The new iPad – the iPad 3 – has been released by Apple and received a rapturous reception from the general public.
55 million iPads have been sold since the first iteration arrived in 2010, but discerning buyers will be wondering whether or not the latest edition offers enough new features to make it worth choosing over the iPad 2.
This is a particularly important question to consider if you already have an older Apple tablet, because upgrading is going to be costly regardless of the benefits.
iPad 3 Improvements
The first and most obvious improvement comes in the form of the new 9.7-inch Retina Display, which packs in a resolution of 2048×1536.
This is effectively twice as many pixels squeezed into the same area as found on its precursors, so the visual clarity of the new iPad will be on a level which few have experienced in the past.
To prevent this resolution from compromising performance, the iPad 3 has a new A5X processor, which is still a dual-core chip but benefits from improved graphical grunt.
The iPad 3 feels as slick as ever to use, which is to be expected from an Apple product, but there is a slightly undesirable side effect associated with the increased resolution.
Because more detail can be displayed onscreen, it is necessary for apps and games to have high-res imagery embedded within their code.
As a result, the apps are several times larger than their largely identical counterparts on the iPad 2, which means you will probably want a bit more memory than is offered by the base model iPad 3 16GB.
Because higher capacity iPads cost more money and there is no way to add in your own memory as you might on other microSD-card-compatible rival tablets, buying an iPad 3 could be expensive even if Apple has not altered the pricing.
To mitigate this fact the new iPad comes with the fastest connectivity technology around, with 4G LTE built into the range-topping units.
Of course, 4G coverage is only available in certain countries, so the global audience may not find this as useful on the whole.
Photos and Video
Something that everyone can enjoy is the new five-megapixel camera found on the rear of the iPad 3, which can record full HD video clips and will take full advantage of the Retina Display.
The iPad 2′s camera always felt a little perfunctory due to its low-res pictures, but Apple has addressed this for the third outing of this tablet franchise.
Is It Worth Upgrading?
As is often the case with the next generation of Apple products, you will feel no need to upgrade from last year’s model as long as you have not actually examined the new device in person.
The iPad 2 remains one of the best tablets in the world and now that it is cheaper it is even more attractive to consumers.
However, once you have been entranced by the iPad 3′s Retina Display and played with its improved camera, you might find it tough to justify buying anything else.
Sam is a journalist who covers the worlds of technology and finance. When not discussing the merits of the latest gadgets, he spends time helping people decide which credit card from moneysupermarket they should choose.