With the iPad going on its third year, Apple recently announced the ‘New’ iPad, bringing flashbacks to the original iPad when it was announced in January of 2010. Now we have the Third-Generation iPad, simply called the iPad. With Retina Display, Quad-Core Graphics, and now 4G LTE, lets see if Apple can hold on to the tablet champion for the third year straight.
The iPad has gotten a little fat this year, the new iPad is 0.37 inches while last years iPad was a mere 0.34 inches. But Apple is known for making radical new tapered edges so the iPad ‘feels’ thinner but it really isn’t. Also the iPad had to get double the battery capacity to power those massive pixels, so the iPad is a bit heavier as well. But from a design stand point it looks exactly the same as the iPad 2, but it doesn’t feel out dated at all. It will probably never feel out dated.
Now lets talk specs. The new iPad has what Apple calls the A5X SOC Chip, which is an upgraded Dual-Core CPU with a kick. The new iPad has Quad-Core Graphics, now this isn’t very surprising because just think how much this thing has to spit out, 2,048 by 1,536 is a pretty tall order for two cores just to handle. But in terms of performance, it will be exactly the same as the iPad 2, applications open up around the same speed. But the iPad 2 isn’t no slouch. Neither is the new iPad. Also, one complaint we always had with the iPads is the RAM. They have all been Sub-1GB, but finally after three years, the iPad now has 1GB of RAM which will speed up multi-tasking. The iPad stills comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB configurations, we really wanted to see Apple throw away that 16GB and develop some more storage capacities for these things, we could really use 100+ GBs in these ya know!
Of course the iPad comes with built-in WiFi, but this year iPad comes with some advanced wireless networks and its NOT 3G! iPad is now available in 4G LTE models (which is the one we have) on both AT&T and Verizon networks. Now this means you will have blazing fast speeds practically anywhere you go… thats if you have 4G LTE in your area. This is a huge step for Apple, it also gives us insight for the next iPhone… 4G LTE Baby!
Since Apple gave the iPad a lot more pixels than last year, they had to double the battery capacity. But the iPad is known for it’s 10 hour battery life, so is it still the same? On our tests we got over 10 hours just on WiFi and over 9 hours on 4G LTE. Great battery life, still the legend lives on really.
The new iPad runs iOS version 5.1. Now with iOS 5.1 and the new iPad you do have the addition of Siri… almost. It has something called Voice Dictation which will let you dictate notes, emails, and messages. But it will not complete tasks for you like Siri. Also now with iOS 5.1, you can download multiple applications at one time without being thrown back to the home screen, that was really annoying right? But overall, the software is the same as any other iPad, nothing to big and exciting here. But maybe with iOS 6 something new and exciting will make its way to iPadville. Who knows?
Now this is a BIG one. The iPad now has Retina Display which honestly when we saw this thing for there first time, it blew us to Neptune’s moons and back. The resolution in this is mind boggling. 2,048 by 1,536 is more than any HDTV, Monitor, or really anything. 3.1 million pixels in a screen 9.7-inches big. Now the Retina display means that you’re human Retina cannot define each individual pixel, but the Pixels Per Inch isn’t as high as its in the iPhone 4 and 4S. But since its a tablet your going to hold it a bit further than you hold your iPhone so it compensates. The iPad has 264 pixels per inch, while the iPhone 4/4S has 326 and something like the Galaxy Nexus has 316. The screen is surreal at times, its like looking into a fine printed glowing paper.. However outrageous that sounds.
When looking at websites on the iPad, you just see colors better, text is ultra-fine, it is sometimes distracting. But in a good way. When I went back to my iPad 2 for a comparison, I was disappointed with the quality of the display on the 2, so I immediately went back to my safe haven ‘the New iPad’. Also, watching movies on here is very good as well, 44% more saturation and you can really tell when you’re watching Top Gear or a show that is shot outside. The colors just pop out of the screen, it’s pretty cool.
With the iPad having an upgraded 5 megapixel camera, photos look a lot clearer than the iPad 2′s sub one megapixel camera. We did however found some issues with the Auto Focus, sometimes it takes several seconds to focus and sometimes we think it gives up and waits for the user to tap on the subject to focus in. Kind of odd really. But take a look for yourself. Some nice pictures really.
With Apple’s A5X processor, you can certainly expect an increase in gaming power. With Quad-Core graphics processing, games look more vibrant, smoother, and a lot more balanced then before. There is absolutely zero stutter or lag when performing tasks like playing a game, switching applications, or using a very core application like GarageBand or iMovie, something that takes a lot of RAM and processing power. Now there is a slight increase of performance over the regular A5 processor but only a slight one. I kind of expected more from Apple in terms of silicon but they we’re focusing on making this thing flawless with big pixels as a result.
Now in the department of data, WiFi is always your friend when its around, unless you’re in a hotel with .01 MBPS.. But don’t worry, iPad now has 4G LTE running through its veins, both Big Red and AT&T supporting them as well. We have the Verizon model and we got a stunning 33 MBPS down and 12 MBPS up. Now most data speeds will be from 7-35 MBPS depending on your location and how many people are on the network but here we are very impressed with the speeds. It’s blazing!
The new iPad is an evolution of a product that was already revolutionary. I think the new iPad is a big increase from the original iPad and the iPad 2. You have to see one of these things, the screen is the deal maker here. It looks absolutely gorgeous, 4G LTE is blazing fast, and the camera is actually usable.. Not that I’m going to switch to my iPad for taking video and photos, but in case of emergencies, I have my back up to my back up.. of my back up. I think Apple played it smart with this, it’s a great product.