One can only hope that one day a new Apple device will be floating around ApplEvangelist headquarters a week before its release. We welcome the challenge of keeping our mouths shut for those 5 days before its made available to the public (in paralyzing fear of the fine print of the non-disclosure agreement). But until the day our own little blog finds itself “movin’ on up”, we’ll just stick to the trusted names in the tech world.
You’ve heard our preliminary thoughts, but like you, we’ll be sitting on the front porch waiting on an actual device come Friday. So what are the impressions of those who have held the device? The embargo is lifted and the reviews are flooding in.
Let’s be clear: the new iPad is in a class by itself, just as its predecessor was. As the latest product in a lineage of devices that defined this category, the iPad continues to stand head and shoulders above the competition. With the addition of the Retina display, LTE, more memory, and a more powerful CPU, Apple has absolutely held onto the iPad’s market position as the dominant player and product to beat.
The new iPad is just that: The iPad, updated for a new year and millions of new iPad users. It’s not smaller or lighter, but it’s got a remarkable screen, a much better rear camera, and support for cellular networking that can run at Wi-Fi speeds. It’s the iPad that millions of people have embraced, only one year better.
Users of the iPad 2 shouldn’t fret: Their iPad investment is certainly good for another year. But they might not want to look too closely at the new iPad’s screen. Once you get a load of that Retina display, it’s hard to go back to anything else.
There are other changes in the new, third-generation iPad — called simply “iPad,” with no number, which goes on sale on Friday at the same base price as its predecessor, $499. But the key upgrades are to those core features — the 9.7-inch screen and the data speed over cellular networks. These upgrades are massive. Using the new display is like getting a new eyeglasses prescription — you suddenly realize what you thought looked sharp before wasn’t nearly as sharp as it could be.
Boosting those particular features — the screen and the cellular speed — usually has a negative impact on battery life in a digital device. But Apple has managed to crank them up them while maintaining the long battery life between charges that has helped give the iPad such an edge over other tablets.
Steve Jobs would have approved of the new iPad. With its focus on the holistic experience rather than individual boasts around its constituent parts, it’s the epitome of the Post-PC world the Apple founder envisaged. No lag or delay; no frustrating cloud settings or arcane minimum software requirements. Simply pick up, swipe, and you’re immersed in a joined-up ecosystem. Apple doesn’t need another revolution, it has already started one, and the new iPad brings a fresh degree of refinement to a segment in which it is undoubtedly the king.
I know everyone will be speed testing the processors and graphics chips, but I’d like to take a different approach and give you some information on how I actually use the iPad. My testing lab is my life, and how a device fits into that determines if I continue to use it or not.
…So, what did I like about the iPad? Simple — the experience. Nobody in the market today can touch the Apple experience.
Leading up to the new iPad unveiling last week, several folks (including myself) predicted the inevitable post-event let-down. The reason is obvious: Apple is a victim of their own success. Because the iPad 2 is already so much better than the competition (and you could certainly argue that the iPad 1 still is as well), the only device Apple could beat is their own. And the iPad 2 was already really good and hard to top.
And because the new iPad looks largely the same at the iPad 2 from an industrial design perspective, many were lulled into believing that Apple was getting complacent. Let me be clear: the new iPad is a huge technological leap forward. It has by far the best screen I’ve ever seen anywhere and it’s something I can hold in my hand and touch and use for 10 hours at a time.