While the display and processor improvements on the new iPad are immediately noticeable, we'd still advise iPad 2 owners to hold off on an upgrade until a killer feature is added to the next tablet model.
We’ve had our new iPad for just over a week now and still rate it as a top-notch tablet. We haven’t suffered any of the overheating problems that have been reported on Apple forums, but perhaps our hands are less sensitive than others’.
Following our new iPad review, we’ve now pitted it against the iPad 2 to see whether it’s worth splashing out for an upgrade only a year after the previous model was launched.
In our review of the iPad 2, we gave it a four-star rating, with our complaints centring around the lack of removable storage and ports such as USB, Apple-only applications and sub-standard cameras.
While Apple hasn’t budged on the first issue, keeping the connectors the same with headphone and charger sockets, the applications complaint has been minimised due to the wealth of apps now available on the App Store, with 200,000-plus apps ranging from social options like Facebook and Twitter to business-focused apps like LogMeIn, Apple’s Pages word processor or the Evernote personal organiser.
Where Apple has made a real difference is with the iPad camera. Apple has included a 5-megapixel iSight camera in the new iPad, with a grid feature for lining up shots and auto-focus and face detection, plus the ability to tap the screen to focus. Apple said the new iPad has an ƒ/2.4 aperture and five-element lens to produce a sharper overall image, while the hybrid infrared filter offers more accurate, uniform colours.
The image on the left was taken with the new iPad camera. On the right, the photo was taken with the iPad 2.
Apple doesn’t list the megapixel rating or many other specs for the iPad 2 camera, but it’s clearly lower quality than the new one. When you zoom into a photo taken with the new iPad, the level of detail and colour vibrancy becomes apparent, and you can make use of the in-built editing tools, such as red-eye removal and auto-enhance to improve shots.
Photos taken with the iPad 2 are less vibrant and grainy, and our test shots blurred when we fully zoomed in. On the new iPad, we could zoom in with no noticeable impact on the clarity and level of detail.