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Apple new iPad Review (iPad 3)
You can call it the new Apple iPad. You can call it the Apple new iPad. You can call it the third-generation iPad. You can call it the Apple iPad 3 (although you risk the Apple Thought Police knocking on your door at 4am to re-educate you). But whatever you call it, it's the best tablet in the world.
To be precise, the best tablet in the world (the iPad 2) just got better. But only by a little. What changed? The display, the camera, the battery. Oh, and it's got 4G, which we don't have in the UK yet, although it's coming at the end of 2012. So, not huge changes, but they make the new iPad even better for viewing photos and video, listening to music, playing games, communicating with friends and colleagues and working those apps.
So, let's put the new iPad next to the old iPad 2. They're the same size and they look exactly the same. No, look closer! The new iPad is ever so slightly thicker (but still skinny) and the display is HD. Yes, it is! You won't notice if you're a casual observer, but start using the tablet in earnest and you'll soon appreciate the benefits of HD - sharper text, better graphics, less eye strain when using it for a long time. It's particularly welcome when working with text or reading ebooks. It's the new Retina display, and we love it!
The new iPad comes with a new version of the operating system, iOS 5. This is the touch-based experience that makes the iPad, well, the iPad. It's the platform that lets you access over 200,000 apps. Popular apps include the Safari web browser, iPhoto (photo viewing & editing), iMovie (video editing), GarageBand (music making), Pages (desktop publishing), Keynote (presentation creating), Numbers (a spreadsheet), facebook, twitter, Newsstand (magazine subscriptions), BBC News and, of course, games. Lots of them. 3D, motion-controlled, touch-sensitive and a whole lot of fun.
iOS 5 supports iCloud, which lets you store your music, photos, apps, mail, contacts, calendars, documents and more on Apple's servers where they will be backed up, protected and generally pampered, and available to your iPad, iPhone, iPod or anything else you own that starts with "i". We're disappointed to find that Siri (the voice-activated personal assistant) isn't present on the new iPad. There is a dictation feature, but it's not reliable enough to replace the virtual keyboard.
One of the features that we like is the "instant on" powering-up. Arguably it's an essential requirement for a mobile device, and to be able to just pick up the iPad and - almost - instantly be accessing an app makes the iPad so much more usable.
The camera has been upgraded substantially - from a toy camera on the iPad 2 to a proper 5 megapixel camera. The camera has autofocus as well as tap to focus and face detection, and can record video at full 1080p HD resolution. But to be honest, we're not bothered, as a tablet is in no way close to the ideal shape and size for a camera. We're more likely to use the secondary VGA video camera far making FaceTime video calls.
Inside is a new A5X processor. It's dual-core like the processor in the iPad 2, but it has quad-core graphics, which is needed to drive all those extra pixels.
The new iPad is available in two versions - a Wi-Fi version and a Wi-Fi plus 4G version. Although this supports 4G, it isn't compatible with the version of 4G operated by EE in the UK, but you can run it on the 3G HSPA network. You'll need a contract with a mobile network operator for this. Generally speaking, data access via Wi-Fi is faster when you can get it, but there are plenty of times when you can't, and 3G will fill those gaps.
Connectivity is a bit of a curiosity. Apple products generally don't like to talk to products from other manufacturers, so for example you won't find a USB port anywhere on the iPad. There is a 30-pin docking port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Bluetooth 4.0 is here. A HDMI cable can be purchased as an optional extra, but Apple really want you to go wireless with your iPad, streaming video to your HDTV or music to your wireless speakers via Wi-Fi.
The battery has been upgraded substantially from the iPad 2's battery. It's nearly twice the size. We're guessing that the new quad-core GPU eats more power than the old one, but even so most users should see an improvement in battery life, which is very welcome. Official figures state 10 hours of constant use between charges
A couple of other features worth mentioning are parental controls of web content, password protection and encryption of data, and accessibility features such as dynamic screen magnification, VoiceOver screen-reading technology and support for over 30 wireless braille displays.
Hey, did we not mention the huge ecosystem of music, video, books and stuff that you can download via iTunes? We guessed you'd already heard about that. It's possibly the real reason why most people choose an iPad over an Android tablet.
Anyway, there it is. The new iPad. The best just got better, etc. Unless you're a big Android fan, this is clearly the tablet to choose. Unless it's too expensive, in which case you should choose the iPad 2. The key benefit of the new iPad is the HD screen. Is that worth an extra £100 or so? It depends on how much you use your iPad, how much disposable income you have, and whether you're on some kind of contract with a mobile network. Only you can decide.
Update (October 2012): the iPad 3 has now been replaced by the 4th-generation iPad.
Features of the new iPad include:
Apple new iPad User Reviews
Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it. This is a review site, not a forum, so please don't just ask questions. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!
Average rating from 6 reviews:
Reviewed by John from Ireland on 17th Aug 2012
Reviewed by ravi pearlman from Jisrael on 9th
Reviewed by Ryan from Wales on 10th May 2012
Reviewed by Trev from UK on 14th Apr 2012
Reviewed by anand from uk on 20th Mar 2012
Reply by David Scanlon from Uk on
27th May 2012
Reply by Ben from UK on 24th Oct 2012
Reply by ian from ireland on 22nd
Reviewed by Naveen Chamala from UK on 16th Mar
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