The new iPad review.
You may be reading this review because you’re wondering if you should buy what Apple calls ”The new iPad”. You either fall into the category of already being a tablet owner, whether that is an android powered slate, or an iOS device. The other option is no tablet at all. So, coming from someone who owns both Gingerbread slates, ICS devices, and both iPads, I fall into both ends of the spectrum. While at first glance of reading a tech spec list online of the new iPad, it may not seem like a huge upgrade from the iPad 2. Retina display is nice an all, but my iPad 2’s screen is good enough, right? I mean, its also really fast, so why do I need this new A5X Chip? And the camera? Why who uses their iPad as a camera? (I do so and don’t ask why). So is this upgrade really even that special? After spending a few days with this device, lets find out!
Before we begin with the review, I’d just like you to read this quote, while it isn’t actually what someone said, it’s what I think they would say.
“All of these incremental feature upgrades seem like something I don’t need or will ever be able to fully utilize.”
– Average iPad 2 owner (Not really).
Here is just a list of some of the devices technical specs, also compared with the iPad 2’s, so you can refresh your memory during the review if you’d like:
iPad 2: A5 1GHz Dual-Core
New iPad: A5X 1GHz Dual-Core+Quad-Core Graphics Processor
iPad 2: 9.7 inch 1274×768
New iPad: 9.7 inch 2048×1536 “Retina Display”
iPad 2: 0.7MP Camera
New iPad: 5MP Auto-Focus Advanced Optical Lens
iPad 2: 0.37 inches
New iPad: 0.37 inches
iPad 2: 3G
New iPad: 4G LTE
iPad 2: Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
New iPad: Bluetooth 4.0
iPad 2: 24.5 Watt Battery (10 hours WiFi model, 9 hours 3G Model)
New iPad: 40 Watt Battery (10 hours WiFi model, 9 hours 4G LTE Model)
The new iPad features a semi-new A5X processor. Clocked at the same 1GHz Dual-Core speed as the A5 processor found in the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S*, the only difference in this already fast chip is its integrated GPU. The original A5 Processor features a Dual-Core CPU and a Dual-Core GPU, the A5X on the other hand bumps up that GPU to a Quad-Core unit. While NVIDA’s Tegra 3 features a Quad-Core CPU and an astonishing 12-Core GPU, Apple claims that this A5X processor greatly out-preforms the Tegra 3, by an whooping 4x times in the GPU department. So what does this mean to you? Well with the new iPad’s display being 4x times the resolution of the first two iPad’s, you’re gonna need a much more powerful GPU to power everything you do on the new display. Apple really thought about this, and like usual, it paid off. The new iPad runs incredibly smooth with a near-zero percent chance of ever running into lag, stutters, hiccups, or slow downs. This is really the main reason why you don’t see displays this high res on Android tablets, or any other devices for that matter other than the iPhone 4/4S and iPod touch. It takes up a ton of horse-power, and what burns fast when you use a lot of horse-power? Battery!! Luckily, that’s not the case with the new iPad though, and I’ll talk more about this in the “Battery” section of the review. Disregarding all this screen and battery talk, lets just talk about the speed. I’ll put as simple as this: It’s the fastest device you’ll use, it doesn’t lag, or have any of the problems that you’ll find on your iPad 1, Android tablet, or maybe even your computer! It smoothly runs graphic intense games like Infinity Blade II, Air Supremacy, and Real Racing 2 HD. If you’re the person sitting at home saying “Oh, boy do I really want a new iPad, I can’t get it though, because it has the same CPU, so it’s not gonna be faster.” That’s where you’re wrong, even though technically the CPU hasn’t been upgraded, this whole device feels faster. And while benchmarks may or may not prove this hypothesis, in real world use, it feels like a snappier, speedier device.
*=While the iPhone 4S does use an A5 processor, the chip is under-clocked to 800MHz, so you won’t get the same exact benchmark results.
Arguable the best new feature in the new iPad and possible to some the “killer feature” of this device, is the Retina Display. Calculating in at 4x times the resolution than the iPad 2 (and 1), the new display has more pixels than every other device you’ve owned, I’ll almost guarantee it. The stunning 9.7 inch 2048×1536 display is the best display I’ve ever seen, no argument, no debate. Unless you were one of the lucky ones to visit CES and check out those OLED and 4/8K TV’s, that is. Not only is it (near) impossible to see pixels, it has incredible viewing angles. While I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it has better viewing angles than the iPad 2, I would say that they match. The reason I included this note though is because if you pick up any other tablet, whether it be a Samsung or Motorola one, you won’t find any other tablet that has viewing angles quite as good as the new iPad’s. The display isn’t all nice and dandy though, with great pixel’s comes great weight (and thickness). While the Retina Display didn’t really have to drastically change the iPad ascetic wise, it changed it just small enough for you to notice. Not by looking at it that is, but by picking it up. The new iPad weighs 51 grams more than the iPad 2. While it’s nothing to go ape about, you will notice the difference when you pick up the two devices hand and hand. I’ll talk more about this in the ascetics part of the review though. But back to the display, there is really only one word to describe it: ”perfect”. It’s crystal clear, and you’ll love staring at it.
The second gen iPad didn’t really do the camera world any justist, coming in at a meslsy 0.7 mp, It was really a terrible camera. Good thing the new iPad improves that. Coming in at 5 MPs, it is a big improvement, especially with the iPhone 4S advanced optics. While it isn’t anything to run home about, it’s a really nice camera and it does the job for quick shots.
Overall: the new iPad is the best tablet on the market, hands down. The price is high but justifiable due to its amazing screen and performance. Don’t hesitate to buy this.