New iPad Review
With the announcement and following release of the third-generation iPad, which Apple is simply calling the new iPad, consumers have another choice in tablet computers. Many iPad owners will be upgrading from their iPad 2 to the iPad 3, and anyone who has just entered the market will have to consider the improved features on the iPad 3 before investing in a competitor’s product. The new Apple iPad blows other tablet computers out of the water, including the com,pany’s previous releases.
Looks Can Be Deceiving
It’s no surprise that the iPad 3 is as sleek as its predecessors. With stately black or white builds and rounded corners, it’s impossible for this tablet to feel clunky. The new iPad retains the contoured aluminum enclosure, which is recyclable, and the entire front is encase in sleek glass. The iPad 3, like all Apple devices, is designed with the environment in mind. The company doesn’t use PVC or mercury in its devices and will accept pre-owned devices for recycling, in exchange for a gift card.
Although it might have a similar appearance, the display of the iPad 3 has been turning heads. Apple has labeled its proprietary technology the retina display and it boasts impressive specs. With more than four times the number of pixels as the iPad 2, the new iPad offers crisp and clear pictures. Reading eBooks on this device proves to be no challenge, because text is much clearer. The 2048-by-1536 pixel resolution offers more than 3-million pixels for stunning performance that is impossible not to notice. In fact, the new iPad has a higher pixel-count than some high-definition televisions. The industry will probably see an influx in pixel count on screens thanks to the iPad 3.
Photographs look more life-like and brighter than ever before, too. It’s no surprise that designers have scrambled to produce high-definition backgrounds specifically for the iPad 3. Apple promises 40% more color saturation for deep blues, bright reds and everything in between. The color nuance is visible when comparing the iPad 3 to the previous iPad, or with other tablet computers. Apple has stolen the show again.
Anyone who enjoys taking photographs on their new iPad will appreciate the new camera developments. Apple has upgraded the 5-megapixel camera to use its iSight technology. Backside illumination and a new aperture ensures that all pictures are clear, even in low light conditions, while the hybrid infrared filter prevents IR light from inaccurately reproducing colors. Plus, the integrated facial recognition can highlight up to ten faces for large group photos.
The new iPad is also capable of recording full HD videos in 1080p, an upgrade over the 720p resolution of the iPad 2. Videos remains smooth with automatic stabilization. Videos, along with photos, can utilize automatic geotagging on the iPad 3.
More Beautiful with More Power
It’s no surprise that the higher pixel count requires a faster chipset. The brand-new A5X chip is only available on the new iPad and utilizes four cores for graphics alone. This means that, despite the increase in pixels, navigation on the iPad 3 is still fluid and lightning fast.
The processor chipset includes a dual-core CPU, which Apple claims is twice as fast as its previous A5 processor. Furthermore, the manufacturer claims four times the graphics performance when compared to the NVIDIA Tegra 3, the processor that most Android tablets are using in 2012.
The A5X is physically larger than the A5x, which Apple has installed in its most recent release of the iPhone and iPod Touch. The same is true for the battery in the iPad 3. Apple has increased the size of the internal power source for its newest tablet to keep the battery life around the same as the iPad 2. The new iPad boasts approximately ten hours of battery life, even with its larger chipset and retina display.
Bigger is Better?
With a larger processor and battery, it’s no surprise that the new iPad is larger and heavier than the iPad 2. Both versions have a 9.5″ height and 7.31″ width, so they’ll fit into the same covers and cases. However, the iPad 3 is .04″ thicker. Some consumers may not even notice the difference, but Apple’s upgrades have increased the weight from 1.43-pounds to 1.46-pounds. The iPad 3 is still plenty light enough to carry just about anywhere.
The iPad 3 is available in a WiFi-only version as well as one with 4G LTE carrier connectivity. AT&T or Verizon customers can use their data plans to surf the Internet wherever 4G LTE connectivity is available to quickly download YouTube videos, movies from iTunes or stream their own content directly from the iPad. The SIM card slot also allows users to access GSM networks when traveling abroad for work or pleasure, so the iPad 3 is just as useful overseas as it is here at home. While SIM cards will rely on foreign 3G networks, Apple promises that the new iPad will download content at up to 42 Mbps on those networks. The new iPad also functions as a personal hotspot, when enabled by the cellular network. Users can connect their phones, laptops and other devices to the wireless network created by the iPad to browse the Internet.
The new iPad uses iOS 5, which Apple released late last year with its new round of devices. With the upgrade to iOS 5 came iCloud, a service that allows users to sync photos, contacts, music and more to the cloud for access from any Apple device. Similarly, users can participate in free video chats with Apple’s FaceTime app on WiFi. iMessage is also new with iOS 5, and it allows users to message anyone who owns an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch over WiFi. Of course, Apple has provided the staples of its mobile operating system with the iPad 3, including the maps and mail apps and Safari for browsing the Internet. Users can download thousands of apps from iTunes, directly on their iPad.
- Erick Garske, JustiPad.com