Apple says boosting storage capacity will make the iPad more useful for enterprises, educators and artists who work with large files.
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Apple on Tuesday announced a new version of its full-size iPad. The new hardware includes all the same features offered by the current, fourth-generation iPad, but doubles the maximum on-board storage to 128 GB for those who need the space. It has a 9.7-inch Retina Display, A6X processor, HD FaceTime camera, Apple's new Lightning port and iOS 6.1 preinstalled.
The new iPad goes on sale Tuesday, February 5, in white or black, for $799 for the Wi-Fi model, and $929 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.
Apple envisions that this new iPad is ideal for people running hardcore applications, and not just casual users. According to Apple, the App Store now has more than 800,000 applications -- 300,000 of which are just for the iPad.
"With more than 120 million iPads sold, it's clear that customers around the world love their iPads, and everyday they are finding more great reasons to work, learn and play on their iPads rather than their old PCs," said Philip Schiller, Apple's SVP of Worldwide Marketing. "With twice the storage capacity and an unparalleled selection of native iPad apps, enterprises, educators and artists have even more reasons to use iPad for all their business and personal needs."
Apple in a release provided several examples of businesses and artists using AutoCAD and other applications to design, build, create and record things. Such apps create extremely large files, and the new 128-GB iPad was designed, in part, to help expand the space in which those people can do their work.
One of my favorite applications to use on the iPad is GarageBand. The application itself weighs in at just under 700 MB. The riffs, passages and songs I've recorded through GarageBand vary between 50 MB and about 500 MB. Altogether, the app and files consume close to 2 GB of space on my iPad. For more serious artists who record longer and more involved bits than I do, GarageBand can chew through a lot of storage space very quickly. This is just one example.
InformationWeekasked readers recently if they'd buy such a device, and at least one said "Yes!" Contributor TC wrote, "Heck yes I would. More room for MY movies on interminable plane flights around the world. Really all depends on how you use the device. If Apple really wants to up the game, they should drop the 16 and just have 32, 64, 128 in the existing model spaces."
Contributor WP7 countered, "No way!!! For an extra $200 I could get a Surface Pro."
It will be up to buyers to decide whether a $799 tablet is too expensive to be appealing.
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