When it comes to tablets, the Apple iPad shares the same stature as the Apple iPhone does in smartphones – they are the best. One of the best things about the way Apple updates its products is that it is done on a yearly basis. The original iPad was announced in 2010, followed by iPad2 in 2011 and now in 2012, Apple has announced their “New iPad”.
There are a lot of changes, that impress; but there are a few quirks too. First we take a look at the updates to the iPad that are really impressive. Here is our Apple’s new iPad review of all the features.
New iPad – Review of Features
1. Improved display – Although the screen size is still the same 9.7-inch, Apple has incorporated the Retina display technology from the iPhone 4/4S onto the iPad. A resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixel gives the new iPad a 264 pixel per inch for a total 3.1million pixels – making the new iPad’s display supreme.
2. Faster processor – The new iPad comes with an Apple A5X processor – it’s still a dual core processor, but now comes with quad-core graphics to support the improved display. Apple even claims that the A5X processor is superior to Nvidia’s Tegra 3 Quad-core processor – twice as fast with four times better performance. With more and more apps becoming graphics and processor intensive, this is going to be very useful.
3. New Cameras – The rear camera is now called the iSight camera, while the front camera is the FaceTime camera. The iSight camera is a 5MP shooter and employs the same optics – a ƒ/2.4 aperture, a five-element lens and IR filter to deliver the same performance as the iPhone 4S, especially in low light conditions. It has Autofocus, tap to focus, tap to set exposure functions as well as face detection for up to 10 faces in the same image. The camera is also capable of recording full HD 1080p videos now and features automatic video stabilization as well.
4. Upgraded connectivity – The iPad 2 provided 3.1Mbps on EV-DO and 7.2Mbps on HSPA, however the new iPad comes with 4G LTE connectivity and supports 21Mbps HSPA+, DC-HSDPA at 42Mbps and LTE at 73Mbps – very impressive. The new iPad can also be used to create a personal hotspot to use with the 3G/4G connection (carrier support is required for the function). It also comes with Bluetooth 4.0.
5. Updated software with Voice dictation – Apple has announced availability of iOS 5.1 that brings in some minor updates for the iPad. There is a redesigned camera app, enhancements to the sound and better battery life. Unfortunately, Apple skipped on adding Siri, their voice assistant from the iPhone 4S, on to the new iPad. Instead the new Pad comes with a Voice Dictation feature. It can be accessed via a button in the virtual keyboard and allows you to write mails/notes or search the web using speech. The best part is the it also works with third-party apps.
6. Impressive Battery Life – Even with the updated processing hardware, higher resolution screen, 4G connectivity and powerful camera, the new iPad is still capable of providing 10 hours of standard or 9 hours of battery backup on a 4G connection – this is clearly an amazing feat achieved by Apple. How much does it stand to its claim will only be cleared once the tablet is available.
7. Pricing – In their usual fashion, Apple has kept the price of their new iPad the same as iPad 2 at the time of its launch last year. The 16GB WiFi version will cost $499; 32GB – $599 and 64GB – $699. The WiFi + 4G versions will be priced at $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB storage.
The Not So Good
The above points present a very convincing case for anyone to upgrade to the new iPad. Better performance, improved hardware and better multimedia capabilities make it a worthy buy. However, there are a few quirks as well.
1. The new Display – It requires the iPad to be held ideally 15-inches away to get the Retina Display effect.
2. No flash on the camera – As much as the 5MP back illuminated camera sounds impressive, we do feel that the lack of a flash will affect it in a big way when shooting in low light environment.
3. Fatter and heavier – Compared the iPad 2, the new iPad is thicker by 0.6mm and weighs around 50 grams more. Although on papers, the number might feel very minute, in real life holding the two iPad’s together will definitely make the new iPad feel bulkier – something we were not expecting after the iPad 2.
4. The “New” name– Leaving behind the numeric attached to a product name is understandable, but calling it as the “new” iPad is a point that makes it feel a bit incomplete. Rumors were that the name will be iPad3 or iPad HD, but choosing new iPad just seems a bit lame on Apple’s part here.
5. No Siri – Lastly, though Apple has tried to compensate this with Voice dictation; we will still miss our very own personal assistant Siri.