Apple’s big iPad announcement has come and gone, and while the new tablet is nothing short of amazing, the flurry of rumors that surround us before any Apple release get our hopes up, so some of us are inevitably disappointed no matter what the company releases.
Now that the details of the tablet have been divulged, its time to decide whether or not the changes warrant an upgrade, from an original iPad or an iPad 2 to the new iPad. Or maybe you’re new to iPads all together, and the third generation iPad will be your potential first purchase. Is it worth the money to invest Apple’s new offering this year?
I think that the answer for many of us Apple fans is a resounding YES. A 2048 x 1536 display is simply unparalleled by any other tablet on the market, and even those of us with an iPad 2 will see an immediate difference between the standard display and the Retina Display. That’s 3.1 million pixels, by the way.
If you owned an original iPhone, an iPhone 3G or an iPhone 3GS before upgrading to an iPhone 4 or an iPhone 4S, then you will know what I am talking about. It might not sound like the resolution makes that much of a difference, but truly, it is night and day. My iPhone 4 screen is infinitely more readable than the screen of my first iPhone, and the same will be true of the iPad 2 and new iPad.
Reading books, news, articles, and even content within apps will be a much more pleasant experience, and in my opinion, the display alone makes it worth the upgrade cost, or the purchase price, if this is your first.
The display, of course, isn’t the only reason to upgrade. The new iPad comes equipped with an A5X processor with a quad-core GPU, which is twice as fast as NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 with four times the graphical power, according to Apple. As we saw in the demo today, games and apps are going to be capable of amazing things. The new Sketchbook Ink is able to export huge files, and games will be able to take advantage of new features like HDR and tone mapping.
The iPad’s back camera has been upgraded to a more than acceptable 5-megapixels. It’s similar to the iPhone 4S in quality, meaning you can take some amazing photos. Plus, with 1080p recording, you’ll also be able to record your own high resolution videos. While we may look silly holding up our giant tablets for photos, I think it’s something we’ll see happen a lot more often now.
While there’s no Siri, voice dictation is a welcome addition to the new iPad, and it will allow iPad owners to dictate their emails, messages, and other documents. Size wise, the new iPad is similar to the iPad 2, meaning your old cases may work. The Smart Covers definitely do, so you won’t have to buy new accessories.
4G LTE is the feature that may matter the most for many of you, especially those of you who frequently travel or use your iPad in locations where you don’t have access to WiFi. Apple’s LTE is quite speedy, with 21Mbps on HSPA+, 42Mbps on DC-HSDPA and 74Mbps on LTE. This means your downloads, from videos and photos to apps will be ultra speedy.
If you already have an original iPad or an iPad 2, as long as you’ve kept them in good condition, there’s a decent resale value. There’s always someone looking for a great deal, and off-season iPads are affordable. Ebay and Craigslist are both excellent resources, and you can get a good chunk of change to put towards a new iPad. With any luck, an upgrade should only cost you a couple hundred dollars.
Do you want to know the major reason why you should invest in the new iPad? Because nothing else even comes close. There are no other tablets on the market that can match its Retina Display or its processing power. It blows all of the competition out of the water, even the iPad 2, and let’s face it, no other company is going to produce a competitive product. Quit waiting for that Holy Grail Android or Windows tablet, because it’s not coming.
Sure, those of you with an iPad 2 will still be able to use it for the games and apps that will be released over the course of 2012, and you don’t need to upgrade, but with all of the impressive additions to the iPad 3, don’t you want to?
I, for one, have already put my money where my mouth is. I’ve ordered a new third generation iPad to replace my iPad 2. It’s coming on March 16th, and I know that it will be worth every penny. Who’s with me? Is the iPad impressive enough to warrant an upgrade or a purchase, or will you be sticking with what you have?
Fo a look at why you might not want to upgrade, be sure to check out my counter post, ‘iPad 2 vs. the New iPad: Here is Why You Should Wait to Upgrade‘.