Home Icon

First review: The new Apple iPad for 2012

By Valens Quinn | 12:00 pm 15/03/2012

Apple’s new iPad may not be the most revolutionary change the company has produced, but it’s certainly an evolutionary update that will please anyone buying a tablet.


The latest refresh of Apple’s famed iPad line, “The new iPad” (as Apple is calling it) leaves most of what people love, while offering some much needed updates.

First up is the first thing that potential customers see: the screen.

Up to this point, all iPad screens have been 9.7 inch 1024 x 768 panels, but in the new iPad, Apple has quadrupled the pixels, increasing the clarity of the display dramatically. Here in the new iPad, you’ll find a 2048 x 1536 “Retina” screen, which with greater than 3.1 million pixels provides higher resolution than the two million-ish pixels offered by Full HD (1920 x 1080) televisions.

iPad 2 on the left, new iPad on the right: the difference under a microscope is very noticeable.

For the iPad, twice the horizontal and twice the vertical resolution means up to four times the pixels of the iPad 2 and many competitors. While the numbers may be confusing, all you really need to know is that there is a lot more visible detail on display, which has great benefits for ebooks and digital magazines. On-screen text is pin-sharp, even on web pages where you would normally need to zoom in to make the text legible.

Then there are the innards, with Apple moving from the dual-core A5 in the iPad 2 to the newer A5X, a processor featuring a dual-core CPU and quad-core GPU.

Wireless connectivity has been upgraded too, with WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n brought over from the previous generation, but Bluetooth moved to the new high-speed 4.0 standard. The top-tier iPad has also shifted from a 3G to a 4G modem, although in Australia, only dual-channel 3G (DC-HSDPA) is currently supported.

The much-criticised 720p rear camera that appears in the iPad 2 has been updated to a 5 megapixel camera with support for Full HD 1080p video capture. The front camera is the same VGA FaceTime camera from the previous model. The optics for the rear camera have been improved too, with an f/2.4 lens and a new infrared filter for more accurate colours.

New camera for the new iPad on the right, featuring a wider aperture than the camera on the iPad 2 (left).

Pages: 1 2 3

Price (RRP)

$539 (starting from) to $899

Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Astoundingly clear screen; Dual-channel 3G is faster than you realise; Compatible with quite a few of the iPad 2 cases; Much improved camera

Product Cons

No LED flash for the rear camera; FaceTime front camera is still VGA; Can get a little warm




Value for money



Latest reviews

  • A battery to beat: Motorola’s X Play reviewed

    Fancy screens and amazing cameras don’t make up the needs of all smartphone buyers, and if battery is the biggest concern, Motorola’s X Play has your name all over…
  • AppMonday: ReColor

    There’s a new craze sweeping bookstores, and it's colouring books. Not the sort you give to your kids, though, because these are colouring books made to help you relax…
  • Incipio’s wirelessly charged battery case for the iPhone 6/6s reviewed

    A long day can be gruelling on an iPhone battery. Fortunately, there are battery cases, and one of these even supports wireless charging. Neat.
  • Review: Rugby League Live 3 (PS3, PS4, X360, XB1, PC)

    With the 2015 NRL season about to conclude with the Grand Final, the tragic Rugby League fan may need something to cope with the impending end of the season.…
  • Review: Acer Aspire V 15 (2015)

    Ultrabooks aren't for everyone, and if you feel you still need a big screen and an optical drive, Acer hopes it has something in the form of the Aspire…
  • A grand phone: Apple’s iPhone 6s Plus reviewed

    If you’re in the market for a big phone, Apple is ready with a new phone, and if you want it to come with all the features everyone else…
  • AppMonday: Snake ’97

    Remember when games consisted of a few dots on a screen and two colours? Snake ’97 lets you relive the good ol’ days.
  • Apple iPhone 6s - full Australian review

    We’ve had the opportunity to spend some time getting to know the new iPhone 6s (and our iPhone 6s Plus review will appear on GadgetGuy.com.au over the next couple…
  • AppMonday: Rebuild 3

    Zombies are big for movies and games, but if you’re anything like us, you tire the old “let’s kill zombie” hack and slash and shoot formula. Fortunately, “Rebuild” is…
  • AppMonday: Weather Timeline

    iOS has its share of neat weather apps, but what if you’re after something clean and useful on Android? For that, you turn to a timeline. A "Weather Timeline".…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Will you be installing an ad blocker on your smartphone?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More