Last Friday brought the release of The New iPad in its initial markets and lots of news followed. Reports of shipment delays were regular, sadly it looked like apple had picked Friday, and that if there was a shipment delay, someone may need to wait until Monday to receive the package.
By all reports, it looked like Apple customer service has been working overtime, even in the case of this reviewer. There have been many delivery issues which when release day is a Friday, leaves little leeway to get the package before Monday. For myself, there was a delivery issue where the unit was attempted delivery during a 30 minute window where no one was home. When Apple customer support was contacted, not only did they help but the rep went over and above expectations to try and help. So, A+ in that dept., and they managed to avert a Monday delivery and made sure the item was delivered on Sat AM. Also, made us very happy!
Yesterday, Apple announced that the new model had sold an impressive 3 million units. Very impressive with lots of deliveries direct for those who smartly avoided lines at Apple Stores. But, even yesterday when I stopped by the local Apple store, they had inventory on hand.
So, how does The New IPad stack up? Is it a nice incremental upgrade offering from the last model, the IPad 2, or is it sadly too few real upgrades? Lets examine The New Ipad:
iPad 2 vs. The New iPad comparison:
While the camera was slightly “upgraded,” the real star of this new model is the Retina Display and ability to watch 1080P video, which on a tablet is probably overkill, unless you are watching the video via Airplay on your Apple TV that can do 1080P also on a Television larger than 40″
Performance results of the New iPad have come back and largely the speed and ability are unchanged. The CPU is the same clock speed and it seems that the graphic performance upgrade is more meant to take advantage of the Retina Display. Gaming and other video responsiveness is generally same performance as iPad 2. So you won’t get much of a performance boost on this new model except with one exception more system memory, which will help in some areas but to the casual user, you won’t notice.
The Retina display is also been acclaimed to be much easier on the eyes, with less eye fatigue because essentially you are looking at an optical illusion, with more pixels, your brain and eyes have to compensate much less, hence better on eyes. This is a major plus.
So, is the new model worth it? if you own an original iPad, definitely. But when you look at the broader picture, it does feel like apple cut significant corners outside of the Retina display to keep costs down. The biggest area that could have used attention was the Camera. Apple deserves to do better by the customers than using an old camera module on this rear facing side and to use a better higher resolution camera on the user facing camera.
The New iPad Grade: C+
In the end Apple did what it could to do the basic upgrades to crowd please and cut corners elsewhere holding back upgrades in areas which it would be a no brainer to make basic changes, and focusing most on the display which is fantastic.
The big elephant racing slowly to the Tablet market is Windows with a new Windows 8 platform release this fall. It will be interesting to see the offerings from more manufacturers. Should be the first real competition outside of Kindle Fire or Samsung’s Android tablets. So if you have an iPad 2, this really isn’t a must upgrade unless you get eye fatigue or want the LTE data.
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-Peace, Love & Apple Pie