Apple released its latest iPad to much fanfare on Friday, 16 March. V3 got its hands on a 16GB Wi-Fi-only model and has been giving it a thorough test out over the weekend to see whether it lives up to the normal high expectations for any product out of Cupertino. In this review, we’re just going to focus on reviewing the new iPad, and we’ll be following this up later in the week with a head to head review of the latest model versus the iPad 2.
Apple has coined this new term to highlight the upgraded screen in the new iPad, which is indeed impressive. The 9.7in Retina LED-backlit widescreen display packs in 2048x1536 pixels, equating to 3.1 million pixels at a rate of 264 pixels per inch. Apple proudly points out this is a million more pixels than HDTV.
The screen has a fantastic amount of detail. Text has no fuzziness, and images are noticeably bright and sharp, with amazing colour detail.
(Screenshot of large format text on the Kindle app on the new iPad)
We took a number of test shots and watched HD video – the new iPad supports H.264 video up to 1080p at 30 frames per second - and can confirm the new iPad is certainly a great device for media consumption.
Apple has included a new chip in the latest model, aimed at powering the high-res display. The dual-core A5X is a system on a chip with quad-core graphics. Web browsing was responsive and speedy, and video streamed smoothly. Games, such as the ever-popular Angry Birds and GT Racing, loaded up in seconds, the graphics are sharp and all the games we tested gave a smooth performance.
Apple has included a 5-megapixel iSight camera in the new iPad, with a grid feature for lining up shots, auto-focus and face detection, plus the ability to tap the screen to focus. Apple said the new iPad has an f/2.4 aperture and five-element lens to produce a sharper overall image, while the hybrid infrared filter offers more accurate, uniform colours.