The new iPad is released, first impressions

Every new Apple product release is known to come hand in hand with nothing short of fanfare. To stay away from this, I avoided the Apple store in my city, going to a smaller retailer. A friend of mine came with me, and we were both quite excited to see first hand the supposed pandemonium that occurs surrounding Apple and its fans at product releases. However, we were both disappointed with no-one around the store. So, as the clock struck nine, we walked into the empty store and I picked up one of the 20 new iPads they had in stock. What are my first impressions? Hit the link to find out.

The first thing that strikes you as you open an Apple product, is how well packed it is. Again, Apple does not disappoint, with a lack of packaging a relief – I hate fighting plastic and cardboard to get to my new toy. The generic Apple accessories come in the box, including a wall charger, USB cable, small info-pack, stickers, and of course, the iPad. I chose the black 16GB wifi version, as I am in no need of the “4G” version (Australia is yet to have sufficient coverage of 4G nationwide, and the 3G connection through my iPhone 4s is good enough for what I want to do). I chose the 16GB model because I stream everything to my device nowadays, with my unlimited ADSL2+ connection.

The major upgrades for the new iPad are of course, the screen and camera. The screen, simply put, looks amazing. Much like the iPhones retina display, you strain your eyes to see the individual pixels. The colours are vibrant and the images are sharp. I downloaded several apps, claiming to be “HD” but, the pixels are very obvious and look like the apps look like they are incredibly poor quality (Angry Birds I am looking at you). If you have an iPad or iPad 2, you will definitely recognise and be wowed by the difference in screen quality. But if you sport the iPhone 4 or 4s, you will appreciate the upgrade to the tablets screen.

The second generation of iPad, the iPad 2, came with a rear and front facing camera. The rear camera was particularly terrible, and was quite literally a joke. With the new 5MP camera, (which Apple is calling an “iSight” camera) Apple has redeemed itself somewhat. Comparing the iPhone 4s, which has an 8MP camera, and the new iPads camera side by side outdoors, the new iPads camera does not look to be all that terrible. Colours were sharp and did not seem washed out. It was not hard to beat the rear camera on the iPad 2, and the new iPad definitely has. But would I drop a small digital camera for the new tablets camera? Of course not, but after all, it is just there for fun. After I took the device inside, I was quite shocked at how grainy the photos became, and how colour seemed to disappear. I will make a more in-depth comparison at a later date though, after I have had more time with the newest tablet, but indoors shots still don’t seem all that great.

The new iPad also seems very responsive. Opening up games is quick and painless, and is an incredible improvement to my 1st generation iPad. Multitouch gestures work immediately, and everything appears to be a lot snappier then the iPad 2 as well. I am sure though, that this will fade over time as I load more onto the device, and Apple crams more into the OS. However, for the time being, it fells much quicker.

So, are you getting the new iPad? Have you already got it yet, or are you staying clear of the iPad altogether? Let me hear your opinions or questions below.

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Stuart Cope

Stuart Cope is a former contributing editor at Nothing But Tablets, which was merged into Pocketables in 2012.