Aditya Agarwal
Different Perspectives

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The New iPad. Reviewed.

Apple on Tuesday, announced that they sold a whopping 3 million “New iPads” on first 3 days of launch. Besides the staggering sales figure, it also shows the acceptance and love for the most successful tablet ever.

But then, do we really need the new iPad? Or it is just better to save some money and get the iPad 2 with almost identical features?

I’d like to share my experience and try to answer this question.

As with every Apple product this is not a revolution, but a evolution of the iPad product line. Think iPhone 4S.

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So here goes.

1. Quad Core A5X graphics but with the same processor speed as in iPad 2

Though the New iPad has the same clock speed, the GPU has been bumped to a Quad Core config, mainly to support the enormous pixel load running the Retina Display. In my 2 days of use, the New iPad showed no speed bumps as compared to iPad 2. The graphics / games though were speedier and of course looked more beautiful.The GPU handled the most graphics intensive games with sheer ease. Dear Sony, Did you say you had a 10 Core processor in PS3? Well, the iPad kicks your PS3’s behind here.

2. Retina Display

Now. thats. what. I. am. talking. about. This is what sets this baby apart from the competition and probably gives a ton of headache to them. When you first turn on the iPad you can immediately feel the clarity of the screen easing your eyes. Its like Nirvana to the eyes.

The display is razor sharp with no noticeable pixelation and apps/games look gorgeous. There are approx 400 apps already available which support Retina Graphics on the iPad. My favorites are Infinity Blade 2, Sky Gamblers, Flipboard and Real Racing 2.

The color reproduction is also one of the best in computer / tablet displays. The display is simply astounding.

When you read a book or open a web page, the sheer quality of the text amazes you with its clarity and sharpness. This is one feature which justifies getting the New iPad.

What is a downside to the Retina Display?

A. Apps have grown larger. Some even twice the size to accommodate the larger graphics.

B. Apps not customized for iPad Retina Display, look bad. Though I am sure this will change in a few months.

3. 4G LTE Cellular Data support.

This is a useless feature for us Indians, as we have not yet even settled with 3G, let alone a 4G LTE network option. For India, the New iPad works flawlessly with all Indian 3G networks. Airtel, Vodafone and Aircel have dedicated data plans for iPhone/iPad. For the rest of the carriers you need to do a custom config. But all of them work.

4. 5 MP rear Camera (The same found in the iPhone 4). The front camera remains unchanged. 

The 5MP camera is definitely a huge improvement. But as a iPad user since iPad 1, I have never taken a single picture with the iPad camera. The only time I use the rear/front camera is for doing FaceTime with family and friends. Though I like the better camera quality, I am not sure if I am gonna use it on an everyday basis. For me even the iPad 2 camera was good enough for FaceTime video. Still a worthy upgrade.

5. Dictation. No Siri Yet. 

The dictation function uses the same Siri Voice Technology but is limited to Voice to text conversion. It does not have the Voice command functionality as in the iPhone 4S. Probably Siri won’t be that useful on the iPad in its current avatar.

6. 1080p video support

The New iPad also supports the iTunes 1080p format for full HD video. Since the iTunes store is not available in India yet, purchasing and viewing content off iTunes is not an option for the Indian Market. I am about to try making my own 1080p videos and see how the iPad supports it.

The new iPad is very slightly heavier and thicker. Almost unnoticeable, but still is.

So the big question. DO I BUY THIS?

BUY IT - If you..

1. Use the iPad for more than 1 hour a day. It really eases the eyes in the long run.

2. love high res stuff and Full HD Videos.

3. play games on your Mac/PC on the max resolution and constantly bug friends and family for watching TV on SD format.

4. If you are still using the iPad 1.

DONT BUY - If you

1. Already have an iPad 2 and are good with it.

2. want to save some money buying the cheaper iPad 2 and buy some good accessories instead.

3. are buying for your institution / company.

Also keep in mind that some people won’t even realize the difference in the Retina Display compared to the iPad 2 display. I showed off my New iPad to my dad and a few other elderly people and they all had the same view. “Looks the same” Is it really the new iPad?. This is the same thing that happened with the iPhone 4. Only after using the Retina Display for a while, once realizes the difference in quality. 

So at the end of it all, it is a nice upgrade and where it matters the most. Apple’s strength has always been in the unified hardware and software. For the most amazing things an Apple product can do, the credit goes to the Apple OS’s and softwares. iOS 5.1 bought in subtle refinements, and iOS 6 should be another great step.

As for the “other” tablets. PC Manufacturers still can’t copy the iPad 1, let alone the latest one. Their struggle shows in the crappy hardware with unresponsive  screens they churn out. And meanwhile they can only dream of catching up with Apple, the company is busy making the future come alive with each and every product launch.

I am not uploading many pictures as they do not do justice to the quality of the display. A few are shown below to show the absence of pixelation.Image ImageImage

Namaste!