- Features include retina display, 5 megapixel camera and 4G LTE capability
- Screen is sharper than most 40-inch living room televisions
- Capable of high-powered 3D games such as Infinity Blade: Dungeons
- Latest version powered by high-speed A5x chip
- Apple boasts picture resolution so crisp that words will appear sharper than words in print
- New model of Apple TV set-top box will also play HD films
- Films on iTunes Store now available in Full HD for first time
Apple launched its latest version of the iPad on Wednesday, armed with a Full HD display with 3.1 million pixels and a supercharged new processor.
The device will be available on March 16 and priced from $499-$829 (£399-£659) - the same range as the iPad 2, which the technology giant launched a year ago.
The tablet will be powered by a super fast quad-core A5x chip, putting Apple's tablet ahead of competitors such as Samsung.
It will also offer a high speed 4G LTE network connection in territories with 4G - in the U.S., it will be available on both the AT&T and Verizon wireless networks. The network is not yet available in the UK.
Apple claims that the screen resolution is so sharp words on screen are sharper than words in print.
Mr Cook said: 'We are taking it to a whole new level and are redefining the category that Apple created with the original iPad'.
The new iPad also offers a 5 megapixel iSight camera which can record video in full HD.
Apple showed off new apps, including new versions of it's iWork apps such as iPhoto.
Many apps showed off the power of the new tablet - for instance editing 14 megapixel digital photos in full size on screen.
The processor is fast enough to handle a 3D game, Sky Gamblers, with 50 fighter planes battling on screen at once.
A new version of the hit iPhone title Infinity Blade showed off graphics similar to Xbox 360 and PS3.
A fresh edition of the GarageBand music software lets four iPads 'jam' together via Wi-Fi. Also, a newer version of iMovie allows users to record and edit full HD movies right on the screen.