FAQ: What you need to know now about the 'new iPad'

Why doesn't it have a real name, where's Siri, order now or wait? We've got answers

Yesterday, Apple pulled off the wraps from the new iPad -- yes, that's the official name -- and spent more than an hour on a San Francisco stage touting what's changed, like the screen, and what hasn't, like the price.

The tablet, which was called "a great package" by one analyst, looks likely to continue Apple's dominance of the tablet market through 2012, according to another.

As with any of its product introductions, Apple tossed out a lot of information. But what do you really need to know now?

We've tried to anticipate your most-pressing questions ... with answers we think cover the bases -- for now.

When can I get one? The new iPad goes on sale at Apple's retail stores next Friday, March 16. But you can pre-order the tablet now at Apple's online store for delivery on or before that date.

While the store had trouble yesterday handling the volume of customers, it's now running smoothly. Supplies of some models, however, are already short: As of 3 p.m. ET, the white iPad 4G for the AT&T network was showing a delayed delivery date of March 19.

How much do they cost? Same as it ever was.... In other words, the Wi-Fi models run $499, $599 and $699 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB tablets, respectively; the 4G device is priced at $629, $729 and $829.

Can I still buy the older iPad 2? What's that going to cost me? Yes, yes you can.

For the first time, Apple is officially retaining an older iPad, copying moves it's made in the past with the iPhone, notably last fall when, at the launch of the iPhone 4S, it dropped the price of 2010's iPhone 4 and gave away the even-older iPhone 3GS.

A 16GB Wi-Fi iPad 2 will run you $399, or $100 less than the just-announced upgrade. Want a 3G tablet? You'll pony up $529 for the 16GB model.

You'll also notice that, just as it's done with older iPhones, Apple is limiting the iPad 2 to a single SKU, or "stock-keeping unit" -- the 16GB model. Not coincidentally, that's the cheapest of the former three storage configurations.

Is it faster? Apple says so, at least when rendering graphics. The new system-on-a-chip, or SoC, dubbed the A5X, has double the graphics performance of the A5 chip in the iPad 2, Apple claimed yesterday during its launch presentation.

While the A5X remains a dual-core processor, Apple's boosted the graphics component to four cores -- calling it "quad-core graphics" in the tablet's technical specifications -- to, it said, handle the increased pixels of the higher-resolution screen.

Short Take: Apple's 'New iPad' has retina display, 4G LTE

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