Print 100 comment(s) - last by Moishe.. on Mar 19 at 3:31 PM

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 Commodus on 3/15/2012 8:05:18 AM , Rating: 1
1. Camera adapter works for SD cards and direct camera connections. Wireless storage works too.

2. There's actually some file system-related reasons as to why. On the Galaxy Nexus, Google decided it was more important to have contiguous storage than to enable the usual USB drive support; Apple's in the same position. It limits you in some ways, but it also means you don't end up with 5GB of wasted space because you wanted USB support.

3. Adobe is dropping mobile Flash because it joined Apple in seeing that HTML5 is superior. Dead argument.

4. The overall bar for apps is still higher, sorry. Not to mention that Google's mobile VP Andy Rubin openly despises tablet-native apps; he only wants universal apps, and he does nothing to help you find tablet-native apps on Google Play. Which platform as a tablet developer would you rather support?

Also: there's a hilarious irony to you trying to make the 1984 Orwellian parallel with Google. You know, the company that wants to know everything about you, betrayed net neutrality for the sake of a deal with Verizon, and is currently under FTC investigation for anti-competitive behavior. Want to not be a hypocrite? Drop every Android product you own. Immediately.

RE: Preempting Android fan responses
By B3an on 3/15/2012 8:52:17 AM , Rating: 2
Adobe is dropping mobile Flash because it joined Apple in seeing that HTML5 is superior. Dead argument.

You're making stuff up, like most iTards. Flash is superior and will remain superior for years to come. Try running HTML5 games on a phone, then run Flash games, and watch as the Flash games run at literally 10x the frame rate AND have better graphics. Infact, theres countless videos of this on youtube. I also make games in both formats so i know what i'm talking about. Flash is FAR more capable and has by far the best dev tools.

The reason Flash was dropped for mobile is because Win 8 will not support it on ARM, and because making a all the different Flash players for tons of devices and Android versions got out of hand.

RE: Preempting Android fan responses
By KPOM1 on 3/15/2012 9:18:46 AM , Rating: 2
Flash is so superior that its developer is dropping it because Microsoft won't support it and there are too many versions out there for Android.

Yes, that makes perfect sense to me. We have a superior product, so let's cancel development of it.

RE: Preempting Android fan responses
By RaV3NNN on 3/15/2012 10:36:46 AM , Rating: 2
Its plain, simple and obvious. Most apple users have no technical knowledge what so ever. They buy the new, flashing and pretty product from who THEY think is the best. It comes down to hardware and the simple fact that these tablets cant do anything to graphically intense no matter how strong they are. Games have good frame rates on both of them and that's that. It is irrelevant to compare them. Neither is better than the other. If I had to choose it would be android for flexibility. Apple keeps you stuck in their world without modification. Android is the opposite. ..

RE: Preempting Android fan responses
By BSMonitor on 3/15/2012 10:50:33 AM , Rating: 1
NO ONE with a life wants to spend their life customizing their phone!!!!!!

By Cheesew1z69 on 3/15/2012 11:02:46 AM , Rating: 2
And because you say so it must be true? No, sorry...

By Commodus on 3/15/2012 10:46:16 AM , Rating: 2
Apparently you've never actually read anything Adobe said.

Dropping Flash had zero to do with Windows 8. Everything to do with believing HTML5 is the superior option, both for market reach and cross-platform support. A direct quote from Adobe's blog:

However, HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively. This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.

It's not hard to read the subtext: Apple drove HTML5 adoption (yes, partly by being stubborn over Flash). Windows 8 Flash support on ARM? Not even mentioned. Given that Windows tablets are already a tiny niche, a subset of a future version of that niche wasn't dictating Adobe's practices.

RE: Preempting Android fan responses
By elmikethemike on 3/15/2012 8:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
He didn't make anything up. Adobe is done with Flash and moving on. Flash is some of the most malware-prone, inefficient crap to ever grace the internet. If it were the opposite, everyone would support it. Sorry, you're just wrong.

And for people that are all about open standards, I find the arguments against HTML5 vs Flash hilarious. Cherry picking left and right.

By elmikethemike on 3/15/2012 9:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
By x10Unit1 on 3/15/2012 4:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
4. The overall bar for apps is still higher, sorry. Not to mention that Google's mobile VP Andy Rubin openly despises tablet-native apps; he only wants universal apps, and he does nothing to help you find tablet-native apps on Google Play. Which platform as a tablet developer would you rather support?

Honestly, I think the drive to have a universal app for both tablet and phone could be a good thing and I believe that is what ICS was meant to provide. Having the same application function the same with the exception of the screen size could be a really awesome feature for an app to have.

I don't know much about the development side for apple but I thought this is what they did as well?

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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