The new iPad or the iPad 4, is here, and the first reviews have started to appear to help the consumer decide if the new iPad upgrade is worth the money or not. This time, the iPad has been launched being accompanied by a smaller brother – the iPad Mini. For the first time, Apple has launched 2 iPads in the same year, and we wonder – will this strategy work out for Apple or they will just puzzle the users in their choice?
Definitely, this new iPad is an improvement over the previous one, but just how big this improvement is, we’ll see below. If you’ve got the money, the choice is obvious – always go for the newest model. But if you don’t and you’re a simple consumer and not a millionaire, then you should read the reviews to know what’s the general opinion about the iPad 4.
iPad 4 (late 2012) reviews
DAVID PIERCE, THE VERGE
- The new device is comfortable to hold, incredibly well-constructed, and best of all offers access to the 275,000-plus tablet-optimized apps in Apple’s App Store. It comes in Wi-Fi and LTE-enabled flavors (the latest version brings LTE models to more carriers, including Sprint), and starts at $499 as always.
- The Lightning connector is the one and only aesthetic change between third- and fourth-generation iPads.
- There’s now an SD card adapter, so you can plug your camera’s memory card straight into your iPad; along with the new Lightning to USB adapter it replaces the old 30-pin Camera Connection Kit.
- To look at the iPad, almost nothing has changed.
- In practice, the most noticeable difference between third and fourth generation of iPad is how quickly apps launch. It’s not so much that the older iPad is slow to launch apps, but the A6X-powered model is consistently and noticeably faster to do so.
- The browser’s also a little faster, both to launch and to load pages. Apple has touted improved Wi-Fi performance on the new iPad, which could also be contributing — either way, the browser performance is better than ever, though it’s not an earth-shattering improvement.
- Even as the iPad gets more powerful — new processors, LTE connectivity — its reported battery life stays the same.
A definite upgrade, but if you brought the last one, you’ll be just fine
SCOTT STEIN, CNET
- The A6X speeds up the iPad back to levels you’d expect, and it handles Retina Display graphics even better. This is the iPad 3S, so to speak. Considering that the iPad still has the same price as before, starting at $499 for 16GB, it’s an even better buy than it was seven months ago.
- You may be concerned to buy this iPad: could Apple surprise us with more frequent updates instead of yearly cycles? I think that’s unlikely.
- Place the new fourth-gen iPad on a table anywhere and no one will be able to know it’s the latest and greatest unless he happens to see that telltale, teeny-tiny Lightning connector.
- This is the first iPad that hasn’t changed its look at all since the last iteration. The third-gen iPad is awfully close to the iPad 2, but thicker. That makes three straight similar-looking iPad models.
- It’s hard to test any apps that truly take advantage of the A6X, because at the time of this review, no apps were available that claimed to be fourth-gen iPad-enhanced. Theoretically, games should run faster and smoother on the Retina Display.
- In some instances, you can see the difference clearly. The third-gen iPad booted up from a turned-off state in 27 seconds; the fourth-gen iPad boots in 16 seconds. I downloaded apps and tried launching a variety of apps, as well as encoding videos shot with the front and rear cameras.
The latest iPad adds several tweaks and improvements to secure its position at the top of the tablet heap. It’s better all around, but third-gen owners need not apply.
VINCENT NGUYEN, SLASHGEAR
- That’s the same camera as before, but the front facing iSight gets an HD update, stepping up from VGA resolution to 1.2-megapixels and now capable of 720p video. The Wi-Fi also gets a polish, supporting dual-band 802.11n (2.4GHz and 5GHz) for better range and speed with compatible wireless routers.
- In Geekbench, which benchmarks processor and memory performance, the 1.4GHz A6X iPad scored 1,768, more than double the A5X iPad’s score of 751. By way of comparison, the iPhone 5 – with its A6 chip – scored 1,616, while the iPad mini, which uses the same A5 chip as in the iPad 2, scores 757.
- In terms of raw speed, the iPad 4th-gen crunched through a 1 minute 720p video in 48.1 seconds and a 1 minute 1080p video in 51.3 seconds. In contrast, the iPad 3rd-gen managed a 1 minute 720p video in 45.0 seconds and a 1 minute 1080p video in 48.2 seconds.
The third-generation iPad arguably didn’t need refreshing; in fact, if Apple hadn’t opted to change to Lightning, it could realistically have held off changing its largest tablet until early 2013.
TIM STEVENS, ENGADGET
- The gradual refinements of the iPad design have created a tablet that is both comfortable to hold and still striking to look at.
- The tablet still measures 0.37 inches (9.5mm) thick and weighs 1.44 pounds (632 grams) in WiFi guise, as we tested here, 0.02 pounds (10 grams) heavier if you opt for the cellular model. That’s 0.6mm thicker and 0.11 pounds heavier than the iPad 2.
- Apple’s new interconnect is far superior in every regard to the old Dock port: thinner and easier to connect, more durable and faster when transferring files. But that might not help assuage the pains of a house.
- he new, new iPad has a five megapixel camera on the back and 1.2 megapixel FaceTime HD camera up front, a step up from the VGA unit that was still found wedged inside the bezel of the third-gen iPad.
- Twice as fast, better battery life, same cost. What more do we need to say? The new iPad is a hit on all fronts — but it of course won’t be received that way by all.
The new iPad is the best 10-inch tablet on the market.
What we think
Like I said in the beginning, this is a tablet that will appeal to new consumers or those that want to make their first Apple acquisition. But personally, I think the improvements are not worth the money. Sure, it has an improved, very fast processor which will make gaming work like charm, slightly improved cellular compatibility and better camera (who uses that, anyway). But maybe for the first time, Apple has made a wrong move with the 4th generation iPad.
Think about it, the Retina Display that it sports isn’t anymore the best on the market, since Nexus 10 has improved that resolution (and laptop users are still stuck with poor options), there are a lot of Windows 8 tablets and hybrids out there and the number of Android tablets is rising very fast, eating up iPad’s market share. Not to mention that Apple’s own products might be cannibalizing the sales, albeit Tim Cook thinks otherwise. I used to perceive Apple as the company that innovates much, much more. My verdict is – it’s the best iPad yet, but not worth upgrading from iPad 3.