After months of speculation about its specification, the new iPad launched in mid-March with an ultra-high resolution Retina display and blisteringly fast 4G LTE. Julian Prokaza puts it through its paces and is seriously impressed.
On sale since 16th March, the new iPad looks practically identical to the iPad 2, though it’s actually 0.6mm thicker and 51g heavier.
In a surprise move, Apple dropped the numerical classification with this model, but it is the big changes on the inside that everyone cares about.
Retina display ups the ante
The headline feature becomes apparent the moment the power button is pressed. As with the iPhone 4 from two years ago (and the subsequent 4S), Apple has equipped the new iPad with a ‘Retina display’ — the term used to describe a resolution so high that the individual pixels become indistinguishable when seen from a typical viewing distance.
With the 3.5" screen on the iPhone 4 and 4S, this means a resolution of 960 x 640 to give 326ppi (pixels per inch) when viewed from 12” away.
To achieve something similar on the 9.7” iPad screen, Apple has had to pack in an incredible 2048 x 1536 pixels (264ppi). That’s twice the resolution and four times the pixel count of the iPad 2, and a million more than on a 1080p HDTV.
The result is a screen with astonishing clarity and it really needs to be seen to be appreciated. The improvement over the iPad 2 display is not unlike the difference between watching a DVD film on a standard definition TV and something on Blu-ray on an HDTV. High-resolution photos look more like glossy prints than images displayed on a computer screen, for example.
Text is visibly sharper on the new iPad, when compared to the iPad 2 as can be seen above
OS: iOS 5.1
Processor: Apple A5X dual-core (1GHz)
Storage: 1GB RAM; 16/32/64GB
Screen: 9.7” (1536 x 2048) LED-backlit IPS capacitive multi-touch
Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, dock connector, 3.5mm headphone socket
Other: Accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, digital compass, AGPS (LTE model only)
Bands: Optional 4G LTE 700, 2100MHz; UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSPA 850, 900, 1900, 2100MHz; GSM/Edge 850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz
Camera: 5MP rear with autofocus, VGA front
Size: 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4mm
Video playback: 11 hours