Feb. 28, 2012 at 12:07 PM ET
The eagerly anticipated invite just went out: Apple will host an event on March 7 in San Francisco where it promises "something you really have to see. And touch." The accompanying image clearly depicts an iPad.
While we can't guarantee that we're seeing the expected "retina" display on the iPad, in the words of our colleague Rosa Golijan, the screen "does look suspiciously sharp." The chief criticism of the iPad 2 is that its display, at 1024 x 768, reveals pixels, making reading less pleasant. It's also not "true HD," that is, 1080p, though it supports 720p HD video.
The expected resolution of the iPad 3 is 2048 x 1536, according to Cult of Mac. In order to support such a massive graphics upscale, there's likely to be a much more powerful chip inside, a quad-core one. No matter how much Apple magic goes into this, that will add up to more battery drain. At the very least, this means a larger battery is in order, as suggested by prior reports. As such, there has been some speculation that the iPad 3 will be a tad thicker than its predecessor.
There may be even more surprises in store. As The Verge's Josh Topolsky pointed out on Twitter, there doesn't appear to be a home button. That would indicate a clear design departure. That or the tablet in the image is in landscape view.
Bear in mind, none of this, not even the name "iPad 3," is confirmed at this point.
We will of course be present to cover the launch of what promises to be an amazing third-generation iPad. (Here's hoping there's news of a cheaper iPad too -- a scaled-down iPad 2, perhaps.)