Apple unveiled the third generation iPad yesterday and pretty much everything rumored to be coming, did.
Retina Display – twice the resolution of the iPad2, 2048×1536 simply bests any other tablet out there, by a lot. Its a true 1080p display and a pixel density that you’re going to have to see in person to really appreciate its performance capabilities.
More Power – No A6 chip, but that was softened by the news of a A5X with a quad-core graphics module. That simply means that it will be plenty fast and just fine at pumping video thru that display.
Camera – Maybe a wee disappointing that the camera from the iPhone4s isn’t here. Well, it’s almost the same set up just a few less megapixels, and a better video chat camera would have be gravy, but we got the standard VGA one.
Siri – This was weird, they demo’d voice dictation, which looked just like Siri, but didn’t mention Siri. I’m guessing it’s limited to voice dictation and Siri is not fully enabled, but I have a feeling that there will be a iOS update later that will add it. This might be more about Siri being in beta and not the capabilities of the iPad.
4g LTE – This is pretty big. Apple’s first 4G capable device probably portends good news for the iPhone5′s intro later this year. Theroretically, you could get up to 73Mbps downloads on this thing, but really, you’ll never see that but it will be fast – and you’ll pay for it with a capped data account from either Verizon or AT&T. Also interesting is the fact it can be used as a wi-fi hotspot, but no word from AT&T or Verizon on what that would cost.
Price – $499, $599 and $699 for 16, 32, and 64GB. If you want 4G LTE $629, $729, and $829. The iPad2 now can be had for $399 which is a tremendous price for a unit that is still better than 99% of the competitors out there.
The biggest surprise was that Apple decided not to give it a numerical value like, “iPad3″ or even the rumored “iPadHD”. Nope, following how they roll with MacBookPros, iMacs and other devices, its simply now the “iPad”.
Do you buy one? If you don’t have one and have been considering, yes. Although depending on your financial situation, and what you want to use it for, an argument could be made that buying the iPad2 is a good choice. Now, I always tell people when buying an Apple product to get the best optioned version available of the device you want at that time. Why, because it will be “old” in 12 months. So, if you can swing the new iPad, do that. For me the 4G option is an expensive one because the monthly fee is likely to be pricy. If you have an original iPad and want to upgrade its a good call. If you got an iPad2, upgrading would be nothing more than a luxury.
And I know people will ask me to compare to non-Apple tablets, so here’s my thoughts: A Kindle Fire is a fine, nice device. But it’s not an iPad and plays in a different, smaller ballpark. But there’s a reason for the price difference. And with the new iPad, there is not, right now, another brand making a tablet that can touch this thing. That’s probably going to change quickly, but performance specs alone doesn’t guarantee a “better” device. Apps, and user interface is a big part of it. Again, there is a reason Apple brought the tablet business to life, and why as Tim Cook stated at the beginning of the presentation that Apple, “…sold more iPads in the last quarter of last year, than any PC maker sold of their PCs.”