Apple finally pulled off the grand unveiling of next-gen tablet - 'new iPad' on Wednesday at the Yerba Buena Centre for Arts in San Francisco. The successor to iPad 2 truly delivers on some counts while compromising on others.
One may recall Steve Jobs proposed plans for revamping the design of the new iPad, as he was apparently dissatisfied with the iPad 2's physical design elements. The proposed design plans, however, did not materialise. We feel that could be the very reason why Apple chose to give the new tablet a nameless moniker to avoid setting any expectations to the discerning consumer.
Let's take a look at the feature comparison between the two look-alike tablets (iPad 2 and its successor) that promise to outshine each other in contrasting fashion.
Both the new iPad and its predecessor feature a large 9.7-inch screen with HD capability. The former claims to provide you a million more pixels on your tablet than on your HDTV, boasting a retina display with double-resolution (2048x1536 pixels) screen at a pixel density of 264ppi (pixels per inch).
On the other hand, the iPad 2 sports a 1024x768 pixels display with a pixel density of 132ppi, which translates to half the resolution and pixel density compared to the New iPad. In conclusion, the latest tablet would be ideal for watching crisp and vivid HD movies, while iPad 2 would suffice for viewing basic SD (standard definition) videos and photos.
The next-gen tablet boasts a superior and faster dual-core processor based on A5X chip. The X represents support for quad-core graphics rather than a quad-core chip.
Owing to the quadruple graphics power of the device, the new iPad is rated to deliver twice the graphics performance than the iPad 2's A5 chip. As a result, expect enhanced performance across videos, games and other graphic applications with the new iPad - a prerequisite for gamers and graphic designers.
The new iPad sports a superior 5 megapixel camera with its optical sensor borrowed from the iPhone 4S. Besides, its camera supports full HD 1080p video recording in contrast to 720p video capturing at 30fps on the iPad 2.
The new iPad also adds face detection and auto focus features, which are missing on the iPad 2. The two tablets, however, equip the same substandard, front-facing VGA camera for video chatting.
The new iPad boasts 4G LTE capability with superior speeds than a 3G network. The 4G version is supported by Verizon and AT&T wireless carriers. However, the availability of the 4G LTE network is a big question across most parts of the world, considering the lack of widespread infrastructure for 4G upgrade from their existing 3G infrastructure.
The iPad 2 will not face the trouble of downscaling speeds from 4G to 3G bands, as it does not support 4G LTE. Hence, iPad 2 is a better bet than the new iPad flaunting 4G in the network department.
#5 Battery Life
The new iPad ports the same battery as its predecessor and Apple claims it will deliver an impressive ten hours of battery-life for web-surfing and video playback over Wi-Fi connection. On the downside, the tablet will only produce 9 hours of juice on 4G LTE network.
On the other hand, the iPad 2 is rated to deliver 10 hours of juice on both Wi-Fi and 3G networks.
Unless you take a closer look, the two tablets (new iPad and iPad 2) flaunt identical looks. The distinguishing factor is the weight and dimensions. The new tablet weighs 652 grams with 9.4 mm thickness, whereas the iPad 2 is relatively lighter at 601 grams and also slimmer at 8.8mm.
#7 Price and Buying Decision
Price is a big factor that plays a key role in making the buying decision when the new iPad finally sets the market ablaze next week (16 March). There is also the danger lurking with new iPad stocks running out as reports suggest considerable shortage of Retina display parts with the company manufacturing units. The new iPad starts at £399 for the basic 16GB Wi-Fi only model, while the iPad 2 16GB (Wi-Fi only) model is relatively cheaper at £329.
It is even better to get the iPad 2 (16GB) with Wi-Fi and 3G for just £429 in comparison to the latest iPad costing about £499 for the 16GB model with Wi-Fi and 4G onboard. The high-end models of 32GB and 64GB (with Wi-Fi and 4G) that cost £579 and £659 are just too pricey for the budget conscious.
The 4G models are just not worth the money, given the fact that most countries around the world are still banking on 3G with lack of infrastructure support for 4G upgrade. We would rather opt for the iPad 2 with Wi-Fi and 3G at £429 rather than spending those extra bucks to get 4G LTE capability, whose availability actually depends on the network service provider. For us, the new iPad 16GB at £399 is also a good choice for budget upgrade sans 4G.