Tech giant Apple unveiled its third generation iPad in early March. The new iPad is definitely beautiful, with a promising and stunning new Retina display, quad-core graphics and 4G LTE capability. However, despite all these breakthrough features, has it failed to please everyone? 

Those who bought the new iPad as their first tablet and others who got it just as another upgrade had high hopes and were expecting that it would put an end to the quest for an ideal tablet.

Unfortunately, the new iPad has met not just one, but many controversies and issues, leading many consumers to a state of indecisiveness. It now seems that the new iPad has become more of an option than an upgrade to its predecessor - iPad 2.

iPad 2's market has not yet closed. In fact, even before the release of iPad 3, Apple already announced that it will continue to manufacture iPad 2 and sell it at a reduced price.

The big question is: Is it time to turn back to or stick to the dependable iPad 2? Let's compare these two devices, visualizing different scenarios where one version may be preferred over the other and vice versa. At the same time, here is a summary of all the important issues that have made the new iPad the center of criticism. The sole purpose here is to help consumers decide which of the two is ideal for them. 

Wi-Fi Connectivity

There have been enough whiners on Apple forums complaining about the new iPad's noticeably inferior Wi-Fi reception as compared to the old iPad 2 and iPhone 4. Last week, Daily Mail reported that a thread on Apple's official forum has 144 posts from angry users, who found it unreasonable that Apple's new iPad faced trouble picking up and holding on to Wi-Fi signals.

A user was reported as saying that after spending considerable amount of time with the newly purchased iPad 3, he noticed that the new iPad gets consistently slower speeds as compared to the old iPad 2. Also, it is less sensitive to a signal (especially 5Ghz) and drops 2.4Ghz connection from time to time, where iPad 2 was very stable.

Overheating Issue

According to the latest reports, Apple's new iPad hits 116 degree while playing intense graphics games. Apple has discarded all the charges by saying that the new iPad is working in the specified temperature range. However, users are still complaining that the new tablet gets too hot to hold in hands.

There can be two important implications of this finding. First, many people believe that it feels uncomfortable holding a warm tablet for a long time. Secondly, many users have raised concerns over the effects of the high temperature on the new iPad's delicate hardware.

Battery and Charging Issue

Another disappointment is that it takes twice the amount of time to charge full than iPad 2. Also, there are reports claiming that the battery charge indicator in the latest iPad might be faulty because the battery still continues to charge even after the indicator shows 100 percent. Another disappointment is the fact that the new iPad's battery does not charge when it is plugged and simultaneously running some 'heavy duty' apps such as games and videos or multitasking.

Smart Cover Incompatibility Issue

According to the latest reports, old smart covers do not work as good on the new tablet as they used to on iPad 2 or the original iPad. Apple has reportedly messed up the polarity of the magnets and smart covers are no longer compatible with the new iPad. The change also means that many, if not all third party smart covers will not wake or sleep the new iPad either. But the company has released new Apple smart covers, which seem to work fine with the new iPad. Simply put, Apple has dashed the dreams of many who were hoping to use their old smart covers with their new iPad.

Heavier Apps; Higher Memory Drainage

The New iPad comes with a retina display sporting better resolution, and this also means that the apps for this tablet will be running on HD and therefore would be 'heavy', which would relatively require more space. Since this tablet has no provision of external memory, the buyers would have to go for bigger storage version (32 GB and 64 GB) than the 16 GB version.

Voracious Appetite For Data Usage

The new iPad is blessed with 4G LTE support. If the user has purchased an entry-level data plan, then they must use the iPad carefully or be ready to pay for more Gigabytes. 4G data plans from Verizon and AT&T are already very expensive and many users are complaining that they were surprised to see their 4G monthly data plan being used up in a day, and sometimes in a few hours. According to Verizon Wireless, watching streaming HD video on high resolution Retina display of the new iPad consumes 2GB of data every hour.

VGA Camera; No Change

The new iPad 3's 5-megapixel iSight camera is clearly superior to the one found in the iPad 2, but many users are still struggling with the notion of using something as large as the iPad as a camera, particularly against a perfectly good camera on a smartphone. At the same time, even though the rare camera has been upgraded the most functional camera of the iPad, front camera, has been ignored and has shown no improvement as compared to iPad 2.  

Lack of Siri

Most Apple fans were expecting to receive this iPhone 4S feature in their new iPad. But all they got was disappointment and an added a voice dictation feature to the New iPad. Industry experts, however, assume that Apple might have intentionally saved Siri for their next launch.

Price Tags

The New iPad's variants are really pricey. The device have been made available from March 16 with the following price tags -- 16 GB: $499, 32 GB: $599 and 64 GB: $699.

In the case of 4G LTE, the buyers will have to shell out $629, $729 and $829 respectively for the 16, 32, and 64 GB variants.  This would be quite expensive, compared to iPad 2 whose prices were slashed after the launch of the New iPad. 

Other Issues

A US-based warranty provider 'SquareTrade' said in a report that the new iPad is more fragile than the iPad 2 and completely shatters when dropped from shoulder height. Other than that, consumers are also complaining that with the enormous data consumption, the tablet also does not support Facetime (video chat) function on LTE network.

Hence, it is evident that the new iPad is just a polished version of the previous year's iPad 2. Maybe, the new shiny screen is nice but it hardly changes the way one uses the device. However, one thing is for sure, both -- the new iPad 3 and the previous iPad 2 have a separate set of target audience, and here is a segregation of which of the two suits your need.

Who Should Buy The New iPad?

The biggest and perhaps the only visible breakthrough advantage of the new iPad seems to be its Retina display. All other features have become more or less subdued due to its lack of basic luxuries. For instance, its higher RAM gets easily neutralized with its higher demand for memory.

  • Hence, the new iPad is a perfect option for a photographer or an artist. No other tablet's display will give even a closest visualization of the pixels that has been captured by a digital camera or created in a piece of art, as one will get to witness in the new iPad.
  • For a low to medium intensity surfer and someone who likes to read books and magazines with colorful graphics and display on the Internet, the third generation tablet is the choice to hold on to.
  • Game lovers who have extremely sensitive senses for sensing the speed and graphics of their favorite games.
  • If you are a big fan of shooting pictures and videos with your tablet (which is kind of odd, though), the new iPad could be your dream come true.

Who Should Stick To Or Get Back To The iPad 2?

Logically, everybody else who does not meet the above criteria should go for iPad 2.

  • All those aggressive tablet users, who have to hold on to their tablet for an infinite number of hours, without having to bear the discomfort of higher temperature or weight or strain to your 'retina', iPad 2 is a highly recommended option instead of the new iPad 3.
  • For dedicated users, a sluggish charge time is definitely going to be a deal breaker for the new iPad purchase. Additionally, the fact that the new iPad's battery does not charge when it is plugged and simultaneously running some 'heavy' apps such as games and videos or multitasking will add to its disability for the serious users.
  • For Navigation lovers, iPad 2 will certainly have an edge over new iPad because of its quick charge time while the user is on the go.
  • Consumers who live in Wi-Fi-unfriendly zones should think hundred times before purchasing the new iPad. Currently, it is a known fact now that iPad 2 has the best wi-fi reception.
  • iPad 2 would be definitely light on the pocket for heavy GSM users. Also there are no unlimited data plans for the new iPad. Both Verizon and AT&T offer no more than 5 GB of data per charge for iPad, so one must use the data prudently to avoid being billed multiple times in a month.
  • For frequent video chatters, buying the new iPad will be a shear splurge of money, mainly for two reasons. First, since no change has been made to the front camera of the tablet, the video quality is not going to be a whole lot different from the iPad 2. Second, the users will now have to spend more Mb/minute with the previous version if chatting on a GSM plan.