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Apple has another solid hit with the "New iPad"

Apple's "New iPad" was announced last week to much fanfare in San Francisco. As is usually the case with new iPad or iPhone releases, launch day pre-orders sold out quickly and those who were late to get their orders in could end up waiting for a few weeks to get their hands on one.
As a refresher, an Apple A5X processor that has seen its onboard RAM double from 512MB to 1GB powers the new iPad. The A5X is also blessed with a quad-core GPU which boosts gaming performance and helps feed the new iPad's biggest new feature: a 2048 x 1536 resolution Retina display. Other niceties include a 5MP rear-facing camera, and optional LTE connectivity.

On the negative side, the weight and thickness of the iPad has grown to accommodate a new 42.5 watt-hour battery (the iPad 2 had a 25 watt-hour battery). In addition, Apple is once again being stingy with storage capacities on the iPad. Even though app sizes are doubling or even tripling in some cases due to Retina support, Apple is holding firm with 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities -- the same lineup as when the first generation iPad launched in 2010.
Tonight, however, we're getting our first look at what the new iPad can do courtesy of a flood of reviews. Here are some select excerpts from the reviews that are currently available:
Joshua Topolsky of The Verge gives his thoughts on the iPad 3's gorgeous new Retina display:
Yes, this display is outrageous. It's stunning. It's incredible. I'm not being hyperbolic or exaggerative when I say it is easily the most beautiful computer display I have ever looked at…
You literally can't see pixels on the iPad's display when you hold it at a regular distance, and even up close you have to really inspect the thing to see dots. For rendered text or high resolution images, it just looks otherworldly; like a glowing piece of paper.

The difference between the iPad 2's display and the new iPad's Retina display [Source: The Verge]
Walt Mossberg of AllThingsD fame touched on the battery life of the new iPad. While it's not quite the power-sipper as its predecessor, it still posts some impressive numbers.
Apple claims up to 10 hours of battery life between charges, and up to nine hours if you are relying strictly on cellular connectivity. In my standard battery test, where I play videos back to back with both cellular and Wi-Fi on, and the screen at 75% brightness, the new iPad logged 9 hours and 58 minutes, compared with 10 hours and 9 minutes for the iPad 2. Other tablets died hours sooner in the same test. In more normal use, the new iPad lasted more than a full day, though not as long as the iPad 2 did.
The original iPad didn't have any cameras at all, while the iPad 2 came with a standard front-facing camera for FaceTime and an incredibly subpar rear-facing camera for pictures and 720p video. The new iPad can now features a 5MP camera and bumps video recording up to 1080p. Vincent Nguyen of SlashGear gives his thoughts on the new optics:
Apple says it has borrowed the camera technology and optics from the iPhone 4S for the new iPad, though still the 5-megapixel images the tablet is capable of do lag behind the 8-megapixel examples from the smartphone. There’s more visible noise and chromatic aberrations at full zoom, though the quality is far, far better than any stills the iPad 2 can achieve. You also get face recognition for up to ten people per frame, automatically adjusting focus and exposure, but the camera app UI itself is no more complex than before.
While the actual CPU hasn't improved much over the iPad 2, the integrated GPU has definitely been turbocharged, as witnessed by Jason Snell of MacWorld:
That power comes from the X factor in the A5X processor—a new quad-core graphics engine. And sure enough, the third-generation iPad blows away every other iOS device in terms of graphics performance. In our tests using the GLBench 3D graphics testing app, the third-generation iPad could draw a complex 3D scene at the full frame rate of its display, 60 frames per second, without breaking a sweat. And in GLBench offscreen tests, which aren’t constrained by the display’s frame rate, the third-generation iPad had a frame rate 1.6 times that of the iPad 2 (and 13 times that of the original iPad).

[Source: MacWorld]
Overall, the new iPad seems to be another solid entry into the tablet field for Apple. It holds the line on CPU performance and battery life (at the expense of device thickness and weight) while offering an impressive Retina display, optional LTE, and a tremendous boost in graphics performance. Pricing remains the same as previous iPad model ($499/$599/$699 for Wi-Fi; add $130 for LTE models), but Apple still doesn't have the guts to give users an increase in storage capacities.
To sum things up, Joshua Topolsky offers these words of advice:
Let's be clear: the new iPad is in a class by itself, just as its predecessor was. As the latest product in a lineage of devices that defined this category, the iPad continues to stand head and shoulders above the competition. With the addition of the Retina display, LTE, more memory, and a more powerful CPU, Apple has absolutely held onto the iPad's market position as the dominant player and product to beat. 

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RE: Preempting Android fan responses
By sprockkets on 3/15/2012 12:37:57 AM , Rating: 5
I can already tell you what the Android fans are thinking:

Well this one is thinking "The ipad is too big, I want a 7" Asus tablet for $250. Guess I'll buy that one."

Direct HDMI is also absolutely moot. You need to buy a cable if you want to go wired anyways, and Apple's cable not only delivers HDMI but keeps the tablet powered.

So does MHL on my HTC sensation.

Tablets are all about apps. You don't stare at your home screen for five minutes, you use apps.

No, I stare at my home screen for a few moments to see if I need to go into my apps vs. going into each app to check stuff.

And, as for the quad-core processor... well, Anandtech's own benchmarks (mostly 3D) showed an iPad 2 already outrunning a Transformer Prime. Go quad-core on graphics and double the RAM and Apple's sitting in the stratosphere somewhere. Specs can matter, but don't believe the "bigger numbers are always better" myth -- it's what you're doing with the cores you've got that means the most.

After 60FPS you won't notice the difference. I'm not playing 3d games on tablets either, that's a waste of time. As long as it can do 1080p video, I don't care.

I was at Mobile World Congress. I used the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 2. Used Toshiba's new 7-inch tablet, Acer's quad-core Iconia Tab A700 and A510. Co-worker tried the new ASUS tablets. None of them scream out that you must buy them over an iPad; they're either extremely conservative tablets that are dead in the water (Samsung) or no better than a Transformer Prime, which is nice but not that exciting. They don't have the apps, they don't have the responsiveness, and they certainly don't have that display.

It's obvious you are an apple fanboi. We're not. It's a good product, but ever since apple arbitrarily killed google voice for no reason whatsoever, plus their endless lawsuits, I chose never to support apple. EVER.

By sprockkets on 3/15/2012 12:43:15 AM , Rating: 2
Oh and yes, I know apple let Google Voice back in, only after 13 months and due to the FTC threatening to sue them if they didn't.

RE: Preempting Android fan responses
By testerguy on 3/15/12, Rating: -1
RE: Preempting Android fan responses
By sprockkets on 3/15/2012 8:35:08 AM , Rating: 3
The fact that other devices do this is irrelevant. His point was that you can connect the iPad to a TV using HDMI, to disprove the argument sometimes made against iPad that you can't.

No, it was to address the fact I get charged while I use MHL on my phone just like the ipad.

It wasn't just Google voice they killed, it was numerous voice applications - and it was arguably largely influenced by AT&T. Either way, disliking Apple for that, while you're entitled to do it, is why it's obvious you're an Android fanboy and an Apple hater. That blinds your judgement.

Right. That's why they approved it in the first place, ATT is on record as NOT banning it, didn't ban it on any other phone, makes no sense to ban it since it uses normal phone minutes anyhow, and the biggest reason of all, is apple's reason:

"We haven't banned Google voice, we are studying it."

Sorry if I stopped liking a company for irrationally banning apps on the whim of SJ's crusade against google or for suing over rounded rectangles. I already said the ipad is a good product, but I guess that still makes me a fanboi and hater.

RE: Preempting Android fan responses
By testerguy on 3/15/12, Rating: 0
By retrospooty on 3/15/2012 1:01:21 PM , Rating: 3
TG, why dont you jsut save yorself alot of time and effort typing and just copy/paste your standard resonse. Make i generic so you dont have to retype for each situation.

"Apple is right no matter what anyone says or does. All of Apples choices are perfect, and they can do no wrong".

See, this way you dont have to type so much.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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