Thursday, March 15, 2012

"New iPad" in Hands - As Discussed on CNN

The new iPad, which will remain nameless when it hits stores this Friday, looks a lot like the iPad 2: it’s the same screen size, comes in the same colors and can be snagged at the same price the iPad 2 was unveiled at.

But the biggest question consumers are asking (even Rosie O’Donnell asked me at CNN today!) Should I upgrade?

I’ve had a chance to use it hands on for a week and as discussed on CNN here are the deets.

Despite having the same familiarly sleek surface, the insides of the new iPad are indeed different.  Most notably: 


The Retina Display
It's crisper.  And impressively so.  I noticed this most in photos and tiny text. And of course, lets talk video.  Full support of 1080p video. 
Here's why: Apple quadrupled the number of pixels on the iPad's 9.7 inch screen, for a grand total of 3.1 million pixels.  The resolution is now at 2048x1526 pixels, and color saturation has been bumped up 44% from that of the iPad 2. 

This is easily the most significant improvement over the previous model.

I had my iPad2 and new iPad at the CNN NYC Bureau and I was shocked how much people immediately noticed the display difference – especially in photos.

Browsing and Connectivity
Going 4G has given the new iPad has noticeably faster browsing capabilities.  For big consumers of media, especially streaming video, that also means faster download speeds. 

Of course, this matters most to users who want to connect to the Internet over cellular data networks instead of Wi-Fi, or for people who always find themselves in situations where they can't access Wi-Fi, like frequent travelers.    

Hotspot Capability
I definitely use the hotspot on my iPhone a lot.  Perhaps because I travel a lot. This feature is available on a month to month basis – negating the cost of 3-day hotel wi-fi alone.  Only available on Verizon models.  

The Camera

Not to be overlooked is the 5 megapixel rear-facing iSight camera, which is a massive improvement over the iPad 2.  Decked out with auto face-detection, autofocus, white balance and image stabilization, the new iPad takes pictures that, in the right hands, could approach professional quality.  This to me was a huge difference.

I always refrained from taking pics on my iPad because my phone was better. 
The only setback is that the new iPad, like its predecessors and tablet competitors, isn't the most nimble device for photography.  Good angles can be hard to find, and some awkwardness is definitely to be expected when using a big flat rectangle to take pictures. Shamelessly, I took some photos and video of people waiting in line for the new iPad, with my new iPad (I know, I know, I’m a jerk). Those photos and video are below.

The new iPad is a bit thicker and a bit heavier but we’re realistically speaking not even noticeable.  

The consensus??
If you haven't had an iPad before, now would be a good time to make the purchase.  It is still hands down the best tablet on the market. Just be sure to consider the above upgrades and how relevant they are to your personal use.  If they don't happen to be all that relevant, you may want to think about picking up an iPad 2: now that it's been discounted by $100, it's a steal.

If you're an early adopter and power user, yes upgrade. 

Another thing worth mentioning is the 7-inch form factor iPad Mini. If the concept appeals, you may want to wait for the holiday season.  Purely my guess, but just sayin’ – it could be possible.

And last, for realz, one thing that can be very complicating for a general consumer is reading articles “Is the new iPad overhyped?”  Think of it this way the iPad was already amazing – it's just gotten a few upgrades to make it even better.  No expert will argue there is a better tablet on the market.  
To see the additional upgrades to iPad vs. the iPad 2, take a look at my previous article here. 

And, as always, let me know what you think.  Is “The New iPad” worth it?

Video and pic below showcase Amanda Foote, who is known for being one of the first in line on Apple releases.  She told me she scored $900 last go around selling her spot and hopes to get $2500 this time around.

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Copyright © 2012 Katie Linendoll