On Wednesday, Apple unveiled its third-generation iPad, known simply as the new iPad to tech aficionados and customers around the world. The new iPad will officially be released and available to customers on March 16, 2012, globally, making it Apple's biggest roll-out release ever.
Apple showcased the new iPad, which many commentators previously dubbed as the iPad 3 and the iPad HD, at the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts in San Francisco, Calif. Apple's new CEO, Tim Cook, took to the stage to review the tech-behemoth's latest product.
We think that the iPad is the poster child of the post-PC world. The momentum behind the iPad has been incredible, and it surprised virtually everyone, Cook said. Now, when we set out to create the iPad, we set out to create not just a new product, but a new category, and we said that in order to do that, the iPad had to be the best device for doing the kinds of things you do the most often, things like browsing the web or checking e-mail.
But out of the hype, some questions emerge: Is the new iPad release Apple's best yet? What are the must-have features? Should I upgrade to the new iPad from an iPad 2?
Here, we review all the best features offered in the new iPad to assess if it is worth an upgrade from an iPad 2. We don't compare the new iPad to the original iPad as the two are drastically different -- and because an upgrade from the original iPad is highly recommended.
Retina Display with 264 ppi, 2048 x 1536 resolution and 3.1 million total pixels
The retina display was one of the biggest marketing-points for the new iPad release. The new iPad offers a sharp, crisp display, better even than many HD TVs with its 2048 x 1536 resolution and 3.1 million total pixels. This is a great asset for gamers, for those who use the iPad to watch movies and television programs on-the-go, and for avid ereader fans. Though a back-lit screen will always result in eyestrain, the retina display is an awesome visual experience for the eyes. The iPad 2 features just 1024 x 768 pixels at 132 ppi.
Verdict: The new iPad retina display wins out among its competition for those who need/want visual improvement.
4G LTE Mobile Broadband Capability
The new iPad is Apple's first move into 4G networking technology. The new iPad will have both Verizon and AT&T 4G LTE capability. This will result in vastly increased speed, particularly useful for streaming, downloads and simple web-browsing when away from a WiFi hotspot. For European customers, the new iPad is 3G world ready, as 4G is not yet available internationally. The iPad 2 has only 3G capability and is not world ready.
Verdict: The new iPad 4G LTE is a solid upgrade for U.S. customers. However, this mobile broadband update can result in overage charges as it will be easier to chew through data allotted by a carrier plan faster than with 3G. For international customers, the new iPad stands out because it is 3G world ready.
Voice Dictation with Microphone Icon Built Into Keyboard
Voice dictation is useful for those who want a hands-free means of typing text messages and emails. However, the new iPad's voice dictation feature is no Siri. Many were hoping that the virtual assistant would be included on the new iPad, as it would be a terrific asset to Apple's tablet. Siri, which is still exclusive to the iPhone 4S, can send text and emails, make calls, schedule meetings and answer almost any burning question. IBTimes tech reporter Dave Smith outlined why Siri on iPad makes perfect sense. Apple originally wanted Siri in the hands of the most people -- more people own smartphones than tablets, after all - but iPads for business, education, and productivity purposes. Given that Siri is also designed to boost one's production by helping the user become better organized, the technology, when paired for with iPad, has incredible potential, said Smith. Siri on the new iPad could benefit education, disabled individuals, professional performance, web-browsing and so much more.
Verdict: The new iPad's voice dictation is certainly no Siri.
iSight Camera 5-Megapixel Backside Illuminated Sensor, 5-Element Lens, Auto-Exposure/Auto-Focus and Face Detection
A review of the new iPad proves that it has a seriously upgraded camera compared to that of the iPad 2. The original iPad did not come with a camera at all. The iSight camera features a 5-megapixel backside illuminated sensor, 5-element lens, auto-exposure, auto-focus and face detection for a decidedly advanced photographic experience. Along with this upgraded camera, Apple included an updated version of its iPhoto editing app which is a dazzling program for photo junkies. The updated iPhoto app can now also be purchased for other Apple devices for just $4.99. Until now, Apple's tablet was never intended to be photo-friendly.
Verdict: If you are a fan of photography and will use your tablet towards this hobby, the new iPad is worth an upgrade from the iPad 2.
Dimensions of 9.5H x 7.31W x.37D in. and 1.44-1.46 lb with 9.7 in. Screen
The dimensions of the new iPad are not that drastically different from the iPad 2. The new iPad is 9.5H x 7.5W x .37D in. while the iPad 2 is 9.5H x 7.31W x .34D in. The new iPad weighs 1.44-1.46 lb. and the iPad 2 weighs 1.32-1.35 in. The screens are both 9.7 in. Apple's newest tablet has the same sleek design of the iPad 2.
Verdict: The look of the new iPad is not worth an upgrade from the iPad 2, as there is no noticeable difference.
Battery Life of 10 Hours on WiFi, 9 Hours on 4G
The battery life of the new iPad comes in at 10 hours on WiFi and nine hours on 4G. This battery life is not exceptionally advanced. The iPad 2 offers 10 hours in WiFi and nine hours on 3G, however, the 4G is obviously much faster.
Verdict: Relatively negligible, minus the fact that 4G on the new iPad offers faster browsing for the same amount of battery life as 3G browsing on the iPad 2.
Pricing Ranges from $499-829
The new iPad with WiFi prices include: $499 for 16GB, 32GB is $599 and 64GB for $699. The new iPad with WiFi + 4G LTE prices include: $629 for 16GB, $729 16GB and $829 for 32GB. Sorry, no 128GB yet. By keeping the new iPad priced at $499, Apple reduced the price of its previous tablets. Industry insiders predicated this drop in unison with the new iPad release. The once-$499 iPad 2 has dropped to just $399.
Verdict: The iPad 2 is a more economical purchase than the new iPad.
After a close review of the new iPad's features, the final verdict depends on your personal iPad usage.
The new iPad offers a major upgrade for gamers and e-readers with its vivid retina display. The 4G LTE will allow for faster downloads, better streaming and a more effortless browsing experience overall. The updated camera offers a fully developed photographic experience with a better lens, recognition features and the upgraded iPhoto app. If the new iPad is your dream come true, click here to pre-order it on Apple's online store now.
However, the new iPad is not a completely revolutionized tablet. Apple did not go to the drawing board and recreate its tablet. The iPad 2 looks identical to the new iPad, it is cheaper, it has a considerably fast broadband and it has the same battery life. Therefore, it might be worth holding onto your iPad 2 until the next-next-generation iPad is unveiled.