The new iPad is here. Without a doubt, the greatest and the best tablet we have seen till now, by far. The new iPad comes with 2048 x 1536 “retina display” which is double that of iPad 2, a new A5x processor boasting quad-core GPU, support for 4G LTE networks and a 5 megapixel camera at the back. For those looking to buy a tablet in 2012, the new iPad will be an obvious choice.
But what about those of you who have already bought an iPad 2? The one which is still the best selling tablet in the world. Is it worth upgrading to the new iPad or is it better off staying put with your not-so-old iPad 2? The answer is not simple and definitely cannot be generalized. So, in this post I’ll consider all the points, the pros and the cons, and then let you decide whether to upgrade or not.
Reasons to upgrade to the new iPad
- The best display you’ll see on ANY gadget – The new iPad comes with retina display boasting a resolution of 2048 x 1536, which is unarguably the best display you’d see on any device. Those of you who were using iPhone 3GS and saw the iPhone 4 with retina display should know how much of a difference this would make. We already saw a few developers demoing their apps and games suiting the retina display. There is every reason to believe that we will see many more apps getting added/upgraded to make use of this Retina Display. What more? The new iPad comes with 44 percent improved color saturation and 246 pixels per inch, which gives better viewing quality than your HDTV.
- New quad-core GPU – The new iPad comes with a new Apple A5x processor which promises 2 times improvement in graphics as compared to iPad 2 and allows you to efficiently run more apps and videos with improved performance. Though Apple hasn’t revealed anything about the RAM, some reports claim that the new iPad is now powered by 1GB RAM as against 512MB in iPad 2.
- “3G World ready” and 4G LTE – The new iPad is now upgraded to the faster 4G LTE network with speeds upto 42Mbps. At that speed you would be able to download/buffer a full HD movie at a speed faster than the rate at which it is being played. If you travel a lot, to countries with no 4G, the new iPad can hop onto any 3G network, without you having to worry about the bands.
- 5 Megapixel Camera – The camera on your iPad 2 is less than a megapixel (0.7MP to be exact) which is barely usable. But the new iPad comes with a 5MP iSight camera with features like auto exposure and auto focus. If you are someone who don’t mind (or actually like) to take pictures on your big iPad, you’d love the new addition.
Reasons NOT to upgrade to the new iPad
- iPad 2 Still comes with a Full HD display – With all the hands-on videos we have seen, there is nothing which can match a retina display (except this maybe!) on the new iPad, but the screen on iPad 2 isn’t bad either. It comes with a HD screen with 1024 x 768 resolution which is good enough for many. It’s true that the images, videos and fonts will look pixelated once you see a retina display screen, but not everyone would care much, specially since the multi-touch experience remains the same.
- Using iPad as a camera is Duh – Let’s face it. At almost 10 inches, the iPad isn’t really photographer friendly. As a matter of fact, Steve Jobs had confidently kept away the camera on the original iPad citing the form factor. The taunts from android tablets should have forced Apple to reconsider their decision when they introduced iPad 2 and having perfected the camera sensors on iPhone 4S, they have brought the technology on to the new iPad now. If you can’t recall the last time you used your iPad to take a picture, this upgrade isn’t for you.
- 4G LTE is expensive – 4G coverage area is still minimal. Many living outside US won’t get to taste the 4G speeds till sometime in the future. In US, Verizon has been trying its best to market 4G as a viable alternative for 3G data plans. But their 4G LTE data plans share a different story, that’s $30 for 2GB per month, $50 for 5GB, and $80 for 10GB; AT&T’s prices are similar. Neither offers an unlimited plan anymore. Consider this before you hop on to the 4G LTE bandwagon by ditching your 3G iPad 2.
- The new iPad is bigger and heavier – Not by much, but still it is thicker by 0.03 inches and heavier by 0.07 pounds. Many wouldn’t get to know the difference, but in this age of zero-size gadgets, this is more of a downgrade than an upgrade for some fashionable geeks.
- Practically it has the same old design – Much like what they did with iPhone 4S, Apple has not bothered to re-do the looks and design of the new iPad. For all practical purposes it looks, feels and resembles the same as the good old iPad 2. It might get really tough to convince your friends about your new buy specially if you keep that screen off.
- No Siri – Many dismissed the iPhone 4S launch as a non-event, but Siri single-handedly managed to take and keep the iPhone 4S on to the top of the charts. The personal voice assistant was touted to come to iPad 3/HD, but the new iPad came with a dumber avatar of Siri – the voice dictation.
I’m not taking either sides. Having read these points, I believe you should now be able to make that important decision. If you are still confused, wait to get your hands on the new iPad, and see if it has enough stuff to make you ditch the iPad 2.
Do let us know if you will be upgrading to the new iPad or not.