Apple’s new iPad, which has got largely mixed reviews since its launch in March, finally goes on sale in India today. But what does this new “magical” and “revolutionary” device have to offer Indian consumers? Does the new iPad have enough oomph to justify the price? And will it be able to win over the legions of newly converted Android users in the country?
The new iPad for the most part is of the same construction as the iPad 2, except it has managed to put on a little weight and a wee bit more thickness. It now weighs in at 1.44 pounds compared to 1.33 pounds and is thicker by .03 inches which is almost negligible. If you’re an owner of an iPad 2, you’ll be able to feel the weight gain right away. After using it for a couple days however, you really don’t think about it.Display and Internal makeup:
This is where the new iPad garners attention. The “Retina” display is a thing of absolute beauty. The display touts a 2048 x 1536 screen which means it has four times the pixels of its predecessors. We can add more numerical figures to show how the display oozes beauty but it’s something you have to see it to experience it. The icons just seem cleaner and the text, more crisp. Viewing pictures on this beast of a screen is a real pleasant experience. There are a few apps that are optimized for the Retina display that we recommend:
The iPad uses the 1GHz dual core A5X chip which seems to be a reworked A5 chip used to power the iPad 2. This time it bumps up the ram to 1GB from the 512mb in the iPad2. Apple has worked in a quad-core GPU which enhances graphical performance over the iPad 2. You’ll find Bluetooth 4.0, as well as Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n on board. Additionally, it packs 4G LTE radios for the North American version. In other parts of the world the device is compatible with 3G HSPA+ networks. Just as with the last version, you can buy an iPad with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of storage. This review was done using a 16 GB Wi-Fi version.
Camera and sound:
The iPad’s rear camera has been upgraded to a 5-megapixel auto focus camera which can also record HD (1080p) videos up to 30 frames per second. The camera lacks a flash so let’s not expect to capture high quality images in low light conditions. If you were really counting on the iPad to help you capture those memorable moments, then maybe its time to drive down to an electronic store and get yourself a good point and shoot camera. Moving on to the front, you can expect the same VGA camera used in the iPad 2.
We would have liked to see an upgraded shooter considering Apple’s push for their proprietary FaceTime application. It’s safe to assume that people would use their tablet to video chat more than they would use it to take still images or videos. Nothing has noticeably changed as far as sound goes. We’re still bummed about the placement of the speakers which is placed in the rear. The experience would be much better if Apple would have managed to place the speaker on the sides similar to the Samsung Galaxy tab 10.1 which actually has dual speakers on either side.
Does it heat up?
Doing all these various tasks on the iPad must be heating it up quite a bit, wouldn’t it? That’s the latest grumbling around the web, isn’t it? I’ll just speak for myself. The iPad does heat up but then again it all depends on the specific tasks you’re performing and the length of time its being performed. I use a case so it necessarily not a big deal for me.
Battery and Pricing:
The new iPad is power hungry and to feed the quad core graphics and the Retina display, Apple has packed it with a 42.5Wh then you better hope that Apple hours As far as the battery life of the new iPad is concerned, the new 42.5Wh rechargeable battery compared to the 25Wh powering the iPad 2. Apple claims to provide 10 hours of use from a single charge. We came close to it but then again, the battery life will be different for different folks depending on what they’re using the tablet for. Charge time from empty to full is an overnight affair.
The new iPad is priced exactly the same as the previous versions. A 16GB Wi-Fi only model starts at $499, 32GB for $599 and the 64GB for $699. The Indian prices are not immediately out, but it looks as though Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook may be a little more interested in the Indian market than his predecessor Steve Jobs.
With the gawking Retina Display and the quad-core graphics, does the new iPad make a compelling argument for a purchase? If you are an iPad 2 owner, the changes in the new iPad more or less leave you with the similar user experience unless you’re really dissatisfied with the screen on the iPad 2. For people using the “other” tablets, is this new iPad offering enough to make you a convert?
Well, if you passed on the iPad 2 to get a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 or the Asus Transformer, then the new iPad is certainly not going to tickle your fancy. The current viable option available on the market is the Asus Transformer Prime. Later this year, we can expect Microsoft’s Windows 8 to make some noise as well. Additionally, there are rumors of Google releasing its own tablet as well so wait out a few months and the picture will be much clearer.