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iPad rumors are a year-long affair, but an imminent arrival of a new iPad from Apple is about as sure as spring itself. Some retail stores have already cut iPad 2 prices which substantiate the arrival of a new tablet from Cupertino.

When: Several tech media outlets report an announcement in the first week of March. Some seem sure it will be on Wednesday, March 7 with the device going on sale possible in the same month.

Specs: Obviously, faster processing, but how is the question. Apple is rumored to be testing an overhauled version of the current dual-core A5 chip and a new quad-core chip. Geeks may fawn over quad-core badging, but hot some dual-core processors are performing better than current quad-core.

The most anticipated change for the iPad would be a move to a higher resolution display. The tech world seems certain the iPad will get a retina display that debuted on the iPhone 4 -or at least something near it. Evidence from MacRumors makes a compelling case. It acquired what is allegedly the new screen which has been confirmed to have a 2048×1536 resolution.

Reports also point to 4G LTE connectivity with both AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

How Apple balanced performance upgrades with battery life will be a big question until the announcement? Battery life has been an iPad ace.

Design: Don’t expect anything radical. Rumors have bounced from a thinner to a thicker casing, but the most recent word is a tapered design. So maybe it is both thinner and thicker than the current iPad. The changes would be made to accommodate beefed up internals.

The current device measures nearly 10 inches, but rumors suggest a smaller 8 inch version could be in the pipeline. A smaller device could better position Apple against the likes of the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet.

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