Broadly the main upgrade of the Ipad3 is a change in the screen, However it is hard to overstate the significance of this upgrade as Apple has packed four times as many pixels into the same space and the improvement has to be seen to be believed as the display is extraordinarily sharp with text and photos looking beautiful.
Of all the changes Apple has made to the iPad since last year’s release of the iPad 2, this is the one that will make you want to buy a new iPad immediately.
There are other changes too, of course, particularly in performance. The upgrade is apparent already in some of Apple’s apps but it will become clearer still once new apps are released that take advantage of the graphics capabilities of the new A5X processor.
Photo and video related tasks will get a boost, which is handy because Apple’s new iPhoto and iMovie apps are remarkably powerful editing tools.
The performance jump is not as significant as the leap between the original iPad and the iPad 2. In normal use, it means that things are slightly more responsive. iBooks, for example, opens a book noticeably more quickly.
You’ll notice a difference if you buy the ’4G’ iPad too. Though the super-fast LTE 4G mobile broadband service is not available in Britain, the new iPad supports faster 3G protocols than the iPad 2. Depending on your network, data downloads will be up to six-times faster.
Last year Apple brought cameras to the iPad, primarily for video chat. This year, the rear camera has been upgraded to 5-megapixels, with lens technology taken from the iPhone 4S and a range of image enhancements from the software to the processor.
Apple is pitching the iPad as a quality camera, although we were a little disappointed and struggled to be able to tell the difference between some identical shots taken with both the iPad2 and this third generation device.
The iPad is an unwieldy camera. Still, it is handy for quick snaps when the iPad is the nearest thing to hand.
Perhaps more useful for the business market is the new dictation feature. Tap the new microphone button on the virtual keyboard and you will be able to dictate emails, messages and other documents. It’s hard not to feel self-conscious at first while talking to your iPad but it is a time saver.
Regardless of those features, the new iPad is all about the screen. It is very slightly heavier and thicker but not enough that you would notice. Apple’s magnetic Smart Covers still fit and the battery life remains a robust 10 hours.
If you have been holding off getting a tablet then this is the one to go for. In my view, it’s the best that money can buy.
Existing iPad owners who are thinking of upgrading should take a look at this new device. You’ll see the difference, but we are unsure if many will non-geeks will rush to upgrade.
The new iPad, £165.83 from £22.50 on 24 month pay monthly plans
Business Matters Rating
4.8 out of 5