Apple Unveils The New iPad: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.

Apple launched its third generation iPad last night in San Francisco and according to Apple CEO Tim Cook: “We are taking it to a whole new level and are redefining the category that Apple created with the original iPad.”

Officially dubbed the “New iPad” the tablet device boasts your typical next-gen upgrades: a sharper, more immersive “retina” screen which carries a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels as well as a faster 1.5GHz dual-core A5X chip for enhanced graphics and processing grunt. It also features a 5 megapixel camera with advanced optics (similar to that of the iPhone 4S) as well as the ability to record 1080p video. The battery life remains similar at approximately 10 hours while at 652 g and 9.4 mm it’s both thicker and heavier that its predecessor.

Other upgrades include voice dictation and voice-recognition technology, again, similar to Siri on the iPhone 4S, a new iPhoto app plus major updates to iMovie and GarageBand, a 4G wireless connection (though this isn’t currently available in Australia) and personal hotspot capabilities.

Pricing also remains similar with wi-fi 16GB models at $539, 32GB at $649 and 64GB at $759 and wi-fi plus 4G models at $679 for 16GB, $789 for 32GB and $899 for 64GB. The iPad 2, unsurprisingly, will come down in price and act as Apple’s base model tablet. You can now sweep them up at $429 for a 16GB wi-fi model or $569 for the 16GB wi-fi plus 3G model.

The “New iPad” will be available for purchase March 16 but you can now pre-oder online. While you’re waiting watch Cook’s keynote address here.