Apple iPad 3 vs iPad 2 head-to-head review

Reviews 26 Mar, 2012

Battery – Upgrades take their toll on iPad 3

Apple pretty much set the benchmark for the battery life – with the firm offering up to 10 hours of usage on one charge for both the iPad 2 and iPad 3.

During our intense video app battery test for which we looped a video with the screen turned to full brightness (Wi-Fi off/Mobile data on) the iPad 2 lasted an impressive eight hours and 37 minutes. In comparison, the iPad 3 lasted six hours and 50 minutes.

Battery life

iPad 2- 8 hours 37 mins

iPad 3- 6 hours 50 mins

With moderate usage it is more than possible to hit the magical 10 hour mark with both devices, but the iPad 2 is the more efficient of the two. Although the iPad 3 has a bigger battery, the Retina display, quad-core GPU and LTE technology do burn through the battery.

Another thing that we did notice was that the iPad 3 does get noticeably hot during prolonged use. We found the device was still useable in our hands, but we didn’t feel comfortable putting it on our lap and a smartcover is no doubt going to be an essential purchase. Apple claims that there is no overheating issues, but it remains be seen whether there are any long term implications.

Winner – iPad 2 - The second generation tablet is still the king when it comes to battery life and there are no heating issues to report.

Overall - iPad 3 wins out

For those who are looking to upgrade from the original iPad or who are interested in purchasing an Apple tablet, we would recommend purchasing the iPad 3. The device will be able to take advantage of applications that have been tweaked for the Retina display. The internet performance is quicker and Apple could conceivably bring out software upgrades that might only work with the A5X chipset.

Unsurprisingly, the third generation tablet emerges victorious.

However, those who have recently invested in an iPad 2 shouldn't feel the need to rush to the nearest Apple Store just yet. The second generation tablet is still a very competent device that is likely to cater to the needs of users for the next 12 months at least.

Unsurprisingly, the price of the iPad 2 has been dropped with Wi-Fi only models starting at £329 and 3G models at £429. This makes it £70 cheaper than the iPad 3, which starts at £399 for the Wi-Fi only model and £499 for the LTE edition.

Operators are also offering the iPad 3 at subsidised prices. This particular model is available from Vodafone for an upfront cost of £199 if users sign up a 24-month contract at £27 per month. This includes an allowance of 2GB of mobile data and 1GB of BT Openzone.