From Revolutionary to Resolutionary: Should You Buy The New (3rd Gen) iPad?

You say you want a resolution?* The revolution happened in 2010, when the iPad was first introduced (to insane Internet frenzy, if I may add). Since the iPad was introduced in 2010, the iPad cannibalized PCs and netbooks, singlehandedly spawned a new category of mobile computing device and plenty of competitors, and revolutionized the way we interact with computers.The iPad is a game changing device, loved many times over for its beauty, speed, portability, and accessibility and criticized for the same old reasons – no USB port, no expandable storage card, the closed nature of its operating system, etc.The iPad 2 was a significant upgrade in terms of looks and capacity. The boxier iPad gave way to a svelte form, and a white variant was introduced. Still, many tech bloggers found the upgrade not compelling enough, since it did not come with the much-anticipated retina display then only found on the iPhone 4.The new iPad (3rd gen) looks just like the iPad 2, only a little bit thicker and heavier. On the inside, there are improvements to the hardware and processor. Now that the 3rd generation is out, the burning question is, should you get one?
Here’s my personal review.

The best things in life are (in iPad) three

Anyone who comes to me and complains that the iPad has no USB port or expandable storage slot is just rehashing old arguments that will soon be obsolete. Since 2010, I have been transferring files and photos from iPad to my laptop or office PC via – yes, wirelessly, via a third party app called Goodreader, and I have not encountered a dire situation where a USB port would have saved my life. Now, with cloud computing, I did not even open my laptop to port over the contents of my iPad 2 to my new iPad: iCloud did the job for me. Of course, movies and music are another story, but my apps are intact. (More on how I did it next time)

Likewise, whether the processor is dual core or quad core, I’ve not had problems with memory management – the A5 chip continues to make things smooth and easy. I can run a multitude of apps all at the same time without any hiccups. I understand that Apple beefed up the graphics processor to handle the demands of a retina display screen and yes indeed, the graphics are rendered beautifully – all without sacrificing battery life. My iPad since the beginning in 2010, outlasts my laptop and phone.The retina display – it’s simply a marvel. Everything is crisp and clear. Apps are nice and shiny, books have never looked better and everything appears rich in color and detail. It’s not immediately apparent, of course, but once you’ve tried out the new iPad for a day or two, it’s hard to imagine how you managed with the iPad 2.

To go with the retina display is a surprisingly nice rear camera that offers 2X the resolution of my iPhone 4. It’s not embarrassing to the use the iPad to take photos anymore! In fact, at home, I prefer using my iPad to take higher-res photos than my iPhone. (Correct me if I have the wrong impression about photo resolution!)

Of course, there are downsides, too. One is the added heft and thickness, no matter how slight. Another is that it’s slower to charge fully and does tend to get warmer after a while, laptop-on-your-lap-with-the-air-vents-blocked kind of hot.The new voice dictation feature is no Siri, but nonetheless requires Wifi connection. This part I don’t understand, really, but this Cult of Mac article talks about the pros and cons of dictation. Apparently, this means, you are sharing data from your iPad and not just your voice snippets.

If you’re an iPad (1st gen) owner, then upgrade you must. You rightfully skipped a generation to hold out for this one. Then again, you could hold out some more for the newer iPad next year.

If you are an iPad 2 owner, then this iteration might not be such a compelling update. However, if you do upgrade, it’s nice to know that most of your cases and accessories will likely work on the new iPad, just a bit more snug.

If you’re not into changing devices every year, then the new iPad is a good investment for the next few years.

Many times, Apple is a victim of the very hype that makes it so popular. Every new model is held up to incredibly high expectations and even when there are significant enough changes, many fail to appreciate them. There is the inevitable letdown after wishing the new iPad would have a haptic touch screen, 3D and all sorts of innovation that just might happen in the next gen. All the same, it’s comforting to know that Apple still has the best touchscreen mobile computing device on the market.


*Apologies to the Beatles

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2 comments on “From Revolutionary to Resolutionary: Should You Buy The New (3rd Gen) iPad?

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