- Best Screen Ever? – This is the best screen I’ve ever seen on a portable device, period (2048-by-1536 is unheard of on a 9.7 inch device). The text is super sharp and the colors really pop. The iPad 2’s screen looked fine before Friday, now it looks super blurry. Since using the third generation iPad I’ve noticed less strain on my eyes. Now I can read in iBooks without giving myself a minor headache.
- Second Opinions – I showed four people the new iPad and the iPad 2 side by side and asked them which screen looked better. Everyone picked the new model out easily. My mother said the iPad 2’s screen looked dull, and had less detail. Oh, did I mention she’s never held an iPad in her life? The difference between the screens is glaringly obvious, you don’t have to be a techie to spot which one looks better.
- Apps Never Looked This Good – Apps look wonderful on the new screen, you’ll notice little details in your favorite apps that you didn’t even know existed. I won’t lie, I spent too much time drooling over the textures in certain apps. All the apps aren’t optimized for the new screen, so you’ll still see some pixels here and there. The Facebook one really needs an update (it’s ugly on the new iPad).
- Dictation – Apple didn’t include Siri, but in a surprising twist they added dictation. Well, things get more surprising, dictation actually works well. It’s perfect for quick emails and Twitter updates, and those times when you’re in bed and don’t feel like typing. Although, I should note that it requires an internet connection.
- iSight Camera – The iPad 2’s camera was horrible, it only produced grainy pictures. The new iPad’s camera destroys it, it’s the same 5 Megapixel sensor found on the iPhone 4 and it produces great pictures. It’s also capable of capturing 1080p video. Now, this is still a 10 inch tablet, so you’ll look like a tool if you start taking pictures with it in public. Still–it’s a worthwhile upgrade.
- Battery Life – The retina display requires a ton of power, but Apple managed to keep the battery life at 10 hours on WiFi, and 9 on 4G. At 50% brightness I actually got around 11 hours battery life.
- Gaming – I tested Flight Control Rocket and Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy. Both games looked stunning, especially SG:AS. It’s not quite console quality, but it’s easily one of the best looking iPad games I’ve ever seen.
- One More G – I have the WiFi model, but I don’t need to test the 4G to know it’s better than 3G. I know the 4G coverage in my area is blazing fast, and I imagine the same is true on the new iPad.
- Hand Me Downs – If you picked up one of Apple’s Smart Covers last year, you’ll be happy to know that they work with the new model. But that’s not the best part, most third-party cases also fit the new iPad despite it’s added thickness.
- Does This Dress Make Me Look Fat? – Wait, Apple actually made a product thicker and heavier? Yes, the new iPad is slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad 2. It’s nothing major, but it is noticeable (the top one is the new iPad).
- Plug In Baby – The battery life may be the same, but the charge time has doubled. The bigger battery takes all night to fully charge, and don’t even think about using your new iPad while it’s on the charger (it barely charges).
- Get Burned – This thing gets warm, 10 degrees warmer than the iPad 2. It’s not enough to actually burn you, but if you don’t have it in a case you will notice the added heat. Furthermore, when I put the new iPad up to my face I could feel the heat coming from it.
- Hey, You Forgot About The Front Camera – The Facetime camera is still the same VGA one found in the iPad 2. It takes terrible pictures and video, the graininess is more noticeable on the new display.
- Performance Remains Unchanged – I did a few speed test and the iPad 2 and third generation iPad’s performance is identical for the most part. Sure, sometimes the iPad 2 is faster, and sometimes the new iPad is–but in daily use they feel even. The quad-core graphics sole purpose is to power the display’s extra pixels.
Apple took a huge risk with the new iPad, the retina display is why the device is heavier, warmer, requires a longer charge time, and why the performance is almost identical to the iPad 2’s. So, was it worth it? The answer is simple–yes. The iPad is really just a screen, and when you improve the screen, you improve the device. Once you look at the new screen it’s hard to go back to the older models. Hell, my iMac’s screen is starting to look fuzzy in comparison. Here’s the bottom-line, if you always wanted an iPad this is the one to buy, and if you’re someone who uses an iPad 1 or 2 daily (like me) this is a worthy upgrade. Trust me, your eyes will thank
you me later.