting revelations I’ve encountered in the book so far. But the iPad… that was Steve’s baby. He really wanted to do a tablet to counter the netbook surge and push, which is pretty much OVER at this point.

Apple has the tablet market pretty much sewn up. At this point, Android can try all it wants, but without the walled garden that Apple has cultivated and nurtured, it’s going to be hard for Google, any of their hardware partners, or ANYONE really, to catch up to them any time soon.

That being the case, rumors of an updated iPad have been circulating for quite some time. Many sites have been saying that the next generation iPad is already in production, and is readying for a March or April release. While I won’t say too much about that just yet, I do want to touch on some of the other rumors related to specific hardware feature sets that many are speculating will differentiate it from the iPad 2.

Better Screen – HD Resolution?
There’s been a great deal of speculation about this particular, potential feature upgrade. A Retina Display from Samsung, a Sharp IGZO display… No one really knows for certain what is going to happen here. However, I think it’s safe to say that Apple’s next generation iPad will have a much better screen than both the iPad 1 and iPad 2. Regardless of what type or which manufacturer really got the contract, Digitimes is reporting some (also unconfirmed) specifics on the screen:

  • A QXGA (1,536×2,048 pixels) display
  • Longer battery life
  • Although its other hardware specs may not be as exciting

The A6 Processor
Apple’s next system on a chip should have nearly twice as much punch as its previous iOS devices. The A5 chip is dual core. The A6 is rumored to be a quad core powerhouse. The tablet should be able to crunch through some major data at that point. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard how fast the chip is rumored to be, though I would assume 1.2-1.5gHz would not be unreasonable.

The Graphics Processor
Given that mobile gaming is on an uptick, and that iOS gaming is in no small part responsible for most of that uptick, it’s almost a certainty that an enhanced graphics processor will be part of Apple’s new iPad. There’s been very little about which processor…but with gaming becoming more important, and iLife apps like GarageBand and iMovie likely to be improved as well, the next edition iPad will need the additional punch of an improved graphics processor. This is probably more important than the implementation of the A6 processor.

HD Camera
The implementation of an HD quality screen begs the implementation of an HD camera. The implementation of a front and rear facing camera in the iPad 2, and the introduction of iMovie for the iPad really kicked this off. I would say that a 720p/8MP rear and 2-3MP front cameras are a safe bet as well.

4G-LTE
Apple clearly stated that it wouldn’t support LTE in the iPhone 4S. While speculation is ripe, no one is willing to make a FIRM say-so on the implementation of LTE. However, it is widely anticipated that Apple will support LTE in both the iPad 3 as well as iPhone 5. So as long as you’re in an LTE equipped market, you should be good to go.

Thunderbolt
This is probably my most favorite and most underused feature in my Early 2011 MacBook Pro. With the implementation of this high speed connectivity solution in its desktops, it seems logical that Apple will move to Thunderbolt and improve the throughput of local synchronization for all its iDevices. However, that would retether the devices it unleashed with the implementation of iCloud in iOS 5.

It would also totally hose about a gazillion iDevice accessories currently on the market today. Apple has been using their 30 pin dock connector forever, and while there have been a few changes to it, generally speaking they’ve stuck with it since the iPod was introduced many years ago.

This would be an interesting development; and one that I actually hope doesn’t come about. However, we’ll have to wait and see.

Come back next time, and I’ll dive into this a bit more with some speculation about iOS 6 and what it’s going to bring to the table.

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Intel Introduces Wireless Display Technology

Intel introduces a new technology called Intel Wireless Display or WiDi for short that allows you to beam what’s on your computer screen right to your TV. Sling Media tried this a while back with the Sling Catcher but Intel’s looks like a better solution provided you have the right set up.

You’ll need a new 2010 Core processor in your laptop. And then you’ll need to buy a $100 adapter for your TV. But put it all together and it looks really easy to share what you’re watching on your PC. Wireless display will be available starting Jan. 17 on laptops from Dell, Sony and Toshiba and an adapter from Netgea, which will go on sale at Best Buy.

More info on www.goodlaptopbattery.com.au

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World’s first “tri-core” processor for smartphones and tablets

The smartphone guts race just got a bit more interesting—dark horse Marvell has just outed the first ever 1.5GHz ARM tri-core mobile processor. The Armada 628 pairs two high-performance cores with one optimized for low-power.

The Armada 628 also supports 1080p 3D video, USB 3.0, and DDR3 memory, and can project images to two LCD displays at the same time. But the killer feature is the ability to switch to that power-sipping third core for less intensive tasks. That means more playback time and better battery life—two things any smartphone or tablet owner could always use more of.

[ via gizmodo.com ]

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HP-Palm’s Topaz Tablet with the new 1.2Ghz Processor

It looks like the Topaz (and the Opal, if HP decides to go with the same processor for its smaller model) will come packing a Qualcomm MSM8660 processor clocked to 1.2GHz. In terms of graphics you’re looking at the MSM8660’s integrated Adreno 220 GPU. We also now know that the Topaz will have 512MB of RAM, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and a 24WHr battery that’s supposed to be good for up to eight hours.

Read the full article on HP Palm Topaz.

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