With the 3rd generation iPad, Apple is hoping to cement its hold on the tablet market. A year has passed since introducing their 2nd generation iPad and two years since introducing the game-changing original. Each year, Apple brings something extra to their tablet. But is this 3rd generation iPad a giant leap forward from the previous version?
Look, Feel and Under the Hood
Like most Apple products, the iPad’s aluminum frame sports that same signature Apple look. The new iPad comes in both black and white.
Although slightly heavier than the previous iteration, the aluminum frame makes it feel lighter than it is. The home button occupies its usual place at the bottom center of the device. The face-time camera occupies the top-center. The dock connector is at the bottom and so is the speaker. On the right hand side, you will find the volume rocker below the screen lock button. The sleep button is on the top.
The iPad has a Wi-Fi version and a 4G+Wi-Fi cellular network model. There is a slight cosmetic difference between the two. The 4G models have a black, plastic strip along the top. This is used for cellular signals, the iPad’s antenna.
The iPad internal storage comes in non-expandable 16, 32 and 64GB versions. It has 1GB of internal system memory.
The life of the internal battery is rated at 10 hours while using Wi-Fi. However, the time it takes to charge the battery suffers in the exchange.
The A5X dual-core processor chip moves at 1 GHz. Its main difference from the earlier A5 is an added quad-core graphics-processing unit. This was necessary, as this iPad is more graphic intensive because of its larger resolution screen.
The Retina Display
For this iPad, Apple uses the gorgeous retina display. The 9.7-inch screen is the same size but the 2048-by-1536 resolution is four times that of the previous iPad’s.
Pictures are crisp and clear. Even when zoomed in, pictures and text remain sharp and legible. The retina display is the greatest feature of this iPad and it is a giant step beyond the screen of the previous device and most other tablet and mobile devices available.
The upgraded display takes advantage of the 5-megapixel camera. Although the camera has not gone up in megapixels, it can now record in full 1080p HD.
The Software behind the Hardware
The 3rd Generation iPad comes with iOS 5.1, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. Besides the many built-in apps, there are also thousands of apps available in the iTunes App Store. By now, the most popular apps have iPad versions.
Compared to the 2nd Generation iPad
Many wonder if it is worth switching. It’s all up to personal preference. Undoubtedly, the iPad 3 is better. But better does not mean that you should rush out and upgrade. If your current iPad is fit for all of your needs, then there isn’t a real need to upgrade.
The main difference is in the display. The newer iPad has quadruple screen resolution and higher resolution recording. That’s about it. There’s also the upgrade from 3G to 4G for those that get the cellular network capable versions.
What People Are Saying
User reviews of the third iPad have been mostly favorable. Most of the praise is for the iPad’s retina display. Many claim that it is the most remarkable display ever seen on a mobile device.
Some were upset at what they considered a lack of real innovation between models. Because of that, many users of the 2nd Gen iPad were happy to keep using it. New users were also critical of Apple’s refusal to add any expansion ports or a 128GB model. Some feel that there should be a slightly smaller, less pricey version available as well. The price of the unit was also a deterrent to many.
If you already own a 2nd Gen iPad, you need to really think about whether you should upgrade. If you don’t own a tablet but are thinking about getting one, then the iPad is an excellent choice. However, as time goes by, Apple’s competitors are catching up to them with offerings of their own that are looking just as good as the iPad.