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Apple iPad (2012) Review

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Sameer Mitha

Digit Rating: Excellent
4.5 4.5/5 image description
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Features:
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Performance:
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Value:
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Design:

PROS

  • Retina Display
  • Better rear camera
  • Snappier performance

CONS

  • Slightly heavier than the iPad 2
  • 4G capabilities unavailable in India
  • Apps will consumer more space, courtesy new display
Where to Buy

MRP: 30500

Summary

If you are an iPad 'one' user, or a user of any other tablet available in the market, then you should consider the upgrade to the New iPad. If you are an iPad 2 user however, we suggest you skip this iteration and wait for the fourth generation iPad as that will be a better value for money upgrade for you.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Apple single handedly defined the tablet genre with the launch of the original iPad way back in 2010, and, that the competition still has not been able to catch up!

With the launch of the Asus Transformer Prime boasting of the powerful NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and Super IPS+ 1280 x 800 display, a ray of hope started to emerge for the competition (check out our first impressions). Then Apple went and did what it does best. Revolutionize the iPad to an extent that it has blown the competition straight out the window.

With quad-core graphics, a better rear snapper and a tiny thing called the Retina Display, has Apple raised the bar for the tablet industry? In a word, yes, but read on to see why and how!

What’s in the Box?
Look at the box of the iPad 2 (read our review) and the New iPad and you will see absolutely no difference. The packaging is the same and minimalistic with the box housing the iPad, 30-pin connector and a wall plug for charging along with the manuals.

Design
If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it! We placed the New iPad and the iPad 2 in the hands of virtually everyone who walked into our lab and while the display was off, none of the users could make out the difference between the 2 devices. Some of the people who were iPad 2 users complained about one being heavier than the other and they guessed which was which.

In terms of its design, the New iPad is identical to the iPad 2 (just like the iPhone 4 and the 4S). The only difference lies in its weight. Just to put things into perspective, here’s a look at the dimensions of the iPad 2 and the New iPad.

Particulars
New iPad
iPad 2

Weight and Dimensions

Wi-Fi
  • Height: 9.50 inches (241.2 mm)
  • Width: 7.31 inches (185.7 mm)
  • Depth: 0.37 inch (9.4 mm)
  • Weight: 1.44 pounds (652 g)
Wi-Fi + 4G
  • Height: 9.50 inches (241.2 mm)
  • Width: 7.31 inches (185.7 mm)
  • Depth: 0.37 inch (9.4 mm)
  • Weight: 1.46 pounds (662 g)
 
Wi-Fi
  • Height: 9.50 inches (241.2 mm)
  • Width: 7.31 inches (185.7 mm)
  • Depth: 0.34 inch (8.8 mm)
  • Weight: 1.33 pounds (601 g)
Wi-Fi + 3G
  • Height: 9.50 inches (241.2 mm)
  • Width: 7.31 inches (185.7 mm)
  • Depth: 0.34 inch (8.8 mm)
  • Weight: 1.35 pounds (613 g)

As you can see, the upgrade in weight is only incremental and first for time users, it won’t make much of a difference.

Display
What will make your jaw drop to the ground is the new Retina Display. Once you switch on the display, there is no going back to whatever tablet you used before this. It’s the same experience users had when they decided to switch from the iPhone 3GS or any other smartphone to the iPhone 4.

No matter how close you go to the screen of the New iPad or how much you zoom into the text, you will see no pixilation. The resolution of the 9.7-inch display is 2048x 536. That’s 264 PPI (Pixels Per Inch). The Retina Display is twice the resolution of the iPad 2, which sports a resolution of 1024 x 768 (132 PPI).

To the naked eye, the display on the New iPad may seem slightly less bright when compared to the iPad 2, but we have never seen a crisper display on any device.

We tried a bunch of apps that are present on the iPad 2 and have been optimized for the New iPad. Some of the free apps are Readability, Pulse, Planetary and Remote. All of them looked absolutely stunning on the New iPad.

Even watching 1080p videos on YouTube made a world of difference between the two devices. Details on the New iPad look phenomenal.

New Features to iOS
iOS has seen its fair share of tweaks since its inception and Siri was one of the biggest highlights last year when Apple announced the iPhone 4S. We all expected to see Apple’s voice controlled personal assistant make an appearance on the New iPad, but we were all left a little disappointed. Instead, Apple has added a simple voice dictation feature to the device.

Users can tap the microphone icon to the left of the keyboard, dictate, hit the button again and viola! The device understands what you say. Well almost...When we tried the dictation app with our Indian accent, we were not very successful. The app refused to identify a lot of neutral words and if you try to dictate Indian names and places, be prepared to pull your hair out!

As awesome as the dictation feature is in an American accent, it is equally frustrating in an Indian accent. 

Visit page two, for performance and benchmark Scores of the New iPad, more comparisons with the iPad 2, and Our Verdict...


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Where to Buy