So, the latest generation of the iPad has been officially revealed. Oddly enough, it doesn’t bear the name of “iPad HD” or even “iPad3”. Apple seems to be referring to it as the “New iPad“. I suppose it’s their way of removing the numeral that’s been attached to the device… Although I think that’s a bit silly, since most people will refer to it as the iPad3 anyway. Name asside, what’s important is what the big hubbub about this latest iteration is.
Appleisn’t one to rock the boat, and this latest iPad, is no exception. It’s yet another evolutionary step, not a revolutionary one… Apple’s sort of given up on being revolutionary, in exchange for safe evolutionary steps. The big deal is the confirmation of the Retina display, and A5X (not A6) quad-core processor. The new display is higher resolution than an HD TV, boasting a 2048×1536 pixel resolution. That pretty much puts Apple as the front runner to having the most high res display for a device in this form factor. To drive this new mass of pixels is the job of a quad-core processor, their A5x. The more powerful processor also means more performance for apps, opening the door to more processor hungry apps and games. Other enhancements are 5mp front and rear cameras, so basically the iPad now has the same cameras found on the iPhone4, which is a nice improvement from their mediocre iPad2 cameras. With the new camera comes 1080p video recording, so now you can film HD videos with the new iPad. The iPad now has dictation, I believe it’s Siri being made available to the iPad platform. Lastly, for those that care, the iPad is now a 4G LTE enabled device, so if you want or have the data plan, you can now fully abuse -er- utilize it (click here for complete specs).
The New iPad comes in the usual flavors, 16GB, 32Gb, and 64Gb… The prices are the same too, so the iPad2’s will drop $100, and the new one takes over the old price; the same thing happened last year when the iPad2 came out. There’s no 128GB version like some folks may have been wanting. The unit seems to be the size as the iPad2, but weights just a little bit more. All this power still boasts the same battery life too, so that’s good news.
What’re my thoughts then? Well, Apple still, and probably will never, address the two things that I want on the iPad, first a real digitizer pen, and an SD card slot. Even if the pen was an optional accessory, it would be such a welcome addition to the device, but alas, that will probably never be. This area seems to be left to Apple’s competitors, like Samsung, who has teamed up with Wacom to build that into their lastest Samsung Galaxy Note phone and soon their 10 inch Note tablet.
An SD card slot would be nice, since Apple made it a point to show off how uber awesome the new iPhoto was. Wouldn’t it be nice to take the SD card out of my SLR and stick it into the iPad to use this iPhoto awesomeness? But alas no, I would either need to use their adapter, or plug the iPad into my computer. But then again, now that the iPad takes better photos and video, maybe this won’t matter that much anymore…
Now that my two gripes are out of the way. The iPad and Apple’s platform for that matter, was successful because of the software available on it. Apple showed off its lineup of iWork improvements to Garageband, iMovie and the above mentioned iPhoto. Developers like Epic, Autodesk and Namco showed all have next generation upcoming titles, and indeed, the platform looks healthy.
My verdict then? Well, if you’re an iPad1 owner, then this is a must-have upgrade, no questions there. The fact that the screen is now probaby 3 times the resolution of the original and with cameras! Go order one now. For iPad2 owners, like myself. I find it a harder decision, similar to an upgrade from an iPhone4 to a 4S. On one hand I like the idea of the higher res display, better cameras, and 1080p video. But is that compelling enough for me to dish out $500+ for a new one? Maybe not… At least I don’t feel compelled to bum-rush the Apple store for it on March 16.
Thanks for reading.