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: Competitors
By EasyC on 3/15/2012 11:26:05 AM , Rating: 2
Oh my where to start. Not an Apple fan? You're stretching your points really far towards that direction. Maybe you just don't like admitting you're wrong. Either way, it's the case.

Does that link from 2010 refer to the iPad 3? No.

No, it doesn't. It was meant as a humorous counterpoint. However, given Apples track record, thermal efficiency is an afterthought compared to aesthetics.

None of which will have tested the iPad 3 camera. Which is precisely my point. A complete you obviously missed.

Have you seen the pictures they've taken with the new iPad? They are a ton better than iPad 2, but then again, a modern webcam is a step above the iPad 2. Besides, who would use a tablet for considerable photography anyway?

The relative benchmark speeds of GPU's has nothing at all to do with resolution. All benchmarks, ideally, such as those on Anandtech, are at the same resolution. Your comments about screen resolution are therefore completely meaningless. The benchmarks show that at the SAME RESOLUTION, the iPad 2 GPU is up to 2x faster than tegra 3. I therefore can evidence my logical claim that the Tegra 3 is relatively slow when compared to the GPU in the iPad 3 (which is theoretically 2x faster than the iPad 2 GPU). The fact that the new iPad has even more pixels is completely irrelevant too because it can render at iPad 2 resolution and upscale if required. And also because a GPU isn't measured by the device it's in - it's measured by the graphics it can produce relative to other GPU's when resolution is constant.

You do realize that almost all 10" Android tablets run a higher resolution than the iPad 2 (those numbers I gave you), right? Last I checked, a lot of games don't have resolution settings and are just developed to the native resolution of the device. Also, the only Tegra 3 tablet right now is the Prime which is ... shocker ... 1280x800. So explain to me how Anandtech managed to force the games on the Prime to play at 1024x768? Go ahead, we will all wait for your *brilliant* explanation. Again, Show us multiple benchmarks.

You can get one with USB slots, SD cards, batteries, yes. Very easily, or a mouse accessory. But the original comment didn't say this, and neither did my reply. So your failed point is irrelevant. The bottom line is that in accessory terms, you'd struggle to find a device with more accessories than the iPad 3.

Oh really? Show me a single accessory that turns the iPad into an *attractive* mini netbook with a Keyboard, Trackpad, USB slot, SD Slot, and extra battery. I'd love to see this. Also, can you move your apps and such to said SD card? You failed to realize my point. Yes the iPad has tons of accessories, but how many are as useful as the keyboard dock on the Prime. I'll save you the trouble. None.

Firstly - you say 'beloved' iPad. I don't own a tablet. Just because I am not so bitter about Apple that I can appreciate what they have developed like anyone logical, doesn't mean I love them or own them.

So what you're saying, is you're a spec sheet jockey with no real experience on any of the products discussed. Got it.

Secondly - this discussion isn't about where devices are 'going', it's specifically about where they are now, comparing the iPad 3 to the Transformer Prime. Nothing to do with the future.

My facts and statements were about the current state of things.

Thirdly - there come points for Android tablet users every day when there aren't apps available when they want to do productive things. It's well documented how much fewer apps there are on Android and how they always come second. Your example of photo editing is pretty ironic given that Apples new software provides the ability to do precisely what you describe. Simply take the photo, plug the SD card into your iPhone SD adapter ($5), edit it using the iPhone photo editing software (very highly regarded). And of course, that photo editing happens faster due to the more capable GPU and in better quality due to the superior screen resolution.

Did you really just say the iPad uses the GPU for photo editing? Really? Computational tasks (such as photo/video manipulation) are a CPU intensive process, unless the application supports GPU acceleration. I don't have any experience with the software you're referring to say whether or not that feature exists. Neither do you, so your opinion is moot on this.

Fourthly yes the difference is immediately obvious because one is ugly, poorly made, lower resolution, slower, has a battery which dies sooner and has MUCH fewer apps.

Yup, you definitely don't love Apple or the iPad. Look, you haven't proven a damn thing. I see a lot of talk talk talk, but no proof (and sorry, but your opinion is not fact). Not a single link (to an unbiased source), no list of apps (and no, I'm not going to waste my time reading all your dribble on this article). You mentioned a single F1 racing app. I don't know of anyone who watches F1, so it's not exactly an app I could say "people" want.

To dissect the rest of your crap:

Ugly - The Prime is more attractive than any iPad IMO.
Poorly Made - Tossup. Yes some have GPS issues (my sample did not), but all the iPads have had issues upon launch as well (overheating, screens, etc). We won't know about this iPad until a month from now.
Slower - Also debatable. For pure 3D acceleration, yes. But find an app that can handle multithreading and I'd be willing to bet a 4x1.4GHz CPU will hand a 2x1GHz CPU it's ass in computational work load (aka getting stuff done).
Battery - You have no idea what you're talking about. No really, you don't. You've said so yourself (See: I don't own a tablet). I've sampled a Prime and the battery claims of 10-12 hours on typical use is entirely correct. Anandtech themselves got 11 hours of continuous video playback. Couple that with a dock and there is no competition.

You really make this too easy. Even Tony knows more than you about this. He at least posts links (even if biased), to try and back up his claims.

I started to read your second reply, but saw that it was filled with personal attacks. That's the first sign that you're losing a debate, so I'd hang it up now before you look like more a fool.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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