Do you need a new iPad now?

by Volker Weber

The short answer is the same as with the iPad 2: No. But then it gets complicated.

When Apple released the first iPad, they got everything right. It was perfect. With the iPad 2 they added a few things and made it faster. Not so much faster, that you needed to upgrade for the speed. The things they added were brilliant, like the smartcover, and crappy like the cameras. It was a bit lighter and had a more practical back which lay flat on a table.

The New iPad however is not the iPad 3, although everybody calls it that. It's truly a new iPad. Why? Because the iPad is a screen canvas for your apps. The device itself isn't important. What's happening on your screen is. And the new screen drives everything else. Apple needed to add a much bigger battery which made the new iPad heavier and thicker than the old one, lighter and thinner than the original iPad, mind you. They needed to boost the graphics engine to be able to drive the new screen with the same speed as the old one.

A larger battery takes longer to charge. If it discharges in the same 10 hours as the old one, it draws more current. More current in and out means more heat. If you read reports on the Internet you may think that is a problem. It isn't. Reviewers are struggling to find negative aspects of the device and that's all they can come up with. More weight, more heat. Not as thin as the old one. By 0.6 millimeter!

Frankly, all of that does not matter. It's the screen. Only the screen. Yes, better cameras, yada yada. But look at this screen. It has print resolution. You can read everything without zooming, pinching or dragging. Just the whole page. Goodreader updated yesterday to support the new screen resolution. What a difference!

It's going to take a while for all major apps to upgrade. Not long though. Do yourself a favor if you own an iPad or an iPad 2. Don't look at the New iPad. Your device is wonderful. And you will do exactly the same things with a new iPad that you do with your current iPad. You don't need a new iPad.

Just. Don't. Look. At. The. Screen.

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Comments

Sent my new ipad back to apple. The new screen might be amazing. But i was affected from "yellowgate".

Roland Dressler, 2012-03-23

Volker is spot-on in his summary as probably always.
The screen is the game changer. Everything displaying text is in another league now. The problems brought up by some are not really problematic. Maybe apart from yellow screens if yours is affected.

Also a good business move from iA to have Writer retina enabled on launch day. I would like to see the impact on sales. In the past Oliver had shared some interesting sales numbers i.e. at iCloud launch (https://plus.google.com/115711522874757126523/posts/PoPTYdVFYyt)

Upgraded from the first iPad. I have to confess that coming from the original iPad the speed increase also feels significant. Especially iBooks and other reader rendering non-vector PDF pages (the tiles appearing faster). But that may just be personal impression. I'd think the overall "speed" should be the same as with the iPad 2 if you already have one of those.

Tobias Hauser, 2012-03-23

Upgraded from the original iPad to the new iPad and I'm so glad I did. Don't get me wrong the original iPad was still doing the job (awesome device) but with the new retina display friendly apps coming out I knew it was time to step it up. People complain about how hot the new iPad gets but it's no different then my android phone or even My TV when it's on. Granted I'm not holding my TV in my hands when I'm watching it but the new iPad is an electronic device and electronic devices get warm when in use especially when charging.

Jav Tejada, 2012-03-23

I didn't buy the iPad 1 or 2.

I will buy the latest version.

Having played with Android for the last number of years, the issue of fragmentation has finally convinced me that iOS devices are the better consumer option (i.e. able to run the new version of the OS one year after product launch, unlike my one year old Desire HD).

That is another topic, though.

Stephen Mooney, 2012-03-23

Dont forget, the only reason for the extraordinary resolution of the new retina display is to be compatible to older devices and apps. No scaling effects! And, no fragmentation issues!

Roland Dressler, 2012-03-23

Yes, going back to the 2 after using my wife's The New iPad is quite jarring. This could quickly turn into a "Hurry up and put it down dear" game ;)

Colin Williams , 2012-03-24

Vowe, This may be the best article you have posted on your site. It's clear and to the point, does away with the rhetorical statements and dismisses the false notions and gives the reader the important facts and information about the product. No tech specs, which are not needed for a proper review and the most important statement, if you currently own an iPad , you don't need to buy another one unless you feel compelled to. Finally like you said "don't look at the screen", if your 51 like me with eyes getting worse every year the screen not the CPU is everything! bravo.

Rich Hunter, 2012-04-04

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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