First review: The new Apple iPad for 2012

While we were hesitant at first to see what the new iPad would do to older apps, what we found surprised us: iPhone apps that normally looked pixelated when the “2x” button was pressed on the iPad 2 actually looked better on the new iPad’s higher resolution display.

The new iPad screen presumably is the factor here, packing in more pixels and making low resolution apps look better.

Images from the new iPad (right) are sharper and feature better contrast than the iPad 2 (left).

You’ll also be pleasantly surprised to learn that the new iPad appears to fit into most existing iPad 2 cases. We tested Apple’s magnetic Smart Covers, a Logitech keyboard case, a Belkin keyboard case, and even the form-hugging Wallee case, which is capable of wall- and wrist-pad mounting. In some of instances, you need a little more strength to push the tablet out of the case, no doubt due to the slight increase in body thickness.

It’s all looks good for the new iPad, but good isn’t perfect.

Apple may have updated the chip, but the performance in all apps doesn’t seem to have been increased substantially. Like the iPad 2, the CPU is dual-core, but unlike the second-generation iPad, the graphics have been pushed to a quad-core chip.

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

While we see that this will no doubt make the new iPad a more than capable gaming machine, we did experience some minor stuttering when scrolling through website pages and while zooming in and out of large photos with the new iPhoto app. At this early stage, however, it’s difficult to determine if this is software related or evidence that the iPad is struggling to keep pace with the huge amount of visual information required by the high-resolution display.

There’s also a touch of heat on the new iPad, which seems slightly more than what we experienced on the iPad 2. The aluminium on the back doesn’t get hot enough to burn your hand – it’s nothing like some of the laptops we’ve experienced in the past – but the warmth is certainly noticeable.

We would have also liked to see a better quality FaceTime camera for the front of the new iPad. A VGA camera hardly seems like a technology fitting on such a high resolution device.

The new iPad fits into quite a few iPad 2 cases, including the Fold-Up Keyboard Case.


Apple has done it again with the new iPad, creating a tablet that sets the benchmark for all other brands. If a high-definition screen, a decent camera and fast data connectivity are all on your short list, then this is certainly the tablet for you.

Value for money
Reader Rating0 Votes
Astoundingly clear screen; Dual-channel 3G is faster than you realise; Compatible with quite a few of the iPad 2 cases; Much improved camera
No LED flash for the rear camera; FaceTime front camera is still VGA; Can get a little warm