Appleís latest tablet, the so-called new iPad, wonít win the company any style points in terms of its name. You would think something such as the iPad 3 would make more sense and cause less confusion, but Apple apparently didnít feel the same way. Regardless, the new iPad is finally available, and many are raving over its improvements. Is the new iPad worthy of a purchase? Keep reading this review to see what features it brings to the table so you can answer that question for yourself.
In terms of its design, the new iPad does not differ a whole lot from its predecessors. This may be a disappointment to some who were hoping for a radical change this time around, but Apple really had no reason to dramatically alter a tablet design that was solid to begin with. The new iPad does weigh a bit more than previous models at 1.44 pounds for the Wi-Fi version and 1.46 pounds for the Wi-Fi plus 4G version. The weight is not that big of a deal, but those who operate the tablet without a stand may find it to be cumbersome after a while in their hands.
Itís no surprise that the new iPad feels solid to the touch and is built like a tank. The tabletís curved edges are done to perfection and the physical buttons are strategically placed for easy access. The Home button resides on the front, the on/off sleep/wake and iSight camera button resides on top, and the silent/screen rotation lock and volume controls reside on the upper right side of the tablet.
The highlight of the new iPadís design and possibly its entire feature set is its 9.7-inch Retina display that boasts an amazing 2048 x 1536 resolution. Complete with fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, the display is without a doubt the best youíll find in any tablet. In fact, it could be the best display you have seen on any electronic device, making the new iPad perfect for games, movies, Web browsing, sharing pictures, and more. Colors are vivid and graphics are as sharp as ever. The first time you turn on the tablet, the display is truly a sight to behold.
The new iPad comes equipped with Appleís iOS 5.1 operating system. Itís not the iOS 6 that some were looking forward to, but it still gets the job done. The tabletís interface is easy to use and navigate through, and the responsive touch-screen helps to make everything a smooth experience. The various multi-touch gestures you have at your disposal are easy to execute and help in a wide variety of situations, whether you are gaming or doing something more serious such as office work. Multitasking is also easily accomplished on the new iPad.
If youíve owned an iPhone, youíll recognize the basic home screen layout. Youíre allowed several home screens, which is helpful for those who like to download a lot of apps. Being able to place your six most widely used apps into the small dock at the bottom is a nice touch. Apps can also be grouped into folders for better organization.
Another feature worth noticing when it comes to the new iPadís interface is the notifications bar. Accessible by swiping down from the top of the display, the notifications bar that holds data concerning new email messages, game updates, and much more. It does a good job of being informative and keeping you on top of things without being intrusive.
As you are navigating through the interface and multitasking with the new iPadís various features, itís worth noting that performance is quite satisfactory. The A5X dual-core processor and quad-core graphics chip are a nice combination that handles everything from Web browsing to gaming and movies with ease.
While itís not a smartphone, the new iPad is a great device for keeping in touch with others in various ways. Messaging fans will enjoy the virtual keyboard that is responsive and easy to use. Of course, if you prefer more conventional setups, you will want to invest in a physical keyboard and pair it with the new iPad for even quicker typing while messaging. If you decide to skip out on any accessories, keep in mind that typing with no stand, etc. could get tiring as you have to prop up the tablet with your hands.
The new iPadís email app offers access to several types of accounts in a unified inbox, whether they are for work or personal use. Navigating through and searching email folders is a snap as well and makes the iPadís email feature one of the best around.
If you prefer more personal communication, the FaceTime app with its video capabilities will be right up your alley. It uses the iPadís front-facing VGA camera, and video quality is not bad at all.
Social networking fans can communicate with friends via the iPad as well. The tablet offers Twitter integration and you can also use Facebook and other social networking sites.
Moving into the iPadís media rich and entertainment related features, letís begin with internet browsing. Youíll be hard pressed to find a better device for browsing the Web thanks to the iPadís Retina display. Pages pop out and are full of color. Images, videos, and especially text all look fantastic. Tabbed browsing is another plus that is likely to be enjoyed by multitaskers.
The new iPad comes with two cameras. You have the VGA camera for FaceTime and a 5-megapixel iSight camera that can be used to snap quality photos. The inclusion of 1080p HD video recording is appealing too.
Music and video enthusiasts should find themselves immersed in media with the new iPad. You donít get a ton of storage, as the tablet tops out at 64GB, but that does not take away from the experience. The music player is serviceable and the audio is crisp and clear. As for video, watching movies on the new iPad offers excellent visuals via the Retina display and solid audio quality.
A tablet wouldnít be a tablet without apps, and Appleís App Store has you covered in that realm. News, books, productivity, games, you name it, the new iPad is made even better when you add apps to it from Appleís extensive catalog.
Other features worth mentioning on the new iPad include Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and a nifty dictation function. Itís not Siri, but you can use dictation for messaging and other common tasks.
So, is the new iPad worth your hard earned cash? If you are in the market for a new tablet, yes. Its performance, design quality, full set of features, and Retina display are hard to beat. If you have previous versions of the iPad, particularly the iPad 2, you may want to hold off, unless the Retina display is too enticing. The new iPad comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions. With Wi-Fi model ranges from $499 to $699, while the Wi-Fi plus 4G model ranges from $629 to $829. Those are hefty prices, but you get what you pay for.
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