As the year moves along and there is still no sign of an iPad refresh, other than rumors from suppliers and analysts, we can reflect on things we wish our current generation of iPad came with and things we look forward to envying in the next generation of Apple tablet. Here are five things we hope will come with the fifth-generation iPad later this year, and reasons we think it will (or won’t) have them.
A7 Processor Chip
Apple is constantly working on faster processors that take up less battery usage. Last November, Apple threw the tech world for a loop when it introduced us to the fourth-generation iPad, which included the A6X processor chip, which was proven to be twice as fast as its predecessor and the fastest mobile device that Apple had to date. Faster processor chips are not that easy to design. We have recently heard rumors that Apple has contracted with TSMC and Intel to create the next wave of system-on-chip design, but mass production is still likely a ways off. While we’d like to see the fifth-generation iPad have a faster processor than the fourth, it is more likely that this technology will have to wait at least another year.
At the same time that Apple launched the fourth-generation iPad, and the iPad mini, they introduced us to colored iPod touch devices. These attractive gadgets now come in five fun colors made from a lightweight aluminum backing. This has given us hope that we will see some colorful tablets in the future. The iPad mini sports the same type of casing, even if the colors are limited to black and silver. The same color options could be added to the iPad line. Even the full-sized iPad could see a color option if it is redesigned in the likeness of its little brother. We’ve heard rumors in the past that Apple planned on colorful iPads. However, the company has yet to produce them. Maybe this is the year for change. If it is financially feasible, I think Apple will offer multicolored iPads this year.
After having held the iPad mini, as well as other lighter-weight full-sized tablets in my hand, I’ve come to realize that the iPad is heavy. That is, heavy in comparison to some other tablets on the market. If the full-sized iPad gets a new design featuring an aluminum casing, it will significantly decrease the weight. Of all the things I look forward to with an iPad refresh, a lighter model is my biggest hope. We’ve already seen supposed supplier leaks showing the aluminum casing for the iPad, so it is practically official that the fifth-generation tablet will be easier to hold while eating nachos.
It is no secret that the iPad lacks good audio. This has opened up a huge market for third-party speakers. There is even a case that moves the iPad’s audio to the front of the device. Here at PadGadget, we had a hands-on review of an amplifier that redirects audio so that you can hear your movies better. The iPad mini comes with stereo speakers. We are not talking about one speaker that comes out of two holes either. It features two, separate speakers for full stereo sound. Since the technology already exists, the only thing stopping Apple from including stereo speakers in the full-sized tablet is space. Since the iPad now comes with a Lightning connector, some space has been freed up inside the tablet. So, it is highly likely that Apple will include the additional audio in the next generation of iPad.
Based on many rumors that have made it through the mill these past few months, as well as supposed supplier-leaked images, it is probable that Apple will be redesigning the iPad. The iPad mini looks more like the iPhone 5 than it does its big brother. The fifth-generation may get the same new design. That would mean a flatter back casing with minimal beveling. It also means it will feature a thinner, lighter G/F2 (DITO) touch screen. The above-mentioned aluminum casing, plus stereo speakers and Lightning connector would give Apple’s next generation full-sized iPad the biggest redesign the world has ever seen.
There are a few other additions we’d like to see in the fifth-generation iPad, but we don’t want to be greedy, so we’ll just stick with these five.