I’ve seen the third generation iPad’s screen in person many times, but it wasn’t until a friend of mine brought his by today that I got a chance to try a direct comparison, using my own PDF files. Boy, I shouldn’t have done that.
Now I want that bloody thing! I have thousands of pages worth of PDF files that I use on my iPad, and they look much better on the new screen. It wasn’t really a surprise, I mean it’s only logical, but I had no idea the difference would be that huge. Everything was clearer, much because many of my PDFs are scans with two pages crammed into one. Those scans stretch the limit of what’s really feasible to read without zooming on the iPad 1/2, but I had no problem reading them on the new iPad.
Since PDF reading is one of the reasons I have an iPad, I hate that the new one is so much better for that task. Even though I could probably sell my 32GB 3G iPad 2 for about what I have to pay for a 16GB WiFi version of the new one, I don’t really want to give up both storage and 3G capability to switch to a heavier device with less battery life. I hope and think the iPad 4 will fix the steps backwards that Apple took with the third iPad, so I’m sort of holding out for that. The iPad mini is also likely to be announced soon, and that’s a valid contender as well as even with a resolution identical to the iPad 2, the screen size and pixel density would make it better for reading those double sided pages one side at a time.
Finally, there’s always the hope that I will one day be able to flip Apple the bird and go all out Android. Not very much hope, though, as the last year has basically not produces any of the apps I need to make that switch, so it doesn’t seem to actually be moving anywhere at all.
Either way, I’ll keep my iPad 2 for now. Despite how much better the screen is for PDF reading on the new one, I still don’t think it’s worth buying a product that isn’t an upgrade in all areas.