When Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the iPad 3, he simply called it the ‘New iPad’. But does the tablet live up to this promise? And what really is so ‘new’ about it? Let’s take a detailed look on what Apple’s latest tablet has to offer.
Without doubt, the biggest revamp on the New iPad is its display capabilities, namely the 2048×1536 pixels resolution (vs the 1024×768 of the iPad and iPad 2) and the retina display, which makes it nearly impossible for viewers to distinguish between adjacent pixels.
Not only does the New iPad have an astonishing 264 pixels per inch, but also, as noted in the launch event, “one million more pixels than HDTV.” That’s an amazing accomplishment for a 9.7″ screen versus the 50″ on the average HDTV!
The retina display translates to clearer and sharper images and also smoother text, eliminating the blurriness that is often seen on many e-readers and was also a problem when it came to reading text on the older iPads. Additionally, the deeper contrast of this display, allows easier viewing outdoors or in the face of glare, making it easier for iPad owners to take their new toy with them for a day on the beach.
Performance, Storage and Connectivity
The New iPad has a faster OS system (Apple ASX) and bigger RAM (1 GB) than the iPad 2 (Apple AS, 512 MB). However, in terms of performance speed this does not translate to a huge difference as the higher resolution and retina display require this boosted processor system so as there is no lag in speed as compared to older iPads.
In terms of storage, those who were hoping for a 128 GB version of the iPad, will perhaps have to wait another year, as the options remain the same as for the older iPads at 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. As with the older iPads there is no USB port or optional slot for an SD memory card.
While the New iPad does offer 4G and LTE (Long Term Evolution) connectivity, this runs on a 700MHz frequency and so is not currently compatible with networks in the UK (which runs on 800MHz) and many other countries, besides the USA. Additionally, many users in the UK have noted problems with the New iPad’s Wi-Fi connectivity, complaining of poor reception.
Dimensions and Battery Life
While the New iPad has the same height and width as the iPad 2, it is heavier and thicker than its predecessor (although lighter and thinner in comparison to the original iPad). The Wi-Fi only model is 652g and the Wi-Fi + 4G model is 662g (versus 601g and 613g on the iPad 2). It is also almost .03 inches thicker than the iPad 2.
These differences are due to the larger and heavier battery the New iPad needs in order to support its faster processor and better display. However, due to the energy required by these functions, despite a bigger size, battery life remains at 10 hours of active use, as with the old iPads.
Significantly, the battery takes significantly longer to charge and users have reported issues such as the New iPad not charging if they continue using it while it is connected to a power outlet.
The rear-facing camera of the New iPad has been upgraded from 1 megapixel to 5 megapixels. Additionally, the iSight camera is able to capture 1080p HD film and has built in noise reduction and video stabilisation features. Considering the fact that Apple has now come out with iPhoto for the iPad and has upgraded its iMovie app, this means budding and professional photographers will now be able to capture and edit still and moving images on a single device—a great plus point!
The New iPad comes with an inbuilt voice recognition app (but no Siri). However, users have reported that this app still has many kinks and is not yet able to accurately translate voice into text. Secondly, while the new retina display is great, there still aren’t enough apps on the iStore that are enabled for this display, making it difficult to take full advantage of what is arguable the New iPad’s best feature.
So to get back to the original question, how new is the ‘New iPad’? Well, if you use your iPad for serious gaming and media-intensive activities or as an e-reader, then the new display and camera features definitely make this version a major upgrade. If not, however, there are still quite a few kinks that Apple Inc., needs to smooth out, and perhaps it would be worth waiting for the fourth generation, even ‘newer’ iPad.
New iPad Specs
£399 – £559 Wi-Fi; £499 – £659 4G, LTE
9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 pixels
Dual Core Apple A5X; 1 GB of RAM
16GB|32GB| 64 GB
Cameras: VGA front-facing; 5 megapixel rear
Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.31 x 0.37 inches
1.44 pounds Wi-Fi; 1.46 pounds 4G, LTE