Apple's new iPad might be launching March 16, but there have been several reviews of the device cropping up around the Internet as of late. And as one might expect, many of those reviews are glowing of the device, which boasts 4G LTE, the Retina Display, an improved camera and iOS 5.1. As with previous iPad launches, the new Apple tablet is already a favorite with both critics and tech analysts.
Reviews are an important part of the buying process. Although not everyone might agree with what one person who has used the device for the past week might say, they give some indication into what the experience might be like to use such a product. What's good? What's bad? What could be improved? Those are the kinds of questions reviews answer to help consumers determine if they should buy the device or hold off and wait for something else.
Knowing that it's somewhat of a pain to sift through all the reviews that have cropped up around the new iPad, eWEEK thought it might be worth it to help you get the finer points in one place. So, here are some of the themes that have been coming up in all the new iPad reviews that have landed.
1. The Retina Display is incredible
Nearly all new iPad reviewers can agree that the Retina Display found in Apple's tablet is top-notch. And why wouldn't it be? The screen boasts a higher resolution than any HDTV on the market, and is a major step up over the standard display found in Apple's iPad 2. Look for the new iPad's Retina Display to be its chief selling point.
2. The new iPad is slightly heavier
Just about every reviewer has mentioned that the new iPad is slightly heavier than its predecessor. However, only the New York Times' David Pogue took too much issue with it, saying that the slate will feel a bit heavy and cumbersome to iPad 2 owners after prolonged use.
3. The 4G LTE is nice
Although Apple didn't spend too much time discussing the 4G LTE found in the new iPad, several reviewers say it was a treat to be able to connect to the ultra-high-speed network from the device. However, be warned that coverage is not universal right now, with Verizon Wireless only covering 200 million people and AT&T hoping to get to 150 million by year's end.
4. It's the same old thing
Take a look at the iPad 2 and the new iPad. See many differences? No? Well, neither did the reviewers. But the folks over at the Verge didn't think that was necessarily a bad thing, saying that that the device's design is still "best in breed" in the tablet space. So, as long as Apple's decision to not deliver a new look doesn't bother you, the new iPad should make you quite happy.
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5. iOS 5.1 isn't groundbreaking
Apple's iOS 5.1 is out now for iPhone and iPad owners. The update, which was released last week, comes with few improvements over its predecessor, iOS 5, making it a less-than-groundbreaking launch. The reviewers noted that fact, and indicated that those who are comfortable using iOS 5 on the iPhone or iPad now will feel right at home with iOS 5.1.
6. iOS is still the top OS, though
Despite iOS 5.1 not being a groundbreaking launch, it's important to point out that the reviewers believe it's still a top-notch option in the new iPad. There is a good reason for this. Apple's iOS platform is the best mobile operating system out there, delivering high-quality features, intuitive design and security. What's not to like?
7. The improved camera matters
One of the biggest complaints with the iPad 2 has been its camera. In the new iPad, reviewers say the improved camera matters quite a bit, delivering far better picture quality and a level of video recording that we just don't find in sub-$1,000 devices any longer. Expect the new iPad's camera to impress you when you break the device out of the box.
8. Apple lovers will love it
If there's anything to be said about the new iPad is that it comes with a decidedly "Apple" feel. And that means today's Apple fans will fall in love with the device. Apple fully understands what it takes to be successful, and it knows how to attract its loyal fan base. The new iPad's design and features reflect that.
9. It justifies the price
If nothing else, Apple's new iPad makes it abundantly clear that the company knows how to price products. Sure, $499 and $629 is expensive for a tablet featuring 16GB of storage, but it's also spot-on in the market, if it's compared to competing devices. Plus, if Apple's device really is the best tablet on the market, as nearly all the reviewers say, wouldn't that make it an even better buy? Say what you will about dropping $500 or more for a tablet, but Apple's new iPad pricing might just make sense.
10. It might just be the best iPad ever
When it's all said and done and the reviewers had the chance to consider the new iPad as a whole package, it became abundantly clear that this was yet another improvement over previous tablets from Apple. Simply put, Apple has done it again the third-generation iPad is its best yet.