Benefits of the New iPad/ iPad 3 over the iPad 2

There is a lot of talk about the new iPad, aka iPad 3, however I want to cut things back to basics and answer 2 questions:

1. Is it worth upgrading from the iPad 2 (I’m not debating an upgrade from the iPad 1 as the answer is an obvious YES!)

2. Is it worth buying the new iPad when the iPad 2 16gb is £70 cheaper?

Here are some points that I believe the normal person on the street cares about:

[Also read: How To Shop For An iPad – A Simple Guide]

ipad 3

They look exactly the same so what’s the point? Many people upgrade to show off let’s face it! If it looks exactly the same then the bragging rights in meetings or on the train is diminished.

The retina display (even though strictly speaking it is not a retina display according to an old definition by Apple themselves however I digress!) is truly amazing and a real game changer. 3.1 million pixels are a major upgrade from the last iteration and as more apps get made for the new display the differences will become increasingly apparent.

It has a new super duper chip. In all honesty the new chip is still dual core but with a quad core graphical element to it. This means that basically you will notice little real difference when using the web, opening standard apps, loading email, etc however you will really notice the difference when playing games (and particularly newer optimized games). The chip also powers the much more resource hungry screen as to service the increasing number of pixels means having no choice but to improve the graphics chip.

Siri has been ‘kind of’ introduced on the new iPad. By kind of you can do things like speech to text however the full functionality has not been unleashed on the new iPad as it was on the 4S. I have tried (and I have read many reviews about…) Siri on my 4S and I’m just not convinced. I’m not sure it gets the range of English accents and the longer and more complex the sentence the more it makes mistakes. If you cannot trust it then what’s the point?

A greatly improved back camera is now on the new iPad (upgraded from 0.7 to 5 mega pixels and with a greatly improved lens). Camera speed/ lag is pretty much the same however image quality is greatly improved and there is now 1080p HD video recording. Then again are you really going to take lots of pictures on your iPad to care? The front facing facetime camera is also the same as in the iPad 2 i.e. distinctly average.

LTE super fast broadband connectivity is now on the new iPad. Whilst these networks are in the US they are not in the UK yet (unless you are lucky to be on one of the PC O2 or BT beta test programs) and unlikely to be widespread for a few more years hence I would not use this as a reason for buying the new iPad if you are in the UK but definitely if you are in the USA.

Battery life is the same. There was talk that the battery was going to be greatly improved and whilst it’s thicker/ better the battery life is pretty much the same due to the juice required to power the amazing screen.

[Also read: Don’t Trust Your iPad Battery Indicator]

The new iPad has Bluetooth 4.0 (against Bluetooth 2.0 on the iPad 2). It sips power at a much lower rate and hence useful for gadgets with sensors such as the Motorola Motoactiv and the Nike Fuelband. If you use external gadgets to hook up to your iPad or are planning to control your kitchen of the future with Bluetooth 4.0 then it’s great however for the majority I imagine this is not a great benefit either.

So in summary:

1. Is it worth upgrading from the iPad 2?

If you plan to make use of the additional features such as the improved camera, like playing games, are intrigued by the future uses of Bluetooth 4.0 and plan on having it for a while to enjoy the benefits of 4G LTE then the upgrade is a no brainer. If however the only real benefit is the screen then you need to decide if that sumptuous screen is worth the cost (for me it is and I’ve just sold my iPad 2 on Ebay!)

2. Is it worth buying the new iPad when the iPad 2 16gb is £70 cheaper?

I would say buy the new version. Unless you are really strapped for cash then the extra £70 is more than worth it for the screen alone.

Go on – you’re worth it!

[Also read: Slave to the Upgrade – Why we MUST have The Latest Thing]


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