Well, iPad2 owners are bound to be a tad disappointed that the “New iPad” (as Apple calls it) is no slimmer and actually a bit heavier than the previous model. Without any true stylistic changes, that sci-fi dream of a super-slender, light-as-air pane of computerized glass seems even further away. But, it’s not like the thing was a cinderblock to begin with, and the new iPad still a remains a more beautiful object than any other tablet. Design-wise, it’s a draw.
The brilliant, unequaled user experience of the iPad is fundamentally unchanged. The new OS is an upgrade, not a revolution. Then again, no other platform – Windows or otherwise – even comes close to matching the iPad’s elegance and functionality. Another draw.
Where the New iPad truly outshines the previous models is its “Retina” screen. Without getting into specifics, the new display is just short of HD, meaning that it could become the primary source of video entertainment (film, television, etc.) for its owners. Much like how iPod and iPhone made owning a stereo less attractive, the New iPad – and the ones that will follow it – may make owning a television a secondary concern (really, who needs that big rectangle on their wall when they could have similar video quality on their table or lap?). TV watching is already well on its way to being a private experience, and displays like this could close the deal. Even if you like the big screen, the new model can stream HD content directly to your TV.
There’s also a seriously sweet camera on the back, much more memory, a far faster processer, vastly improved wifi and mobile internet capabilities, photo apps to accommodate the improved resolution, and a chorus of somewhat less-than-vital bells and whistles. But does all that make the upgrade worth $499?
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