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Apple iPad 3 Review

The new iPad is better than ever with a better camera, a more robust graphics processor, and, as Apple called it, a “resolutionary” screen.

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Overview

When Apple´s iPad3 was launched in March 2012, it shifted more than 3 million units in the first weekend. In doing so it became the fastest selling tablet in the world. This would be matched by the iPad4 just seven months later, but it was the impact of the third-generation slate that earmarked Apple as the premium manufacturer of handheld tablets.

When the original iPad was first launched in 2009, nobody could have anticipated how popular tablets would become. Going into 2013, the multi-media handheld devices are expected to outsell desktop PC´s by the end of 2014, and with almost 60 per cent of the market share, the iPad is easily the most popular choice among consumers.

 

ipad 3

ipad 3

 

The interest in the iPad 3 revolved around the Retina Display and improved software the Cupertino-based company had introduced on the iPhone4S, but despite the advancements in technology, developers were not up to speed and many apps could not take advantage of the new technology. All that has since changed and now the iPad3 has been upgraded with the iOS6 platform can the popular tablet still outrun the competition – including the surprise, and somewhat baffling, introduction of the iPad4?

 

Appearance //

The appearance of the iPad3 is none too dissimilar from the iPad2, although it has had a significant overhaul of software. The most significant upgrades were the Retina Display, the A5X processor and a 5MP camera. Although the Retina Display and processor took some hard knocks not long after the release of the portable handset, the technology has been smoothed out with latest developments.

The aluminium chassis with it sultry curved edges and oleophobic scratch-proof glass is eye-catching to say the least and the four operating buttons fixed to the outside of the shell are so discretely placed they are barely noticeable. The simplicity of the iPad is part of its charm and it is little wonder Apple have a strong percentage share of the market.

Indeed, the design of the iPad is a sell-factor that other tablet manufacturers have not been able to match and although some Samsung models are lighter than the 1.5lb (680g) iPad3, the Apple offering is highly portable and only starts to make your arm ache after prolonged use.

 

iPad 3 // Size

The new iPad is also exactly as slim, and has the same size. It also has the same weight, or the lack of it. The reason why the sight of an exactly similar-looking device excited us was because it held the prospects of more meaningful enhancements.

While other brands tend to tweak the appearance of a device a bit then call it an enhanced version, Apple did the exact opposite: it didn’t change a thing on the outside, so we anticipated a lot of big changes on the inside, which we’re sure we’d take over aesthetical improvements anytime.

 

iPad 3 // Screen

The big difference with the iPad3 in comparison to its predecessor is the Retina Display. First introduced with the iPhone4S in October 2011, the Retina Display was a pioneer of improved screens on mobile handsets. However, a glut of world-class high-definition screens on a whole host of rival Smartphones handsets has since stolen Apple´s thunder and the Retina Display doesn´t look as impressive as it did originally.

Having said that, rival manufacturers have not yet upgraded their tablets with HD screens. Although consumers can reasonably expect to see major improvements on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy line-up and Google´s Nexus range in 2013, the iPad3´s 2048 x 1536 resolution on a 9.7-inch screen is the best you will find on the current market along with the recently released iPad4.

The only screen that can match the iPad at present is the Super AMOLED HD screens sported by the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, but with a screen size of 5.5-inches is not a fully-fledged tablet, but falls somewhere in the middle of a tablet and a Smartphone. All told the 9.7-inch Retina Display is impressive and provides sharper images and more detail when viewing images and watching films. 

 

iPad 3 // Software

One of Apple´s key selling points for the iPad3 is that it has 4G LTE capability which makes web browsing much faster. However, countries outside the US do not yet have networks that support 4G so for the time being is a moot point. 4G is not expected in the UK until late 2013.

Similar problems had been encountered when Apple introduced FaceTime on the iPhone4. Only a handful of Wi-Fi networks supported the feature so for the majority of global users the feature was redundant. Now however, FaceTime is available on cellular networks and can be picked up on the third-generation iPad3 almost anywhere. 

When the iPad3 was first launched it didn´t support Siri, but since the launch of iOS6 it is available across the iPad range. And it´s just as well as the voice activation service on the original third-generation device only had a dictation service. It still has, but it´s pretty useless. The iOS6  upgrade really has done wonders for the iPad.

The new iPad also has a self-contained system. meaning that Apple users can only use one software and sync all content through the iTunes. This may have caused quite a controversy as it veered away from the open platform style of Windows and Android, but it seems the late former big man of Apple knew what he was talking about.

The Apple iOS is still as fluid and stable as ever, and the icons and interface are exactly the same, and we’re not complaining. This is one of the strong points of the new iPad, just as it has always been the key strength of all Apple products.

 

iPad 3 // Battery

The battery in the third-generation is 70 per cent more poweful than the iPad2  (Apple improved the battery from a 25 Wh for the iPad 2 to a whopping 42.5 Wh) and will ordinarily give the average user around 10-hours of fun before it requires charging – and despite this, we don’t see any increase in thickness. Gamers however shouldn´t expect more than 7-hours which is still more than enough even for long journeys.

That told, the third-generation energy cell may be more powerful, but it doesn´t perform quite as well as the iPad2. This is primarily due to the vast increase in pixilation and a faster processor, although the pleasure from the upgraded hardware is worth a small 6-10 per cent forfeit of battery power. The only gripe is perhaps that the iPad3 takes a lot longer to fully recharge – 6 hours using a mains charger and double that with a USB plugged into your computer. This might irritate some people.

 

iPad 3 // Processor

The iPad3 is equipped with the A5X processor, which has the same computing power of 1GB RAM as the one on the iPad 2.  The main difference lies not in the CPU but in the GPU, as the iPad 3 boasts of better graphics handling.

The iOS6 still doesn´t work properly for all applications and until developers upgrade their coding the screen is blur. Most of the major apps however – most recently including Photoshop – does work with iOS6 and is notably quicker than before. Likewise, gamers will notice an exceptional difference with the quality of iPad3 graphics almost matching the Sony PS Vita.

As impressive as the iPad is for games however, the Asus Google Transformer and the Toshiba AT300 both sport new quad-core processors and a larger 10.1-inch screen, therefore if your primary interest in tablets is for playing games you will get more joy from these alternatives for less money. 

As always, the new iPad is available in 3 models: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. It seems like the 128GB rumours were off the mark. We didn’t believe it much either when we first heard that rumour. After all, for the past couple of years, Apple has been leaning heavily towards cloud storage, so the use of a lot of physical storage is simply unnecessary.

Really though, there is no point buying a brand new iPad3 until the price goes down given the recent release of the iPad4 is the same price. Although the fourth-generation performs to a slightly higher standard at present, it will get better still once software developers catch up with the technology.

 

iPad 3 // Camera

For the first time in three generations, the iPad has been a camera upgrade and now sports a 5-megapixel camera (Even the iPhone 4S has 8-megapixels) together with video stabilization and iMovie. It seems an odd choice for Apple to improve the camera technology on a device that is seldom used for taking photographs or filming, predominantly due to its size and awkwardness to hold. Still, it´s there if you want it!

The inclusion of iMovie may well encourage people to use their tablets to shoot footage, and though the stabilization will make it less wobbly and grainy than mobile phone cameras, it won´t improve the quality of a specially formulated camcorder. Cutting and editing will also be easier from one machine rather than transferring files from the camera, but for anybody wanting a professional finish to their filming may struggle to get the same quality of editing.

 The real improvement with camera functions is the addition of iPhoto for the iOS6 app. It now takes full advantage of the iPad´s multi-touch screen and the easy-task user-interface can make even the most basic of content look better simply by sliding your finger to adjust tones, saturation and balance.

 

iPad 3 // Usability

The new iPad is advanced yet it is also very straightforward that you won’t fumble around even if it’s your first time to use the product. Apple has been very clear about its objective of creating a seamless experience for the user, and it has been very successful in doing so.

This tablet is not that loaded with features. In fact, those who are looking for more versatility will be better off with an Android. With the iPad and other Apple products, all you have to do is load the device using iTunes then go. With Android devices, you get to customize more.

But what we do admire is how Apple chose which features will stay and which will go. Most of the features we don’t see here are not essential to the core function of the iPad 3, so users wouldn’t really mind not having them.

 

iPad 3 // Extras

When it comes to those little extras, Apple has a couple of hits and misses. The HSPA is certainly a hit, as this allows users to browse at greater speeds than the 3G is capable of providing. The HSPA connectivity also does not affect battery life as much as 3G does.

The 4G was somewhere between. We appreciate the effort of putting 4G into this device. This makes the new iPad seem even more revolutionary. Unfortunately, the 4G technology isn’t expected to go mainstream until late 2013, so it’s basically a useless addition.

The real miss is with the hands-free input, which we think takes the place of Siri. Instead of voice recognition, the iPad can type up your messages with you dictating them. It sounds all sleek and futuristic on paper, yes, but in reality it is not  100% accurate. And it would be annoying to have to change every sentence again and again that you’d probably just resort to typing your message. It does well for short sentences though, but then if you have a heavy accent, you might encounter more problems still.

 

Who Is It For?

Clearly, as with other Apple products, the new iPad is targeted to consumers who want a simple, seamless device that they can simply plug into their computers, sync, and take with them wherever they go. Hence the closed system and the light slim design.

This is not for those who like to tweak and customise. Creative minds will certainly like the no-compromises way that the new iPad handles graphics, but the geeks would like more tweaking freedom and would probably prefer an Android like the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

 

Value for Money?

The iPad 3 requires an investment, but it’s a pretty smart one, as far as investments go. Apple’s products have always exhibited excellent durability, and with the Apple Care program, buyers have nothing to worry about. Thus, even if this tablet comes at a price, those with higher quality standards and who are stringent on performance and reliability will be willing to spend for the new iPad than for a less stable tablet like the HTC Flyer or the Acer Iconia Tab A100.

 

Final Thought

The third-generation iPad is faster, more powerful and has a better screen quality than its predecessors. The Retina Display gives you brighter and sharper images and the availability of the iOS6 operating system improves the performance to noticeable levels in comparison to the iPad2. If 4G LTE worked in Europe and the UK, you would get a complete upgraded package, but given 4G connectivity is not possible on the east side of the pond users have to make do with 3G web browsing.

The new iPad is still very much an Apple product, in all the ways that matter. It still features the same closed system, the same interface, the same size and eye-catching design, and the same ease of use.  For the mainstream users, these may not make that much of a difference. But if you’ve been following the flow of computing technology, you’d see that Apple is starting yet another revolution with the new iPad.

Overall, the 3rd generation iPad is a tablet that will go down in history as something of an enigma. When it was released in March 2012, the iPad3 became the fastest selling tablet on the planet. In September the processor was upgraded to the new iOS6 – which to be fair is acceptable – but curiously the record-breaking was replaced seven months after its release by a 4th generation – which looks exactly the same, performs (for the moment) slightly better and goes under the name of “iPad with Retina Display.” Therefore, if you don´t already own an iPad, invest in an iPad4, and if you do already have the third generation tablet, don´t upgrade until the iPad5 is released.

 

 

 

 

Apple iPad 3 Review

The new iPad is better than ever with a better camera, a more robust graphics processor, and, as Apple called it, a “resolutionary” screen.

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Overview

When Apple´s iPad3 was launched in March 2012, it shifted more than 3 million units in the first weekend. In doing so it became the fastest selling tablet in the world. This would be matched by the iPad4 just seven months later, but it was the impact of the third-generation slate that earmarked Apple as the premium manufacturer of handheld tablets.

When the original iPad was first launched in 2009, nobody could have anticipated how popular tablets would become. Going into 2013, the multi-media handheld devices are expected to outsell desktop PC´s by the end of 2014, and with almost 60 per cent of the market share, the iPad is easily the most popular choice among consumers.

 

ipad 3

ipad 3

 

The interest in the iPad 3 revolved around the Retina Display and improved software the Cupertino-based company had introduced on the iPhone4S, but despite the advancements in technology, developers were not up to speed and many apps could not take advantage of the new technology. All that has since changed and now the iPad3 has been upgraded with the iOS6 platform can the popular tablet still outrun the competition – including the surprise, and somewhat baffling, introduction of the iPad4?

 

Appearance //

The appearance of the iPad3 is none too dissimilar from the iPad2, although it has had a significant overhaul of software. The most significant upgrades were the Retina Display, the A5X processor and a 5MP camera. Although the Retina Display and processor took some hard knocks not long after the release of the portable handset, the technology has been smoothed out with latest developments.

The aluminium chassis with it sultry curved edges and oleophobic scratch-proof glass is eye-catching to say the least and the four operating buttons fixed to the outside of the shell are so discretely placed they are barely noticeable. The simplicity of the iPad is part of its charm and it is little wonder Apple have a strong percentage share of the market.

Indeed, the design of the iPad is a sell-factor that other tablet manufacturers have not been able to match and although some Samsung models are lighter than the 1.5lb (680g) iPad3, the Apple offering is highly portable and only starts to make your arm ache after prolonged use.

 

iPad 3 // Size

The new iPad is also exactly as slim, and has the same size. It also has the same weight, or the lack of it. The reason why the sight of an exactly similar-looking device excited us was because it held the prospects of more meaningful enhancements.

While other brands tend to tweak the appearance of a device a bit then call it an enhanced version, Apple did the exact opposite: it didn’t change a thing on the outside, so we anticipated a lot of big changes on the inside, which we’re sure we’d take over aesthetical improvements anytime.

 

iPad 3 // Screen

The big difference with the iPad3 in comparison to its predecessor is the Retina Display. First introduced with the iPhone4S in October 2011, the Retina Display was a pioneer of improved screens on mobile handsets. However, a glut of world-class high-definition screens on a whole host of rival Smartphones handsets has since stolen Apple´s thunder and the Retina Display doesn´t look as impressive as it did originally.

Having said that, rival manufacturers have not yet upgraded their tablets with HD screens. Although consumers can reasonably expect to see major improvements on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy line-up and Google´s Nexus range in 2013, the iPad3´s 2048 x 1536 resolution on a 9.7-inch screen is the best you will find on the current market along with the recently released iPad4.

The only screen that can match the iPad at present is the Super AMOLED HD screens sported by the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, but with a screen size of 5.5-inches is not a fully-fledged tablet, but falls somewhere in the middle of a tablet and a Smartphone. All told the 9.7-inch Retina Display is impressive and provides sharper images and more detail when viewing images and watching films. 

 

iPad 3 // Software

One of Apple´s key selling points for the iPad3 is that it has 4G LTE capability which makes web browsing much faster. However, countries outside the US do not yet have networks that support 4G so for the time being is a moot point. 4G is not expected in the UK until late 2013.

Similar problems had been encountered when Apple introduced FaceTime on the iPhone4. Only a handful of Wi-Fi networks supported the feature so for the majority of global users the feature was redundant. Now however, FaceTime is available on cellular networks and can be picked up on the third-generation iPad3 almost anywhere. 

When the iPad3 was first launched it didn´t support Siri, but since the launch of iOS6 it is available across the iPad range. And it´s just as well as the voice activation service on the original third-generation device only had a dictation service. It still has, but it´s pretty useless. The iOS6  upgrade really has done wonders for the iPad.

The new iPad also has a self-contained system. meaning that Apple users can only use one software and sync all content through the iTunes. This may have caused quite a controversy as it veered away from the open platform style of Windows and Android, but it seems the late former big man of Apple knew what he was talking about.

The Apple iOS is still as fluid and stable as ever, and the icons and interface are exactly the same, and we’re not complaining. This is one of the strong points of the new iPad, just as it has always been the key strength of all Apple products.

 

iPad 3 // Battery

The battery in the third-generation is 70 per cent more poweful than the iPad2  (Apple improved the battery from a 25 Wh for the iPad 2 to a whopping 42.5 Wh) and will ordinarily give the average user around 10-hours of fun before it requires charging – and despite this, we don’t see any increase in thickness. Gamers however shouldn´t expect more than 7-hours which is still more than enough even for long journeys.

That told, the third-generation energy cell may be more powerful, but it doesn´t perform quite as well as the iPad2. This is primarily due to the vast increase in pixilation and a faster processor, although the pleasure from the upgraded hardware is worth a small 6-10 per cent forfeit of battery power. The only gripe is perhaps that the iPad3 takes a lot longer to fully recharge – 6 hours using a mains charger and double that with a USB plugged into your computer. This might irritate some people.

 

iPad 3 // Processor

The iPad3 is equipped with the A5X processor, which has the same computing power of 1GB RAM as the one on the iPad 2.  The main difference lies not in the CPU but in the GPU, as the iPad 3 boasts of better graphics handling.

The iOS6 still doesn´t work properly for all applications and until developers upgrade their coding the screen is blur. Most of the major apps however – most recently including Photoshop – does work with iOS6 and is notably quicker than before. Likewise, gamers will notice an exceptional difference with the quality of iPad3 graphics almost matching the Sony PS Vita.

As impressive as the iPad is for games however, the Asus Google Transformer and the Toshiba AT300 both sport new quad-core processors and a larger 10.1-inch screen, therefore if your primary interest in tablets is for playing games you will get more joy from these alternatives for less money. 

As always, the new iPad is available in 3 models: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. It seems like the 128GB rumours were off the mark. We didn’t believe it much either when we first heard that rumour. After all, for the past couple of years, Apple has been leaning heavily towards cloud storage, so the use of a lot of physical storage is simply unnecessary.

Really though, there is no point buying a brand new iPad3 until the price goes down given the recent release of the iPad4 is the same price. Although the fourth-generation performs to a slightly higher standard at present, it will get better still once software developers catch up with the technology.

 

iPad 3 // Camera

For the first time in three generations, the iPad has been a camera upgrade and now sports a 5-megapixel camera (Even the iPhone 4S has 8-megapixels) together with video stabilization and iMovie. It seems an odd choice for Apple to improve the camera technology on a device that is seldom used for taking photographs or filming, predominantly due to its size and awkwardness to hold. Still, it´s there if you want it!

The inclusion of iMovie may well encourage people to use their tablets to shoot footage, and though the stabilization will make it less wobbly and grainy than mobile phone cameras, it won´t improve the quality of a specially formulated camcorder. Cutting and editing will also be easier from one machine rather than transferring files from the camera, but for anybody wanting a professional finish to their filming may struggle to get the same quality of editing.

 The real improvement with camera functions is the addition of iPhoto for the iOS6 app. It now takes full advantage of the iPad´s multi-touch screen and the easy-task user-interface can make even the most basic of content look better simply by sliding your finger to adjust tones, saturation and balance.

 

iPad 3 // Usability

The new iPad is advanced yet it is also very straightforward that you won’t fumble around even if it’s your first time to use the product. Apple has been very clear about its objective of creating a seamless experience for the user, and it has been very successful in doing so.

This tablet is not that loaded with features. In fact, those who are looking for more versatility will be better off with an Android. With the iPad and other Apple products, all you have to do is load the device using iTunes then go. With Android devices, you get to customize more.

But what we do admire is how Apple chose which features will stay and which will go. Most of the features we don’t see here are not essential to the core function of the iPad 3, so users wouldn’t really mind not having them.

 

iPad 3 // Extras

When it comes to those little extras, Apple has a couple of hits and misses. The HSPA is certainly a hit, as this allows users to browse at greater speeds than the 3G is capable of providing. The HSPA connectivity also does not affect battery life as much as 3G does.

The 4G was somewhere between. We appreciate the effort of putting 4G into this device. This makes the new iPad seem even more revolutionary. Unfortunately, the 4G technology isn’t expected to go mainstream until late 2013, so it’s basically a useless addition.

The real miss is with the hands-free input, which we think takes the place of Siri. Instead of voice recognition, the iPad can type up your messages with you dictating them. It sounds all sleek and futuristic on paper, yes, but in reality it is not  100% accurate. And it would be annoying to have to change every sentence again and again that you’d probably just resort to typing your message. It does well for short sentences though, but then if you have a heavy accent, you might encounter more problems still.

 

Who Is It For?

Clearly, as with other Apple products, the new iPad is targeted to consumers who want a simple, seamless device that they can simply plug into their computers, sync, and take with them wherever they go. Hence the closed system and the light slim design.

This is not for those who like to tweak and customise. Creative minds will certainly like the no-compromises way that the new iPad handles graphics, but the geeks would like more tweaking freedom and would probably prefer an Android like the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

 

Value for Money?

The iPad 3 requires an investment, but it’s a pretty smart one, as far as investments go. Apple’s products have always exhibited excellent durability, and with the Apple Care program, buyers have nothing to worry about. Thus, even if this tablet comes at a price, those with higher quality standards and who are stringent on performance and reliability will be willing to spend for the new iPad than for a less stable tablet like the HTC Flyer or the Acer Iconia Tab A100.

 

Final Thought

The third-generation iPad is faster, more powerful and has a better screen quality than its predecessors. The Retina Display gives you brighter and sharper images and the availability of the iOS6 operating system improves the performance to noticeable levels in comparison to the iPad2. If 4G LTE worked in Europe and the UK, you would get a complete upgraded package, but given 4G connectivity is not possible on the east side of the pond users have to make do with 3G web browsing.

The new iPad is still very much an Apple product, in all the ways that matter. It still features the same closed system, the same interface, the same size and eye-catching design, and the same ease of use.  For the mainstream users, these may not make that much of a difference. But if you’ve been following the flow of computing technology, you’d see that Apple is starting yet another revolution with the new iPad.

Overall, the 3rd generation iPad is a tablet that will go down in history as something of an enigma. When it was released in March 2012, the iPad3 became the fastest selling tablet on the planet. In September the processor was upgraded to the new iOS6 – which to be fair is acceptable – but curiously the record-breaking was replaced seven months after its release by a 4th generation – which looks exactly the same, performs (for the moment) slightly better and goes under the name of “iPad with Retina Display.” Therefore, if you don´t already own an iPad, invest in an iPad4, and if you do already have the third generation tablet, don´t upgrade until the iPad5 is released.

 

 

 

 

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