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By Noel Young | Correspondent

March 7, 2012 | 3 min read

The new iPad is here, launched in San Francisco yesterday with, as predicted many upgraded features including 4G, or LTE, compatibility, a high-resolution display and a quad-core processor said to be "far superior to competitors"

It will be available in the US , UK, Canada, France and Germany on March 16. The US price is $499 (£399). The iPad 2 will remain on sale at $399.

Immediately after the launch, some papers described the improvements as "modest". That's what they said about the iPhone 4s - and look where that went!

CEO Tim Cook said people were wondering who would come out with a product that's more amazing than the iPad 2.

"Well stop wondering," he added, to laughter. "We are. Today we're launching the new iPad, and it's amazing. We're taking it to a new level ."

Cook turned the stage over to Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller who talked first of the retina display, first introduced in the iPhone 4

"Until you see it, you can't understand how amazing it is," Schiller said.

The display has a resolution of 2038x1536 pixels, giving it more than 3.1 million pixels, the most in history, Schiller said.

The brains inside the new iPad is an A5X microchip with quad-cor graphics. Schiller declared, "Competitors use 1X!"

The new iPad - not officially iPad3 - also has upgraded cameras with better sensors, a hybrid filter with backside illumination and the ability to shoot high-definition video. The new cameras will provide "incredible detail and sharpness and auto face detection," Schiller said.

Then there is voice dictation. The new iPad will not as had been predicted include the voice-recognition system Siri, from the iPhone 4S. But Cook demoed the voice dictation to great applause.

Finally the new iPad will have the ability to connect to the newest generation of mobile networks, known as long-term evolution, or LTE. The device can also be used as a mobile 4G hotspot, he said.

The new iPad will start at $499 and cost up to $829 for the highest-end version; the iPad 2's price will drop from f $499 to $399. After the initial launch - a week on Friday in the UK - 25 more countries will be added a week later. Schiller said "it will be the fastest rollout we've ever had."

Cook also announced:

* An updated Apple TV set-top box, which will support 1080p high-definition video. It will cost $99 and be available next week;

* A universal iPhoto application that will work on iPad. It will cost $4.99. "It is amazing," Schiller said.

Apple will also release new versions of iWork, iMovie and Garage Band.

* Congrats to TechRadar for getting the review below out so fast!