New iPad Adds Retina Display, 1080p Video, Improved Camera & Processor
The New iPad from Apple adds a Retina display, 1080p video, an improved camera, faster processor and support for 4G LTE.
After all that hype, I really expected something better than the New iPad.
Apple isn’t even calling it the iPad 3 or the iPad HD as many speculated.
The improvements are nice, but they’re just improvements and hardly live up to the revolutionary rhetoric Apple used during the reveal. It’s almost easier to point out how this model is the same as last year’s. It’s about the same size, about the same weight, looks identical, same battery life, uses the same controls (no more or less buttons and no Siri) and costs the same.
No IR either - so controlling TVs and home theater gear will still require adapters, Bluetooth modules or Wi-Fi.
The New iPad’s biggest improvement is in the display - a Retina display, similar to what’s on the iPhone 4S, but with a 2048 x 1539 pixel resolution. That’s a higher resolution than on a 1080p TV. Yes, the 120-inch home theater screen in your basement powered by a $10,000 projector puts out less pixels than the New iPad.
A screen like that requires some serious graphic power, so the new model sports Apple’s A5X quad-core chip, which Apple says packs four times the performance of the previous processor. That quad core chip is responsible for handling an enhanced gaming experience, better photo and video capture and processing and might benefit home control apps as well by allowing for richer graphics and faster reaction time.
The New iPad also comes with a greatly improved rear-panel iSight camera, also similar to the iPhone 4S, with a 5MP sensor, auto focus, auto face detection, built-in stabilization and 1080p video recording. No 3D.
To complement the improved camera performance, new iMovie and iPhoto apps ($4.99 each) are available with some pretty impressive picture and video processing/editing capabilities. Watch out YouTube, there’s some better cute cat movies coming your way. There’s also an improved version of Garage Band.
To make it easier to upload (or download) those movies and photos the new tablet supports 4G LTE (available on both AT&T and Verizon) with download speeds up to 72Mbps. That doesn’t matter much if you buy the Wi-Fi only version.
While the New iPad doesn’t include Siri voice control, which is a huge letdown, it does have a voice dictation feature to make it easier to make Facebook or Twitter posts or type up an email to your mom. Voice dictation comes in English, German, French and Japanese.
Overall, it looks good, and I want one, but I was hoping for something a little more mind-bending.
Oh, the price. The 16GB Wi-Fi version is still $499 - at least it hasn’t gotten more expensive. And if you’re not impressed with Retina displays or iSight camera, you can still get the iPad 2 for $100 cheaper.
Grant Clauser is a technology editor, covering home electronics for more than 10 years for such publications as Electronic House and Dealerscope. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email at [email protected]
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