The Reviews are in for Apple's "New iPad"
March 14, 2012 9:26 PM
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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
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
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
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
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).
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
3/15/2012 1:50:13 PM
What are most tabs used for right now is for multimedia and web. Flash right now is the standard really for multimedia on the web. I know Flash is (so is sliverlight) dead on mobile. The writing for both was on the wall with HTML 5 coming. The point I was trying to make was the reason why Apple need more apps. It takes a lot to run Flash (which Android shows) well. Apple said no Android said yes. So for Apple you
apps to do many of the thing you can do on web browser. With Android it not such a big deal. When HTML 5 becomes a standard (in like 2 years) then there will be no need for Flash or other media plug-ins really, it will all be apart of the web standard. As of right now you
Flash to really get the best multimedia web experience or you can do Apple and download 10-20 apps to do the same thing. Would/do you really need a YouTube, Facebook, bank, or other apps that come with most tabs if you can do it in web browser, nope. Yes Apps are easier to deal with on a phone screen but on tab not really. When you have 7" to 10" screen Apps seem limited and really weaker compared to Flash (which Android Tabs are showing with it's smaller App base) based web sites. So what are the 50 top apps on both anyway mainly games. Games Apps are what are downloaded the most on Tabs right now and most games are available on both so a big App base means nothing really. So what other apps/programs could people want/need if they dont want to play games all day? Office, 3dmax, Photoshop or other windows based programs/app maybe.
That where Windows 8 for tabs comes in. Office is going to be a part of (so say Microsoft) it. You know most company with real useful programs/app are going to remake their programs/app work for it, a lot of IT people are going to be happier deal with it then Apple/Android (which means company will by them) Tabs, and those people who are on the fence about Tabs (for whatever reason) can now justify (its for work or school) buying one now. Flash nor sliverlight work for Windows 8 tab right now but you know is coming. We all know that (even if a lot of us hate it) Windows is basically the standard OS for PC's at home, work, or school. Its going to sell and if it works as go as Microsoft says with their other stuff (phone, xbox, kinect, and skydive) its going to sell even better. Can it come out at 399 or less, yes. Look at netbooks, you can get them at 199 on up. With Asus coming out with 7" T3 and 10" T3 for 249 and 399. Im sure in another 6 months there can be Windows Tabs in that price range.
As far as Android being overpriced, both are. 3g/4g or WiFi there are a lot of Tabs that are way overpriced for what you can really use them for. That's why Fire is selling so well. For what most people use a Tab for it does ok. Can it do Flash, read eBooks and look at movies, yes! Will it over take Ipad with it's next update, maybe. Will Apple try can sue them, you can bet on it lol!!
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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