Credit: Paul Sakuma/AP Images

Today was a huge moment for Apple as CEO Tim Cook took the stage at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to announced Apple’s latest riff on the “revolutionary” iPad. It was the first announcement since Apple founder Steve Jobs’ passing in October (just a day after Apple iPhone 4S announcement), and Cook, joined by marketing chief Philip Schiller, did not spare the drama as he touted the company’s “post-PC revolution.”

“We think the iPad is the poster-child of the post-PC world,” said Cook in his introduction. “When we set out to create the iPad, we set out to create not just a new product, but a new category.” With LTE download speeds, retina display, HD video recording, and more, the iPad (on sale March 16) may just live up to its promise. We break down the news below.

“The most wireless bands of any device that’s ever shipped.”

Schiller announced that the new iPad will be available for 4G LTE networks, including Verizon and AT&T in the U.S. Handling up to 72Mbps, the new iPad will also be able to act as a hotspot and roam onto 3G networks worldwide.

Four more new features

Retina display — “Until you see it you can’t understand how amazing it is,” said Schiller. “It’s a huge step forward.” Working at 2047 x 1536 pixels, Schiller said the display was better than most home HDTVs. “It’s a graphics powerhouse.”

iSight camera — The 5-megapixel camera takes its technology from the iPhone 4S. It will feature auto-exposure, auto-focus, auto-face detection, great edge-to-edge detail, AF-lock. “It is just a blast to use,” he said.

HD video recording — In addition to 1080p resolution, it will feature image stabilization.

Voice dictationUsers can tap a new key on the bottom, speak into their iPad, and it will dictate not only in English but also French, German, and Japanese. (iPhone’s Siri just launched in Japan today, as well,)

Stats and pricing will remain the same

*10 hours of battery life (9 hours for 4G)

*9.4mm thickness

*1.5 pounds.

*Black and White starts at $499 (16GB), $599 (32GB), and $699 (64GB), $829 with 4G

*Data plan pricing was not mentioned

“It is amazing,” said Cook of the new iPad. “We’ve taken it to a whole new level.”

What did you think about the announcement, PopWatchers? To which new iPad function/feature are you most looking forward?

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