Apple iPad 4th Gen (New iPad)

It seems like only a few months ago I was reviewing the 3rd generation iPad... Oh wait, it was. Presenting the Apple iPad 4th generation. What’s new? Lets find out!

By Chris Messenger | Published 12/11/2012

The Good

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The fastest iPad ever

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Better camera performance overall

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Superb display of 9.7 inches

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Amazing battery life. Over 10 hours

The Bad

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3rd Gen iPad was only 6 months ago

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Lightning accessories still in short supply

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Essentially a small upgrade from 3rd gen

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Still no option for expandable memory

Introduction

It seems like only a few months ago I was reviewing the 3rd generation iPad... Oh wait, it was. What should, in all seriousness, be considered an upgrade to the iPad formerly known as ‘The New iPad’ is actually being touted as a whole new generation of iPad ( and the prize goes to me for most use of the word iPad in a single sentence). So what’s new? Well, besides a new, faster processor and the so-called ‘Lightning Port’, absolutely nothing.

 

Bewildering marketing campaign aside, we take a look at the ‘even newer’ iPad and deliver our review, along with what I’m sure will turn out to be a strong sense of deja vu...

...iPad.

 

The Specs

The beefier A6X processor has a noticeable effect vis-à-vis operating speed, although the iPad wasn’t actually wanting for good reflexes. In addition, it works well without eating into the battery time at all. That’s a very impressive claim, but maybe not enough to warrant the ‘New’ banner. To put it into perspective, if Paramount had opted for another series of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ featuring the Enterprise E instead of its predecessor the Enterprise D, I don’t think they could have successfully called it ‘The Generation After Next’ and gotten away with it.

 

Apart from that, you get all the usual perks with the iPad; the Retina display is completely unchanged (but then again its still incredible) and so is the outer casing with its smooth, ergonomic design. Everything you loved about the old iPad is still here. In spades.

 

The only real change is the inclusion of the ‘Lightning Connector’. Quite what this is and how it works is still a little bit up in the air, but the immediate downside is that you’ll now need to buy the (probably expensive) adaptor if you ever want to actually plug anything into your iPad ever again. This adaptor isn’t actually properly on sale yet, so quite what is going on is a bit of a mystery. Clearly, Apple have a great idea up their sleeve, either that, or things are about to get annoyingly Apple-specific. Again.

 

 

The Price

Pleasantly, the 4th generation iPad should start at about £311, but that only buys you 16GB. The highest spec, 64GB, will set you back a lot more, but then again, that does buy you the best tablet in the world.

 

The Performance

I didn’t have access to the near-mythic ‘Lightning Adaptor’ for our tests. In fact, I’d have had an easier time of it had I needed to gain access the Golden Fleece, the Lost Ark of the Covenant and a version of ‘Prince of Persia’ that wasn’t bile-inducingly dreadful, but nevertheless, I soldiered on, undaunted.

 

The adaptor itself will actually be quite useful, enabling such functions as a direct from SD card transfer, but I don’t feel qualified to discuss it any further, so I won’t.

 

Response time is noticeably better, but you don’t really feel the difference until you open several apps at once and then bask in the absolute lack of lag. Far from even a slight hiccup, this device seems eagerly able to run several programs at once with almost no problems at all.

 

The screen is a thing of beauty and the availability of apps is, as ever with Apple, intimidating. For a more detailed review on this product’s performance, go back and check out our initial iPad 3 reviews. They pretty much say it all.

 

Our Verdict

Essentially, Apple have upgraded the iPad 3 but called it the iPad 4. Its a bit silly, but not really all that disappointing. The price is largely unchanged and the processing speed is greatly improved. The only real variable here is the Lightning Connector.

 

If the Connector turns out to be a miss-step, then you’re stuck using an iPad that is a bugger to connect to anything. On the other hand, if this new Connector proves to be the future of Apple, then you’re better off getting on at the ground floor.

 

At the end of the day, it all comes down to trust. If you trust Apple enough to part with a lot of money for one of their devices (plus the cost of an adaptor), then it stands to reason that you should demonstrate a similar faith in their technology. Were I a betting man, I’d say it is a wager that will pay off.

 

 

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Tags: Apple iPad 4 Tablet PC Review, Tablet PC Review

 

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