The new iPad goes on sale in about 24 hours across 10 countries and the first reviews have been extremely positive across the board. Almost every reviewer has been blown away by the iPad’s Retina Display and battery performance, but things get slightly complicated when it comes to deciding whether an existing iPad 2 user should buy the new iPad. While we wait for our iPad unit to reach us, read on for our picks from some of the best iPad reviews out there.
Starting with the big daddy of gadget reviews, Walt Mossberg, who sums it all in the middle of his review itself when he writes:
I’ve been testing the new iPad, and despite these trade-offs, its key improvements strengthen its position as the best tablet on the market. Apple hasn’t totally revamped the iPad or added loads of new features. But it has improved it significantly, at the same price.
The key point Mossberg points out is Apple has upgraded features that consumers want and not just boost hardware specs for the heck of it. On top of that, users don’t have to make any compromises with the battery performance (a key shortfall of any 4G device out there) or pricing. It is a win-win for the consumer all the way.
Next up is Joshua Topolsky of The Verge, who tackles the oft-asked question for most Apple products – it looks the same as last year’s model, what’s the big deal? Topolsky writes:
The question now is: does this thing look dated? Let’s be honest here, the original iPad and the iPad 2 weren’t dramatically different looking, and there’s even less of a step between the iPad 2 and the new model. That said, there’s little to fault in this design — everything is where it pretty much where it should be, and functions as it should. For a tablet device where the display is the only substantial method of input available, you need little more than a screen — and that’s what the iPad provides. Much like the classic Dieter Rams Braun products most modern Apple devices are aping, one feels that 50 years ago or 50 years from now, this product won’t look too out of place. In the world of industrial design, that’s a rarity.
One thing I have noticed is that people who won’t buy the iPad/iPhone 4S anyway, are the ones who crib a lot about it looking the same as the previous generation model or it not having a quad-core processor. The real buyers, the ones who are actually deciding which tablet to buy, are the ones who end up buying the iPad.
Judging by the mails some of my counterparts are receiving from iPad competitors, it seems they don’t get it yet. The race is not to have the thinnest, most heavily specced tablet out there. As a user, I do not choose a tablet based on whether it is a couple of millimeters thinner than the other or whether it has a higher resolution camera. It eventually boils down to what I can do with it – the apps, games, entertainment ecosystem.
One reason why people will be blown away by the 2012 iPad is its Retina Display. Every reviewer out there was impressed and agreed that it is something that has been seen to experience and cannot be replicated anywhere. And that display, plays a huge role in deciding whether an existing iPad 2 owner should buy the new iPad or not. MG Siegler of TechCrunch explains it brilliantly in his review:
If you have the original iPad, I say this is a no-brainer. If you have an iPad 2, it’s a tougher call since it still seems nearly as fast as the new iPad. But if you choose not to upgrade (or to spend $399 for the 16 GB iPad 2 now), again, treat the new iPad as if it were Medusa when you’re in an Apple Store. Do. Not. Look. At. It.
If you’re at all interested in LTE in an Apple product, obviously, get a new iPad. If you read a lot on your iPad, get the new iPad. If you take a lot of photos and videos (yeah you, the joker in the front row of the concert with your iPad in the air), get the new iPad. If you play a lot of games on the iPad, get the new iPad.
If you don’t yet have an iPad, get the new iPad.
In a nutshell, the new iPad is better than last year’s iPad 2 by giving better features while retaining the same battery performance and pricing. Having said that, I still believe other vendors are still competing with the iPad 2 and the new iPad just enables Apple to increase its lead in the space that it created. And no one can sum it up better than John Gruber of Daring Fireball when he writes:
The retina display is amazing, everything in the UI feels faster, and the price points remain the same. What’s not to love? It’s that simple.