Just like the iPad mini, the fourth-generation iPad was sent to a select few tech websites ahead of the official launch date. Reviews of the full-sized tablet were also under an embargo, meaning writers could not publish their reviews until today. Now that the writers have had some time with the newest model of iPad, they are less than enthusiastic, especially compared to what they thought of the iPad mini.
All of the reviewers agree that the fourth-generation iPad is nearly identical to its predecessor in looks. The newer model has a Lightning dock instead of the 30-pin connector of old. Other than that, it is the same size, same weight, same everything.
Where the iPad models differ is on the inside.
The fourth-generation iPad sports the A6X processor chip that we all thought the earlier model would get. Primate Labs reported yesterday that the new model is more than twice as fast as the third-generation iPad.
The A6X processor is a dual-core ARM-based processor with quad-core graphics (just like the A5X in the third-gen iPad). According to CNet, the A6X outperformed the A5X in smoothness when it comes to heavy graphics-based games. Additionally, CNet pointed out that the fourth-gen iPad booted up from a complete power-down state in nearly half the time of the third-gen.
The upgraded HD-quality front-facing camera, or as Apple likes to call it- FaceTime camera, was only mentioned in passing without much comparison and the faster Wi-Fi connectivity of the fourth-generation iPad wasn’t even mentioned.
Overall, the consensus among early reviews of the fourth-generation iPad is that, if you have anything other than a third-generation iPad, you should upgrade. If you have the previous model, don’t feel like you got the shaft from Apple. The changes aren’t that noticeable.