Home Icon
ipad3-header

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.

Features

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

Ratings

Overall

Features

Value for money

Performance

Design

Latest reviews

  • Review: Oppo N1 Mini

    Do you like selfies but are sick of the one or two megapixel cameras smartphones are coming with? Oppo's answer to this is an interesting one, putting the 13…
  • Review: Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro

    Lenovo can be quite playful with its computers, and has come up with some good designs before, but in the Yoga 2 Pro, it's showing us that laptops can…
  • Bigger and better: Apple’s iPhone 6 reviewed

    Apple's change to its juggernaut smartphone is here, and it's not just a number change with a fingerprint sensor. This time, the iPhone includes a bigger screen, faster processor,…
  • Sounds great: Marshall’s Stanmore Bluetooth speaker reviewed

    Bluetooth speakers tend to have a very same-same look, what with all the small cylindrical or rectangular boxes out there, but Marshall's Stanmore is something different, very different, focusing…
  • Review: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Black Edition

    Electric toothbrushes come in at so many price points, it's hard to keep up, but if you're looking for one that caters to use at both home and on…
  • Review: Motorola Moto G 4G

    We've seen both what Motorola calls the high and the low end of its mobile phone spectrum, and now it's time to check out the mid-range, as Motorola's "G"…
  • Review: Monster NCredible NTune headphones

    Monster's NCredible NTune headphones make a bold claim of "headphones with attitude," but is it the right sort of attitude for your tracks, or would you be better off…
  • Review: Nokia Lumia 930

    Nokia has done the budget phone and the mid-range phone, and it's even made the phablet near perfect on its first try, so what can it do if it…
  • Review: HTC One Mini 2

    If you loved the look of the 5 inch metal-bodied One M8 but didn't want that 5 inch size, HTC's One Mini 2 may fit the bill, even with…
  • Slick screen: Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S 10.5 reviewed

    More than just another tablet in its long running Galaxy Tab range, the Tab S is a reinvention with a screen that will make your eyes go wow and…

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

Read More

Tell us…

Which smartwatch are you interested in buying?

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