The day I received my new iPad, I almost immediately let several non-technical people I know play around with it for a few minutes. I knew what was in store for me, but I wanted to see what a sample of the general public thought of it. For instance, I showed the device to my mother, a person that cannot send an email on her own. Her immediate response was, ”that’s a beautiful thing”. I also showed it to an older gentleman that I know, he was amazed at how crisp text looked. The point I am trying to make with these terrible anecdotes, is that non-techy, non-geeky, people are immediately noticing the new display.
It goes without saying that the display was the first thing that I noticed as well. Without hyperbole, it truly is an amazing thing. Think of four or five iPhone 4 screens butted up next to each other, as a comparison. Even then, it’s not a fair comparison. One needs to see the display in person to appreciate it. Seriously.
I never owned an iPad 2, but I suspect the performance increase that I am seeing in the new iPad, compared to my original iPad, would be very similar to the jump consumers saw between the iPad 2 and original iPad. For the new iPad, the biggest improvement came in the form of graphics processing, which seems to be one of the biggest bottlenecks facing computers at this time. We have a lot of raw power in modern CPUs, but GPUs have not seen the same strides in increased performance. The new iPad does a decent job in closing that gap.
The biggest perceptual performance increase comes from the device’s increased RAM. The new iPad now has 1GB of memory as compared to the iPad 2’s 512MB of memory. This makes a world of difference when it comes to tabbed web content, or working with multiple documents, in say, Blogsy for instance. Sure, some of this extra RAM is being used by the GPU, but the increase is felt all over, which is always welcome.
My biggest complaint with the device, would be its long charge time. Apple built in a bigger battery, to support the improved internals (mostly LTE I would think). The laws of physics get in the way once again, and as one would guess, a bigger battery takes longer to charge. This could be fixed by the use of a beefier charger, but Apple still includes the same one that they included with the previous two iPad models. Here’s to hoping for an improvement in this area next year.
I did not get an LTE iPad simply because I do not travel enough to justify the cost. However, after hearing the rave reviews of the LTE network, I almost wish I had gotten a cellular-capable model. Almost.
Putting it Together
The nicer display, increased GPU performance, LTE networking, and improved camera, combine to serve one purpose- the further realization of the iPad’s potential. Apple is making strides to turn the iPad, which started life as a kinda chunky tablet, into a pane of glass that lets most people handle their day-to-day computing needs. For me, I can do a lot of work on it. I do not need to force the iPad into my workflow, it just happens to work well there. In fact, the words that you are reading, were written on the new iPad. I get a lot of work done from this thing.
In short, it is a great upgrade for anyone who owns a first-generation iPad, or if you’ve never owned an iPad. Customers with an iPad 2 in hand, needn’t rush out and get one though.