Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the new iPad Wednesday. It features a sharper screen and a faster processor.
The next-generation iPad will have a screen better than HD TVs, a blazing-fast internet connection to rival your high-speed connection at home, a faster processor and improved battery life to take advantage of the graphics and internet speed, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Wednesday.
And all of that will come without dinging the wallet any worse than the older iPad.
Cook introduced the new device in San Francisco on Wednesday at an event with the typical Apple fanfare -- lots of platitudes and lofty statements, but a product that seemed to match the rhetoric.
"Apple (is) on the forefront of post-PC revolution," Cook said.
The new device -- which Cook simply referred to as the new iPad, not the iPad 3 or the iPad HD -- will come with a Retina display and a more powerful chip, which will have four times the graphics performance power of other tablets.
Perhaps most importantly the newest iPad will be 4G LTE ready, which sets the stage for the next iPhone to follow.
The new tablet's resolution will have 3.1 million pixels, which Apple says is more than any other mobile device currently on the market.
It will also have a 5-megapixel camera that uses some of the same technology that's in the iPhone 4S and it will have up to nine hours of battery life when on 4G and 10 hours when on Wi-Fi.
Apple's latest tablet will also allow users to shoot video in 1080P HD quality and use an improved iSight camera in the front along with the HD camera on the back.
The new iPad will also be able to function as a personal hot spot for up to five devices on networks that support the feature.
Apple's Senior Vice President for Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said the new iPad will be available on Verizon and AT&T starting at $499 and can be ordered right now on Apple's website in both black and white.
It will begin shipping on March 16.
He said Apple's tablet computer is the "poster child of the post-PC world" and there is no better evidence than the fact that the company sold 15.4 million iPads in Quarter 4 of last year alone.
Cook said that more iPads were sold last quarter than any individual PC manufacturer sold all of their products.
HP was the next closest with 15.1 million computers sold last quarter, followed by Lenovo with 13 million.
The Apple CEO said a total of 315 million iOS devices have been sold and 62 million were sold in the last quarter of 2011 alone.
The event wasn't all about the iPad. Cook started the event by showing off a new Apple store in Amsterdam and he talked about revenue and how important Apple Stores are to the company.
The big trend he said was people are using Siri and that is why Apple is now introducing the personal digital companion with different accents.
Cook also announced that movies will be available on iCloud and the new Apple TV will be available in 1080P with a new interface.
The new Apple TV will also be available March 16 for the same price as the old one: $99.
Before the press conference started, there was a huge line outside the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco 30 minutes before the start of the announcement.
Inside it was the usual scene for an Apple launch, with bloggers and analysts crammed in among Apple fans all listening to hip music streamed overhead.
The Yerba Buena Center is smaller that the typical Apple venue and where the Game Developers Conference, which is taking over Moscone this week, is happening.
Ironically, most of the new games displayed at GDC were being made for the iPad and one of the more prominent news games coming to the iPad will be "Infinity Blade."