I woke up at 3:42 am pacific time this ipad comparison imagemorning, only to realize I was probably one of the first people on the West Coast to see the “official” launch of the latest version of the iPad.

While there is no AMAZING new innovation that we’ve never seen before, they have taken the device to new levels in a few interesting ways.  First, there is a new high definition screen called a “Retinal” screen that delivers more pixels per square inch than anything we’ve seen to date including high definition televisions, according to the video promotions from Apple.

Next, it includes a new 5 megapixel camera which turns the entire iPad into a viewfinder so you can be sure to get great shots which are framed properly. Coupled with the new camera is a new version of iLife media software which makes it even easier to create photo collages and “trailer”-type videos. The new version of Garage Band within the iLife suite allows up to 4 iPads to be networked together to play virtual music together. Pretty fun stuff for those that would have time to do such things.

For real estate, the high res camera and viewing screen is going to make viewing homes a whole lot more fun, I would guess.  The new iLife suite will make it easier for agents to get creative with the ways they display images.  Who needs a virtual tour when you can create your own photo montage in minutes that can be shared easily with clients?   It could be a whole new way to break through the crowd in a listing presentation.  A savvy agent could be a photo collage while walking around the property with a homeowner.

The wireless is now attached to the 4G networks (4th generation wireless) for both AT&T and Verizon.  That will make those frustrating moments in the airport go away, hopefully.  It should be a lot faster for downloading movies and books too.  It will also make it easier to work with real estate apps when searching for homes or inputting data into forms software or other client relationship management tools.

With all of those additional features comes the inevitable question – how long will the battery last?   According to Apple, this iPad will have the same promise of 10 hours of battery life as earlier models have had.

All in all, no life-changing innovations here, but every element is going to make using the iPad more fun, more beautiful and better for some of the core functions like reading books, playing games and taking and surfing the web.

If anybody buys one today, we would love to hear your first impressions of the device!