The above image is used for illustrative purpose and does not represent iPad 3 case mockup.

iLounge editor Jeremy Horwitz, who at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show scooped an iPad 2-mockup case that eventually proved legit, is back with another exclusive. According to his article, yesterday he was shown what purports to be a next-generation iPad at the CES 2012 show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Even though he did not snap a photograph of it (the above image represents just a pair of iPad 2s), he published some interesting observations that largely support what iLounge heard in November. For starters, iPad 3 might in fact be a bit thicker than the current-generation tablet to make room for new parts:

The new iPad’s body is so slightly thicker than the iPad 2 that the change is unnoticeable on first inspection; a roughly 1mm increase will barely be perceptible to users. We’ve heard that the only accessories that might have issues are cases, and then, only cases that were precisely contoured to fit the iPad 2’s back. […] Switch, button, speaker, and other elements located on the side edges are all the same, as are the headphone and Dock Connector ports. In other words, last year’s accessories should generally work properly with the new model, which is great.

The editor got the impression that what he saw “seemed to be more than half a year old” rather than just manufactured. It is conceivable Horwitz was holding in his hands a pre-production prototype. Looking at the back, Horwitz noticed visual changes that suggest an enhanced camera system…

On the rear, the camera in the upper left corner has become bigger—noticeably so when placed alongside the iPad 2, but not so huge that anyone would think they were different at a distance. The new camera hole is silver-ringed, and does in fact look the same size as the iPhone 4S’s much-improved rear camera system, minus the LED flash.

This too serves to reaffirm iLounge’s previous article mentioning FaceTime high-definition camera on the front and an improved camera on the back said to match iPhone 4’s or iPhone 4S’s back sensors that capture 720p and 1080p video, respectively. 9to5Mac independently heard late last year that Apple was prototyping next-generation iPads with eight-megapixel sensors during the last summer. Things, of course, could have changed by now. The iPad 3 has also been long rumored to feature a high-resolution Retina Display driven by a dual LED-bar system, as indicated by hidden iOS code.

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