The new iPad: first impressions from Japan's launch

Although I didn't take a new iPad home after the launch this morning, I did get a chance to take a look at it and try out its new features. I was impressed.
Written by Hana Stewart-Smith, Contributor

Although I briefly touched on my first impressions of Apple's new tablet earlier today, I wanted to give a more in depth look at my experience of the third generation of iPad.

The new iPad feels like a much larger tablet than its predecessor. Of course, I do not mean this in the literal sense, as the width has only increased to 0.37 inches. I mean this purely in terms of the tablet's physical presence.

The combination of the new screen resolution and the added weight definitely makes the tablet feel larger, even though its dimensions are almost exactly the same. The extra weight seems minor overall, it was one of the most striking differences I noticed when I picked it up.

Visually the new iPad looks almost exactly the same as the iPad 2. At a glance it would be indistinguishable, which is probably why I found the extra weight so surprising.

Essentially, I felt like I was picking up something important, which I suspect is more of a compliment than it seems.

The move to the higher screen resolution of 2048 x 1536 --- the highest of any currently available tablet --- is a home run for Apple.

The new screen looks amazing; with really clear crisp visuals, bold colour, and seamless transitions. I spent a few minutes flicking through web pages and minimising applications just to admire how it transitioned.

For those obsessed with getting the highest definition out of their gadgets the new iPad becomes an instant must have purely on the strength of its pixels.

For an idea of how different this new screen is to that of the iPad 2's, take a look at Stephen Chapman's side-by-side comparison.

The upgraded camera equally impressed me. Japanese phones tend to have integrated better quality cameras than most, even the cheap pre-paid ones, and I was saddened to see how much better the images taken on the tablet were compared to my own.

Neat features aside, the only real issue I could find with the tablet was how hot it got, and how quickly.

Of course a display model, on constant charge, would produce more heat than most. As such, I don't consider this to be any sort of significant issue yet, but it is something I'll be interested in hearing about over the next few weeks.

With its beefed up A5X processor, its 4G LTE connectivity, and Retina display requiring greater memory and processing speeds, it is possible that this is to be expected. However the new iPad is intended to have a battery life of 10 hours.

How well the reality matches those estimations will become apparent, but from a shallow perspective, I just wonder how comfortable it will be to rest on your lap and watch a film.

I will say this much of the new iPad. Whilst I don't own one presently, were I to buy one it would primarily be put towards creative pursuits. Therefore, for me, the improved screen resolution and processing power would be enough to justify the purchase of a new iPad.

I went in to the launch today with a determination that my budget could not afford it, and I would not be swayed. I wasn't.

However, if my budget could afford it, I might have had a much harder time convincing myself.

Image source: ZDNet.


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