Full disclosure, I'm an Apple fan. I have been for years. I used to be that guy who would debate the virtues of mac over PC with other students at college. This being said, we are quickly entering the post PC era. The conversation has changed from Mac vs. PC to iOS vs. Android. While this article will not specifically speak to that debate, I think my position on which product I like best will make itself clear.

   I will own my first iPad on March 16th 2012. I waited, as I do with many electronics products, to see where the evolution of this gadget was going. Once I realised that it wouldn't be until the third iteration of iPad for us to get a high resolution, "retina display," I decided to jump in when the opportunity was ripe. I scheduled some time to watch the live blogs this past Wednesday surrounding the release of this new iPad. Sure enough, it now has the big feature I've been waiting for, along with many others.

Here's a rundown of the new features that I care about and why you should care too.

1) Retina Display: At about 15 inches, most people will be unable to see the individual pixels on this screen. For those of you with less than perfect vision like myself, you may not see them closer than that. This means super smooth text, the reduction of jagged edges in images and increased clarity with everything you see. Also, keep in mind that when you have more pixels, you get truer colors, more shades of color and better contrast as a general rule.

2) A5x processor: With 4 times the pixels of the previous iPad, you need at least 4 times the pixel rendering power. The A5x does this and more, offering better performance even at the higher resolution. What impresses me most is that the battery life has not gone down from the previous model.

3) Dictation: I was as dissapointed as the rest of you to find out that Siri would not be making an appearance on iPad. However, dictation, the conversion of your speech into text on screen, is the main feature of Siri that I wanted. When I'm alone, I don't always want to type out each iMessage or email. Dictation is a great time saver for those of us who like to multitask or can speak faster than we can type.

4) The app store: Wait, this isn't a new feature is it? No, but the app store keeps growing and getting better all the time. What's new is that all your apps will scale to the new screen, improving text and default interface buttons without the developer updating the app. This means that most of your iPad apps are going to look like they've had a facelift. Also, in the months to come, a slew of app updates and new must-have apps will continue to eat away at your wallet a few dollars at a time. I for one can't wait to play some of the games I've been playing on my phone on the new iPad, as well as web browsing and other utility apps.

   As of today, March 9th, the orders for most iPad models are getting pushed back a little at a time. I was lucky enough to get in my order right away and it will be delivered day and date of release with no waiting in line. Order today, and it may take 4 or more days past release for yours to arrive. I can only expect this to be pushed back further each day, especially once we hit the weekend. Today might be pay-day for a lot of people after all.

What are your thoughts on the new iPad? Are you purchasing one? Will this be your first? Feel free to share your opinions below in the comments section.