February 23rd, 2011
As many of us in the tech field have heard, there is a strong suspicion that Apple will be holding an event to unveil the new iPad on March 2, roughly a week from today. With the previous success Apple has shown with it’s original iPad, it will be interesting to see what new Magical features we will see. There have also been numerous signs pointing to a new refresh of the current line of MacBook Pros, which have included rumors of updated processor speeds, to including a boot SSD, or flash NAND chip that will hold the OS, allowing for the spectacular speeds we have seen in the latest iteration of the MacBook Air. Another of the strongly believed rumors at the moment is the introduction of Apple’s take on LightPeak.
For those who have not heard of the latest innovation out there, LightPeak is a proprietary interface designed by Intel (yes, those guys), which can far exceed the limitations of eSATA, USB, and even HDMI. In essence, the format appears to be based on fiber-optic connections, allowing a 10Gbit/s flow of data, with the capability of eventually hitting 100Gbit/s within the next 10 years. So, how does that relate to us? Well those of us who still use wired networks are likely using up to a 1Gbit/s connection. The increase in data flow if pretty amazing. Through LightPeak, tentatively, a 50GB BluRay disc could be transferred to a machine is 30 seconds (this of course is saying that you have a medium that can support that insane speed)
Apple may be making a few changes, however, as they typically try to find an innovative way to make things “magical”. One Apple patent has shown the possibility of switching the format from fiber to copper, and pushing all the data through the MagSafe connector (see this article). This would allow for considerably less clutter, and the ability to hook your peripherals into a hub which you can use while at a desk, or meeting, but still make the laptop portable. In my own opinion, this is exactly the kind of unique innovation Apple will pull out of their hat for a refresh. Many rumors have pointed to a new refresh on Thursday, however, I think they will wait a week, announce it at the event on Wednesday the 2nd, and show the world what the evil geniuses at Apple have been up to.
The iPad 2 is likely to be announced as well. Currently it is believed that there will be an enhanced display of some sort. Some people are pointing to the PLS displays that Samsung has been showing off. Currently the iPad uses an IPS (In Plane Switching) technology, whereas the PLS (Plane Line Switching) technology should offer a more vivid image, and a wider viewing angle. We have heard a processor and RAM boost, which could mean a dual core processor to outshine all the new tablets that have rolled out this year, and possibly an SD Card slot. The card slot is probably the more questionable of the rumors, but would still be cool. Of course, we cannot forget the cameras. There is allegedly a front-facing and rear-facing camera on the new iPad which can be utilized for FaceTime chats. Along with all of these, we expect the new iPad to be sleeker and sexier, and it is my opinion that we will see a “one more thing”: the new iPad will have this LightPeak technology imbedded as well. I think the ability to sync an iPad with your machine in a few seconds as opposed to the minutes (or longer, depending on the size of the game), is enough to justify the excitement and applause that usually follows an announcement. Of course this is just supposition, but we will see soon enough.