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Apple's new iPad: Better than the best

Nidhi Singal     May 17, 2012
The iPad sequel comes with bumped up specs and an impressive performance.

New iPad
Price: Rs 50,900 (for 64GB WI-FI + 4G)

The Cupertino guys have lorded over the tablet market since the launch of the first iPad in 2010. There might be other tablets with specs that look good on paper, but Apple's latest iPad upgrade has more to do with features that add to the user experience. So the New iPad, available in India since April 27, comes with a retina display, better camera, voice dictation and, of course, a dual core processor with quad core graphics for optimised performance. The new iPad isn't a revolutionary product, but its evolution to keep itself at the top of the tablet pyramid is enough to make it a perfect candidate for GG Choice this month.

4G? 4G or no 4G, it does not make much difference for Indian as the country doesn't yet have 4G phone networks to take advantage of superfast speeds. But we have to report that the new iPad worked without a hiccup with the 3G micro SIM.

Heating Concerns: While the initial reports suggested that the new iPad had a heating problem, we did not face any such issue with the review unit. At times, it did get slightly warm near the left edge of the tablet, but nothing to alarm us.

Build: Apple has stuck to its 9.7-inch display and most of the other design specifications. Place the new iPad next to the iPad 2 and you can hardly spot a difference. However, the new version has gained close to 60 gm.

{table}Performance: The new iPad has a better A5X chip with quad-core graphics and this definitely tells on the overall performance. There are many apps now that have been upgraded for the retina display and all work without any lag.

Battery: With so many improvements Apple has had to work hard to sustain the 10 hours battery life. With average use, including web browsing, emails, app downloads, camera, movies, etc, we had to charge the new iPad only once every two-three days.

Dictation: Everyone wanted the iPhone's Siri Assistant to make it to the new iPad, but Apple decided voice dictation would suffice. Hit the 'keyboard' option under settings to activate 'dictation' and a virtual 'Mic' listens to what you want written. Unlike Siri, this worked well with our Indian accent. But the Mic appears only when the iPad is connected to Wi-Fi or 3G.

Sound: Apple did not list sound as one of the new features, but there is definitely an improvement in the sound output. It is not hard to miss this while watching movies or playing games.

Stunning Display: The biggest high on the new iPad is its stunning retina display. One look at the homescreen and you know that this display is much superior to the one on the iPad 2-Apple claims a 2048 x 1536 resolution, four times the pixel count of the earlier version. Watching HD movies is amazing, and for those whom the iPad is an e-book reader, the text is crispier than ever.

Rear Camera: The first iPad did not have a rear camera, iPad 2 had one for 720p videos (and average still images). The new iPad has a 5 MP isight camera with features such as autofocus, taps to focus and f/2.4 aperture. The still images captured in natural light look impressive on the retina display. The low light images were not all that good though. The video recording is now at 1080p, but there is no High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature as in the iPhone.

Why We Fell For It: The new features make this the best tablet in the market. The ipad 2 is now relegated to no 2.

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