Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hands on: Apple's new iPad

work comes to a standstill: The ‘real’ new iPad at the Digit lab!
What a moment! What a surprise! The new iPadjust arrived in our test centre, and there was the inevitable excitement. All work came to a standstill, but isn't that inevitable!
Some initial observations:
It looks very much like the iPad 2, even though the new one is slightly thicker. Will be difficult to distinguish between the two, unless someone looks very closely.
The new iPad is 0.6mm thicker than the iPad 2, and 55 grams heavier.
What we have here is the 64GB Wi-Fi + 4G version.
Turn on the 9.7-inch display, and this is where is real difference is - the Retina display (as compared to an LED backlit IPS display on the iPad 2) with infinitely more pixels - 2048 x 1536 pixels as compared to what feels like a meager 1024 x 768 pixels on the previous gen tablet.
Having used an iPad 2 for so long, I could appreciate the step up in text crispness, the overall sharpness of the display and the vivid colours. Web browsing and reading eBooks will be a lot more comfortable exercise. And those of you who watch a whole bunch of videos and photos on the tablet will be delighted with the experience. This is probably the biggest reason to pick up this tablet.
The speaker sounds definitely better than ever before. And that came as a surprise to all of us.
The fingerprint resistant oleophobic coating still doesn’t do much - you will have to wipe off fingerprints regularly.
With more power and a quad core graphics, the new iPad does heat up a lot more than the iPad 2, mostly just below where the logo is on the rear panel. But then again, gamers won’t care, would they!
The 5MP primary camera is still a disappointment, with most images suffering from graining and lack of crispness. Sufficient for occasional use, particularly when you need to urgently upload something to a social network. Videos have a bit of judder when panning, and need really good ambient light. The tap to focus feature is very welcome.
With the same OS on the iPad 2 and the new iPad, the familiarity aspect remains intact.
No SIRI, but does that make the new iPad inferior to the iPhone 4S, even though it has dictation? Yes, we believe it does, since dictation had the expected issues with the Indian accents. And works only with certain apps, unlike SIRI that isn't limited to some apps.
Do stay tuned for a detailed review of the new iPad. You know, even we are dying to take it for a spin! However, do check out above pictures of the new iPad in the meantime. We swear, it isn't the iPad 2 disguised as the new one.

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