APPLE used to be coy about its upcoming products. The press invitation unveiling of its latest iPad tablet computer depicted a finger pressing a high-resolution touch-screen with the label: "We have something you really have to see. And touch." In the event, perhaps the biggest surprise to come out of the presentation by Apple's boss, Tim Cook, was that the company is calling the device just "iPad" and not, as had been expected "iPad 3".
To be sure, the svelte gizmo sports a plethora of improvements over its numbered predecessor, the iPad 2. Its new "Retina Display" boasts four times as many pixels, close to the limit of human perception, and its four-core graphics processor makes the experience of what was already the smoothest tablet smoother still. Lower-resolution apps, such as those developed for earlier iPads, still look sharp on the new device (each old pixel is translated into four new ones), something rival Android devices, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes, struggle with. It also has a better, 5-megapixel camera. But these changes had been much anticipated in the blogosphere's techier quarters.
There was a bit more uncertainty about fourth-generation (4G) mobile connectivity. Here, Apple seems to have dealt with several bugbears of Long Term Evolution (LTE), an increasingly ubiquitous 4G standard capable of faster download rates and more consistent reception. LTE smartphones are often ungainly due to the hefty electronics needed to support it. Apple, famous for its sleek design, could have none of that. The iPad's already ample battery has been tweaked so that it matches the ten hours in 3G mode of older models, and lasts fully nine hours with LTE on, while feeding a power-hungrier display. That marks a significant improvement over the smaller LTE devices currently on the market, some of which last only a few hours.
有一点不确定就是新iPad在4G移动数据的连通能力上，苹果似乎在LTE（Long Term Evolution长期演进）上遇到了一点小麻烦，LTE作为4G标准已经初具规模并且在上传和下载速度上都有着良好的表现。但由于LTE芯片比较庞大，所以LTE智能手机常常显得很笨拙，但这当然不会出现在以时尚设计著称的苹果身上。新iPad还配备了一块强劲的电池，这不仅使它在满足更加耗电的屏幕同时，还能在3G模式下坚持使用10小时（达到了前代的标准），即使在4G模式下也能坚持9小时。这在当前LTE设备市场算得上一个重大的突破，因为同类产品只能使用很短时间。
Apple used its buying power and dominant position in the tablet market to hit competitors like Microsoft, whose partners are preparing to launch an array of Windows 8 Metro slates later this year. The new iPad prices haven't budged. They start at $499 for a 16-gigabyte Wi-Fi only unit and finish at $829 for a 4G tablet with 64 gigabytes of flash storage. At the same time, Apple is keeping the older iPad 2 on the market for $399 with Wi-Fi and $529 with 3G.
苹果利用其粉丝的购买力和其在平板市场的主导地位给了竞争对手强力一击，比如微软，后者准备在年底与合作伙伴推出一系列预装Windows 8 Metro界面的平板电脑。此外，新iPad的价格并没有超过上一代，最低是16G的 Wifi版，499美元起，最高的是64G的4G版，829美元。同时苹果还调低了iPad2的价格，Wifi版399美元，3G版529美元。
Other firms had already been hard-pressed to meet Apple's price, battery life and hardware features, let alone its swish operating system, copious media catalogues and the internet's biggest app store. With an upgrade at the top of the line and a drop in price for the current bestselling model, the iPad is unlikely to be dethroned any time soon. Apple has every reason to blow its own trumpet.