Resolutionary Road

The new iPad is an enhanced version of the previous model that packs a punch with its Retina display.

Written by Pranay Parab | New Delhi | Published:May 4, 2012 4:54 am

The new iPad is an enhanced version of the previous model that packs a punch with its Retina display.

Last year,at around the same time,Apple launched iPad 2. It was thinner,lighter,more powerful and added a much-needed camera to Apple’s — and the world’s — flagship tablet. This year’s new iPad (not the iPad 3) is thicker,heavier,with more muscle and an absolutely stunning display. As David Pogue said in The New York Times,this slate should have been called iPad 2S. It is more of an enhanced iPad 2 than a new iPad. Most of its improvements are technical upgrades pushing it ahead of the Android-based pack.

Yes,the much-hyped Retina display is here. On it’s 9.7-inch screen,the iPad now has more pixels than a high definition TV. This iPad has a laugh at all those large TVs lined up at electronics stores. Most of them have a “high-definition” resolution of 1920×1080. Apple’s tablet has 2048×1536. The Retina display also brings out the best of well-taken photographs.

Apps such as iPhoto,iBooks and iMovie make jaws drop simply with their looks. Of course,the apps are great at what they do. For instance,every book on iBooks has a page-turn effect so real,you forget it is an eBook. Most apps have now been updated to suit the Retina display. This makes them consume more space on the iPad and even iPhones because many apps are written for both devices.

This device makes everything look razor sharp. High-resolution pictures look infinitely better when zoomed in,a text on the web looks more readable. Once users see a text on the iPad,going back to the now-blurry text on the iPad 2 and most other devices will be difficult.

The new iPad looks just like its predecessor. The 5-megapixel back camera is significantly better than that on iPad 2,but not great enough to prompt iPad 2 users to upgrade. The front camera is a basic VGA. This leaves no scope for video chatting in low light. The iPad now supports 1080-pixel video recording with a handy stabilisation feature. It is now possible to make movies using the iPad. It will be interesting to see whether filmmakers go for it,especially because it has a special app for making films — iMovie.

The review unit was a 64GB WiFi+4G model. This iPad has arrived in India before the 4G network,so testing it was not possible. Apple claims the iPad lasts 10 hours on a single charge. After using it for around seven hours,the battery level was at 35 per cent. It is safe to say that Apple’s claims are not too far from the truth.

The obvious question is: Even with a much more powerful battery,why doesn’t the new iPad last longer than the 10 hours of the iPad 2? The obvious answer is that the Retina display consumes much more power. That the new iPad lasts just as long as its predecessor is worthy of praise.

This brings us to why the new iPad is comparatively bulky. Apple included a bigger battery,which made the new iPad 0.6 mm thicker and 50 grams heavier. This is much better than having a lighter device which conks off fast.

There are other improvements too. Most noteworthy is the audio. The new iPad sounds surprisingly good. It is much louder than the older iPad and plays low-quality audio files without interruptions. It has Bluetooth 4.0,which consumes less power. It’s new A5X processor makes for a snappier experience. The apps open faster and scrolling between screens has become more fluid.

Unless the brilliant display is a must for your line usage (photography,movies),upgrading from iPad 2 is not essential. For anyone else who needs a tablet,this is it.

This tablet,like the iPad 2,is bound to sell more units than its competition. It may not be revolutionary,but it is just as Apple puts it — “resolutionary”.

For Rs 30,500,you can have the basic 16GB WiFi version. The top-end 64GB WiFi+4G model is for Rs 50,900.

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