iPad 3 vs iPad 2

March 16, 2012 § Leave a comment


I just received the “iPad 3” for review. No long wait to get it and, on first impressions, it’s not surprising. The screen is better; much better quality but, by definition, you have to look closely to see the difference. However, photographs do have a quality about them which wasn’t apparent on the iPad 2.  The iPad 3 is slightly thicker, has a 5-megapixel iSight camera, (which is a big improvement to the old 1-megapixel one); there are also new features for the camera including touch to focus, face detection and image stabilisation. Even so, it doesn’t compare to many of the camera phones that many users will have at hand anyway so I doubt many people will be too worried. The inclusion of HD video, with video stabilisation, may feel a bit of a waste on a tablet device.  However, coupled with iMovie, some people may find it quite a creative addition.

The next obvious difference is a useful dictate function added to the keyboard which seems to be ok (even high end dictation systems are problematic), but the lack of Apple’s SIRI has been quite a disappointment for many.

The rest of the differences are even more subtle. Here are some of them:

The new iPad has a 42.5 watt-hour capacity, compared to the 25Wh one in the iPad 2 but it’s still the same 10-hour life between charges. The new screen uses a lot of power, hence no noticeable extra battery life.

LTE (long-term evolution) networking is another new feature. Apple says using LTE will only reduce the battery life by one hour. For the most part, European buyers – unless they’re going to the US – should expect that LTE won’t be of any use as the UK version runs on a different frequency to the IPad’s one. There is also HSPA (high speed packet access) and DC-HSPA (dual-cell HSPA), which telephone companies (namely Orange / T-Mobile) describe as “3.5G”. Once again, for most people, this won’t be of any use.

No SD slot, or USB connection, HDMI, Network file sharing and Flash compatibility as standard but with a few Apps and / or some cheap hardware add-ons most of those problems, except Flash, can be got around.

If you’re not bothered about a better screen, the dictation or camera, then the introduction of the iPad 3 will mean the iPad 2 will be quite a bit cheaper (especially second hand) . If you’ve already got an iPad 2 – don’t bother upgrading unless those features are particularly important to you. In conclusion, there’s no big deal about the iPad3 – except for the lovely new screen -but, all in all, it’s a good move for consumers.

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