Top new tech products: new iPad, 'magic' floating touch smartphone

High-tech product releases announced the week ending March 14 include the third-generation iPad, the Sony Xperia sola, the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook, The Sony α57 interchangeable lens camera, and the new Apple TV. Unless otherwise noted, pricing and release dates have not been announced.

A tablet with a ‘Retina Display,’ improved camera and 4G LTE connectivity
The third-generation iPad has been upgraded with an amazingly sharp “Retina Display” -- the highest resolution display ever seen on a mobile device -- that has more pixels than an HD TV. Additional upgrades on the iPad include an A5X chip with quad-core graphics, a 5MP iSight camera with 1080p HD video, voice-to-text dictation, and fast 4G LTE connectivity. The tablet retains a similar design and the same 10-hour battery life. The new iPad will be available from March 16. The entry-level 16GB WiFi model is priced from $499. The 16GB WiFi + 4G version is priced from $629.

'Magic' smartphone that lets you navigate without touching the screen

The Sony Xperia sola uses ‘floating touch’ technology so you don’t even need to caress the screen to interact with the smartphone -- just hover your finger over the display to navigate through the menus. The Android-powered device also features NFC and Xperia SmartTags that can be personalized with different commands for a unique smartphone experience. The Xperia sola is also equipped with a 3.7” Reality Display, a 1GHz dual-core processor, xLOUD and 3D surround sound, a 5MP camera with a 16x digital zoom, 720p video recording, DLNA, and Google Android 2.3 (upgradable to version 4.0). The Sony Xperia sola (which will be called the Xperia sole in Italy and Xperia MT27i in China) will be available globally in the second quarter of 2012.

An ultrabook with barely no bezel and fast startup times

Dell has joined the ultrabook market with a slim, light and quick-to-start-up laptop called the XPS 13 Ultrabook. The 13.3” device is compact, has a Carbon Fiber composite base and machined Aluminium chassis, 8 hours of battery life, Intel Rapid Start technology, and an edge-to-edge display with Corning Gorilla Glass. It runs Windows 7 Home Premium and features a Core i5 processor, 128GB SSD hard drive, 4GB of memory and a 1.3MP webcam. The Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook is available now from €999, $999.

A mainstream DSLR camera with pro-level features and fun creative options

The successor to Sony’s α55 interchangeable lens camera, the α57, packs pro-level performance into a DSLR made for mainstream consumers. The camera features Translucent Mirror Technology, a 16.1MP Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, 12 frames per second shooting, Full HD (60p frame rates) video, a sensitivity range of ISO 100-16,000, a 3” LCD display, Sony’s new Auto Portrait Framing technology, and a large selection of creative Picture Effect modes. The Sony α57 will be available in April. The body-only configuration is priced from $700 (model SLT-A57) and the body and 18-55mm kit zoom lens pack is priced at $800 (model SLT-A57K).

A device that streams your movies, apps and pictures to your TV in 1080p HD

The updated Apple TV now features 1080p programing, enabling you to stream TV shows, movies, photos and music to your TV in High Definition. It has an enhanced user interface that makes it easier to use and lets you wirelessly stream or mirror content (such as games, webpages and apps) from your iPhone or iPad to the TV using AirPlay. The new Apple TV will be available from March 16 for $99.