So the iPad 3 arrived. Yes, I know, it’s technically “the new iPad”, but just because Apple have got themselves into the ridiculous situation of selling old “iPad 2s” alongside new “iPads” doesn’t mean I have to partake in the naming shenanigans. It’s an iPad 3.
The screen is brilliant, although after a few hours I’ve gotten used to it. If you’ve never seen a “retina” display before you’ll be wowed, and rightly so. If you’ve used an iPhone 4 then just imagine a giant iPhone 4 screen. That’s basically what it is. The problem is after a few weeks I imagine most people, including myself, will simply take the high resolution for granted. It will no longer “feel” high resolution – other devices will just appear low resolution by comparison. This is the standard all tablets should aspire to deliver.
The design, at least on the outside, is very similar to an iPad 2. The new version is slightly bigger and heavier, but not by much. Battery life is still rated at 10 hours. As I type this my battery indicator shows 62% and I’ve been on it roughly three hours, so that seems about right. Unfortunately due to the huge battery in this thing I’ve heard it takes significantly longer to charge. I’ve yet to experience this first hand, but it makes sense to me. I think this is more of an inconvenience than a major problem, though.
So what about the camera? In my opinion, it’s crap.
Ok, that might be a little harsh, but images cover themselves with more noise than glory in indoor lighting. I will take some outdoor samples tomorrow, but I’m not expecting much. It’s a tiny camera on the back of a tablet computer after all. It does focus quite close though – certainly a lot closer than my iPhone 4.
So, my first impressions are that it’s a great little computer – well worth the money I paid for this 16GB wifi version (the cheapest model). That said, even taking the screen into account, if you bought an iPad 2 recently I’m not sure whether it would be worth upgrading. Knowing what I know now, I would consider skipping this model and waiting for the next generation.
It’s going to take many months for developers to take full advantage of the new display, and by then it won’t seem such a big deal to just wait for the iPad 4.
And yes, I did compose this entire post on the iPad 3 – including the photo.