Apple announced the newest generation of the iPad on March 7th. This generation is known simply as iPad, not iPad 3 or iPad HD as many have expected. As usual, right after the announcement, the iPad immediately went out of stock as thousands of Apple fans rushed to pre-order the device. However, is this newest iPad really as revolutionary as we had hoped for? Today, we will take a look at Apple’s announcement, price details, and whether or not this is the iPad for you.
The “Resolutionary” iPad
The big announcement out of Wednesday’s event was the Retina Display of the new iPad. The screen size remains the same as iPad 2, but the screen quality is much clearer and better. The only word to describe is “magnificent”. Just this alone is a compelling reason for you to get the iPad.
iPad with LTE
The new iPad also comes with LTE support. In the United States, this is available under AT&T and Verizon networks. The question arises, should you purchase the new iPad simply because of LTE? The answer is NO. Firstly, the LTE service in general is a relatively new cellular system and won’t be advanced before the next model of the iPad is revealed in 2013. Additionally, LTE service does not come cheap. AT&T allows you to utilize 250 MB, 3 GB, and 5GB of bandwidth for $14.99, $30, and $50 a month respectively. Verizon allows you to choose between 1 GB, 2GB, 5GB, and 10GB of data a month for $20, $30, $50, and $80 a month respectively. Verizon also comes with tethering option, something AT&T is not supporting just yet for iPad. While Verizon is the best choice, you may not have a great signal, which would make Verizon’s advantage non-present. If you are interested in purchasing the WIFI + 3G iPad model, you can check the LTE coverage in your area here (AT&T) and here (Verizon).
Information on Pricing
The new iPad will be available at the same launch price as the iPad 2’s. The WiFi only version of the new iPad will be for $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32 GB, and $699 for 64GB. The storage sizes was a disappointment for those looking for a 128 GB model. The WiFi + 3G models run for $629 for 16 GB, $729 for 32 GB, and $829 for 64 GB. For those with a tight purse, you’ll be better off getting the discounted iPad 2 which is now available for $399, no contract and 16GB model only.
The iPad’s Hardware
Aside from the screen, the next improvement is the speed. The new iPad has an A5X processor that is even faster than iPad 2’s and provides a more lag-free experience. When coupled with an amazing screen, the new iPad is becoming an even more game friendly tablet. On paper, the newest iPad had to gain some weight to fit the new additions, however when compared to iPad 2, it’s quite unnoticeable. When you look at the camera upgrades, the new iPad comes with a 5 megapixel iSight camera and 1080p HD video capabilities. For a person who is into video, this is definitely a great addition.
When Can You Get It?
The new iPad is, well technically was, available for pre-order on the day of the announcement. However, with the craze and early popularity, the new iPad was sold out in many locations very soon afterward. Due to an even more popular release come launch day, March 16th, Apple is planning to not replenish the online stock until after launch. If you were lucky enough to pre-order, your question may be, when will it come in the mail. Apple has always been known to be quite nice with shipping, usually coming a few days before the predicted date provided. We can bet on it coming in the mail a few days before the 16th.
iLife Apps Get an Update
When you look away from the hype of the iPad release, Apple also made a couple of updates to the iLife applications for iOS. Firstly, Garage Band received a great update with some added features. One added feature that I enjoyed is Jam. This allows you to have a virtual jam session with three other iPads. iMovie also received a nice update. The king of the event was the release of iPhoto. iPhoto for iOS allows you to do some pretty nice photo editing while on the go. There are very few features missing from the mobile version, and some new features being added, making iPhoto for iOS a great download. A new feature of iPhoto for iOS that is expected to become a hit is Journal. This allows you to take your photos and create a story with it, sort of like a collage. This is useful for special events and trips.
Who is it For?
When we look at the event, we should put everything into perspective and look at if the new iPad is right for you. If you are an original iPad user, this is the time to officially make the leap. You are missing out on a front facing camera, which means many photography applications and the fun with a frontal camera (including FaceTime) is missing for you. Additionally, the speed is something that you’ll notice just as much as the Retina display. However, for the iPad 2 users out there, I don’t really see this as a significant upgrade. We should look at this the same way as the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S situation. New devices, but with very minor changes and very little to no aesthetic changes. In addition, as previously mentioned, LTE alone isn’t a good reason to make the switch. Even if you have support in your area, support outside of even your neighborhood may be quite limited, let alone in your whole city.
What do you think? Will you get the new iPad?