Apple has announced its third generation tablet, the iPad, not the iPad 3, iPad HD or any other name. After months of rumours and hype we’ve rounded up the differences between what has actually materialised and its predecessor the iPad 2. See also: New iPad review.
New iPad vs iPad 2: Design
The iPad still has the classic iPad style, shape and curvy look with a 9.7-inch screen, black or white bezel and aluminium rear cover. However, the device has actually got thicker and heavier rather than getting trimmed down.
The iPad 2 measures in at 8.8mm thick and 601g for the lighter WiFi only model but the new iPad is 0.6mm thicker and 51g heavier at 9.4mm and 652g.
New iPad vs iPad 2: Display
The main feature change on the new iPad is a high resolution ‘retina’ display. The new iPad has the same 9.7-inch sized screen as its predecessor but with a resolution of 2048 x 1536.
It is the first time that the firm has upgraded the display since the first iPad. The iPad 2 has a resolution of 1024 x 768 so the new iPad has four times the amount of pixels on the same size screen. This means the new iPad has a pixel density of 264ppi compared to the iPad 2’s 132ppi.
New iPad vs iPad 2: Processor
The iPad 2 is not a sluggish device but the new iPad has been equipped with an A5X chip. It’s an upgrade from the A5 1GHz dual-core processor which is found in the iPad 2.
The A5X is a dual-core chip with quad-core graphics. Apple claims it is four times faster than NVIDIA’s Tegra 3.
New iPad vs iPad 2: Camera
Another upgrade is to the tablets’ cameras. The 720p rear camera on the iPad 2 has been bumped up to an iSight 5MP camera capable of recording 1080p. It has features including autofocus, tap to focus, face detection in still image and video stabilisation.
There’s no change with the front facing camera which remains at VGA quality. Apple has decided to call it the FaceTime camera, though.
New iPad vs iPad 2: Connectivity
The new iPad still has the traditional 30-pin proprietary connector but inside there has been a change for the better. The new iPad comes in a 4G LTE model which means faster mobile internet than 3G.
In the UK this feature is effectively redundant for the foreseeable future because there is no 4G network for the iPad to utilise. However, it does make the tablet future proof for when 4G is roll out and available.
The 4G iPad has the same 9.4mm profile as the WiFi only model but is a further 10g heavier at 662g.
New iPad vs iPad 2: Storage
The iPad 2 is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities and that’s exactly what the new iPad come with too. The iPad has never had a memory card slot for expansion and still doesn’t.
New iPad vs iPad 2: Battery life
Apple touts a battery life of up to 10 hours for the new iPad which is the same as the iPad 2. This can be considered an upgrade due to the fact the hardware, mainly the screen, is considerably better quality.
New iPad vs iPad 2: Siri
Apple’s personal assistant called Siri made its debut on the iPhone 4S but has not made it onto the new iPad.
Instead, the new iPad has microphone button on the keyboard which can be used to dictate things like emails. It doesn’t answer queries or respond like Siri does on the iPhone 4S.
New iPad vs iPad 2: Pricing
The new iPad follows the same pricing system which the iPad 2 has. WiFi only models start at £399 for 16GB of storage which increases to £479 and £559 for the 32GB and 64GB versions.
The WiFi and 4G models are priced at £499, £579 and £659 for 16GB, 32GB and 64GB model. Apple has decided to keep the iPad 2 on sale which now costs £329 for 16GB and WiFi only or £429 for 16GB with WiFi and 3G.
New iPad vs iPad 2: Summary
Overall the new iPad is a decent upgrade from the iPad 2 in a number of key areas. The retina quality display is the most impressive and there’s a faster processor and better cameras. 4G connectivity is a good upgrade but irrelevant for UK users at the moment. Apple has managed all this and stuck to the same price points as the iPad 2 and maintained the 10 hour battery life.