Roydon CerejoApr 14, 2012 10:18:14 IST
It’s brilliant in every sense of the word. That’s the general consensus about the new iPad. Right. But has Apple really set a benchmark with the new iPad? Is it really ‘resolutionary’? Is the new iPad really a major improvement from the iPad 2? This and more has been delved into in our comparison feature. Let’s dive in.
Design and Build
Apple has managed to keep the design and the overall dimensions extremely similar between the two models. However, we did feel that the new iPad was slightly heavier in comparison and a quick glance at the spec sheet affirmed that. The iPad 2 (Wi-Fi + 3G) weighs in at 607 grams, while the new iPad (Wi-Fi + 4G) weighs 662 grams and though that might not make too much of a difference on paper, you’ll definitely feel the difference when you’ll hold it in your hand or pick it up. Also, the new iPad is 9.4mm thick, as compared to 8.8mm on the older one.
Besides these two minor differences, there’s not much that changes in the overall look between the two models and if you’re holding them next to each other, it’s going to be hard to find a difference between them.
The first major change comes in the form of the new gorgeous Retina display. With a resolution of 2048 x 1536, the display doesn’t go beyond the perceivable pixel count of the human eye (320ppi), which they achieved with the iPhone 4. Despite this, Apple is still branding the screen as a Retina display, since their argument is that one holds a tablet a lot further away while using it, as compared to the iPhone, so pixel count needn't be over 320ppi in order to achieve the same effect.
Striking difference when compared
Our first sample image clearly shows the difference in the icons. When zoomed in, you can clearly see all the pixels on the iPad 2 compared to the new iPad. The new iPad is also a lot brighter, compared to the old one, so sunlight legibility is a tiny bit better and images and video appear more vivid.
No jaggies visible at all
The Retina display also makes a big difference when it comes to text, as there’s absolutely no jaggies around any of the letters and alphabets. This makes reading an eBook or web pages a lot easier and it just feels better as there’s less strain on the eyes.
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All those extra pixels crammed into this screen size demands some good processing power and Apple has complemented the new iPad well with the new A5X SoC. Despite the rumours about the new iPad having a quad-core CPU, they’ve stuck with the dual-core CPU, but bumped up the graphics (now quad-core), since that’s what really needed to be beefed up in order to render all those extra pixels, while still maintaining the buttery smooth UI. The difference is instantly noticeable when it comes to loading apps, switching between them or the loading time in games. The new iPad is a lot more responsive and feels snappy.
A more powerful SoC
We ran a couple of benchmark apps to see how much of a difference there really is between the two. In iBenchmark Test, we ran the disk write test where the new iPad recorded a speed of 42.5 MB/s, as compared to 26.7 MB/s for the iPad 2. The read tests don’t show much of a difference with both clocking in at 182 MB/s. In the GLBenchmark app, we ran the GLBenchmark 2.1 Pro offscreen to gauge the difference between the two models and the new iPad clearly wins. It got a score of 12202 frames at 244 fps as compared to 7338 frames at 147 fps with the iPad 2. Interestingly, in the GLBenchmark 2.1 Egypt standard test, the iPad 2 gets a higher score than the new iPad. The newer model got a score of 3797 with 34 fps, as compared to 4354 with 38 fps on the older model.
The biggest improvement on the new iPad after the screen is the camera. Apples call it iSight, but what it is essentially is the same 5MP camera on the iPhone 4, but with slightly beefed up features, thanks to the more powerful processor. The 5MP autofocus camera features the same backside illumination sensor allowing it to capture a lot more detail even in poor lighting conditions. Thanks to the faster processor, the new iPad also supports 1080p video recording. Today, we’ll focus on the still images itself and compare the differences. You can have a look at the rest of the image comparisons in the gallery.
Captures colours very well
The difference is quite stark and you can easily see it even while capturing the image. The time taken to capture the image also feels snappier, not that the iPad 2 was slouchy in any way.
Indoor shots with less ambient light are also a lot better. There’s very little noise in the dark areas and our subject (a very patient one, we may add) is clearly visible.
The new iPad starts at a price of Rs.31,000 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model. Now if you already have the iPad 2 and don’t care about the camera or do any real productivity work, then the upgrading won’t make much sense. However, if you are in the market for a tablet, then we'd definitely recommend the new iPad for its brilliant screen, the best camera currently available on a tablet and the seamless user experience.
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