Business Today

Sharper, Brighter, Pricier

Kushan Mitra | Print Edition: May 27, 2012

When Apple recently launched its iPad 3 with what it called 'retina display', many wondered how its display, already of such high quality, could get any better. Well, it has. The new display is much, much better. It is almost as seismic a shift as moving to high definition television (HDTV) from standard definition.

Apple's new iPad tops tablet ratings

After one has used the new iPad, it seems almost criminal to move back to iPad 2. The 2048x1536 pixel resolution screen is clearer than an HDTV and in itself a tremendous feat of engineering by Apple's display suppliers - Samsung and LG.

As for other specifications, the new iPad has a much more powerful quad-core processor, which it needs to provide the high resolution. Applications such as iPhoto, Apple's in-house photo-editing app, work a lot faster on the new iPad.

But there is one major irritant. No, it is not the 'heating' that is being talked about in most forums, though it is true that the new iPad gets warmer than the earlier versions during use.

It is that the apps take up a lot more space , thanks to the improved resolution. Apps that came in at 200 to 250 MB are now three times larger. The entrylevel 16 GB iPad will get filled up very fast.

Apple should have increased the memory size modules on the new product, as they used to do with newer versions of the iPod. In fact, the 16 GB memory model should be abandoned and a 128 GB model brought in.

The big question: should you buy the new iPad?
There can be three possible scenarios. One, if you do not own a tablet as yet and have the money to spare, this is a no-brainer. You must buy it.

Two, if you own the first-generation iPad, the new iPad makes eminent sense to acquire, provided you can afford it, of course.

But, when it comes to iPad 2 owners, it is a different matter. While the new iPad is a lot better, we suggest they stick to a two-year upgrade cycle and wait for the 2013 model.

+ve: The best tablet to date, brilliant high resolution display, better processor
-ve: Costly, with prices ranging from Rs 30,500 (16 GB, WiFi) to Rs 50,900 (64 GB, WiFi+3G)

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