Is Apple’s new tablet takes to stay ahead of the iPad 3 release;

Friday, March 2nd 2012. | Gadget News

AppleAt the moment the iPad 3 only exists on the rumour mill, but next week Apple’s next slate could be on the streets. In any case, it has some stiff competition – and here’s what we think it needs to do to ward off its foes for another year. If the wraps are already off, judge for yourself how it measures up.

Higher Screen Resolution

Sony Tablet S
from £350 |
This 9.4in tablet is marginally smaller than the iPad 2 but a 1280×800 screen means it has a higher pixel density. To compete, Apple needs to boost the resolution for the iPad 3.
A 9.7in version of the iPhone 4S’ Retina Display at, say, 2048×1536 (4x iPad 2 res) would make reading almost book-like.

Keep The Home Button

BlackBerry PlayBook
from £215 |
Apple’s increased enthusiasm for gestures has led many to speculate that the home button might be ditched for a multi-fingered screen swipe. However, the fate of the gesture-reliant PlayBook might persuade Apple to keep it for now. But if anyone can make a buttonless tablet work, it’s Apple.

1080p Video and 5MP+ Stills

Motorola Xoom 2
£380 |
With the Xoom 2 (and others) capable of shooting 1080p, Apple needs to up the resolution of its snappers, especially now that augmented reality apps and games are becoming more sophisticated. A sharper front-facing cam would make FaceTime a less squinty experience, too.

Quad Core Inwards

Asus Transformer Prime
£500 |
The iPad 2’s dual-core A5 processor has done well, but the Asus boasts twice the power, so Apple needs to up its game in order to keep up. A new A6 chip with quad-core processor and beefier graphics, as predicted by Eric Slivka of, should stop it looking out of date.

4G Connectivity

Huawei S 7 MediaPad
£330 |
The Android-powered MediaPad is already packing 4G connectivity, providing vastly better mobile broadband speeds than the iPad 2’s 3G connection can muster. The iPad 3 needs it too. However, we expect it to be US-only until UK networks support 4G.

More Memory

Samsung Series 7
£1000 |
Even the most capacious iPad begins to bulge when you stuff it with music, movies, photos and apps. Apple needs to follow Samsung’s lead and introduce a 128GB version. It’s well within the company’s tech capabilities, and would ease the dreaded app ‘Sophie’s Choice’ that happens every month.

Better Battery Life

Toshiba AT200
from £400 |
At just 7.7mm thick Toshiba’s recently released AT200 is the world’s thinnest
10.1in tablet. While other manufacturers would see that as a challenge to slim down even further, Apple shouldn’t baulk at making a fatter gadget so long as it buys the iPad 3 a couple of extra hours’ up time.

A Nice Pricetag

Amazon Kindle Fire
US$200 |
The Kindle Fire might not be available on these shores yet, but its wallet-friendly price has got many gadgeteers holding on to their cash in anticipation. A ‘budget’ iPad seems unlikely while the current range is selling so well at £400+, but a price hike would be very unwise in our view.

Something New and Cool

Del XPS 13
£tba (due March) |
It’s not just other tablets that the iPad 3 will need to fend off; Ultrabooks promise proper keyboards and more power in just as desirable a form factor It should take a hint from Dell’s debut by using a new technique that incorporates components into an ultralight carbon-fibre chassis. That’d be nice.


It’s time Apple allowed Siri out to play in its other devices. With its organisational skills given full reign over an iPad 3’s documents and calendar, it could be Siri-ously useful.

Were its fancy new screen backlit by the dual-LED light bars rumoured to be replacing the single one used in the iPad 2, there would probably be enough glow left over for the logo.

Corning’s new Gorilla Glass 2 is 20 per cent thinner and more responsive, but offers the same durability. Sounds like a must-have for Apple’s new slate.

With iOS 5 yet to celebrate its six-month anniversary we’re far from demanding a sequel just yet. If Apple does reveal iOS 6 features, we wouldn’t expect them to be available to download until later in the year.

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