The iPad 3, whatever its real name may be, debuts Wednesday. Here's what we most hope to see.
10 iPad Annoyances, Solved
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8. Wireless Charging
The iPad's Achilles' heel is its need for a cord. iCloud obviated the need for wired file transfers, but the iPad isn't yet untethered. Ambient light charging would be ideal, but since that's not feasible with today's technology, let's settle for inductive charging. A Thunderbolt port is a remote possibility--Apple has a patent on Thunderbolt for iOS devices--but that could just be hedging in case wireless speeds can't keep up.
7. Thinner, Lighter
The iPad, slim through it may be, could be slimmer still. There are tradeoffs, to be sure. Apple doesn't want to deal with iPads snapped in half by burly toddlers, so some heft must remain. But the loss of a few ounces would be welcomed.
6. Micro SD Card Slot
Apple may not be interested in external storage options, since that might discourage use of iCloud. And after purchasing flash memory maker Anobit, the company has an incentive to offer hardware with its own internal storage. But a slot for an SD card would be really helpful for many different use cases.
5. A 7-Inch Screen
Maybe the iPad is as thin and light as it can be without sacrificing battery weight, and thus battery life. One alternative to trying to further starve the iPad would be to introduce a model with a 7-inch screen, if only not to keep Android tablet makers on their toes.
Apple's beloved and ridiculed personal assistant represents an important effort to develop an alternative to keyword-based search. Let's hope the company sticks by her and makes her available on its next iPad.
3. Improved Camera
The iPad 2's camera leaves a lot to be desired. The next iPad is almost sure to offer something better, in back if not also in front.
2. Faster Processor
Some say the iPad 3 will have a quad-core A6 processor; others insist it will be a dual-core A5X. But you know the next iPad will need more horsepower to handle all the extra pixels on the new Retina Display screen.
1. Retina Display
The iPad 3 will have a high-resolution 2048 x 1536, twice the current 1024 x 768 iPad 2 screen. This is one rumor that has almost gelled into fact. It will be fawned over and proclaimed gorgeous, at least until the iPad 4 appears.
Server Market SplitsvilleJust because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.
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