Apple's new iPad launches in Australia tomorrow, but the first reviews of the third-generation tablet have already started appearing, both in Australia and around the globe.
Is the new iPad worth upgrading from the iPad 2? Is the screen really that good? What's the verdict? We've rounded up a selection of the first reviews, both from Australian and US publications, to see what the deal is.
News.com.au: Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
"Tablet newcomers have an easy decision to make on launch day. If they plan to side with Apple in the tablet war, the new iPad is a wise investment. Similarly, upgrading from the first to the third iPad is a huge leap forward in speed, features and portability.
It is iPad 2 owners who may struggle with the upgrade decision. It may not have a numerical name, but the new Apple tablet has a touch of "iPad 2S" about it.
Its screen is indisputably better, its camera produces print-worthy pictures, and the quad-core graphics should make mobile gamers smile, but it doesn't reinvent Apple's tablet.
The old iPad 2 still stands up as a capable gadget and to ditch it after just a year could seem wasteful (unless you can pass it down the family tree).
Had Apple managed to deliver Aussie 4G in this tablet, it could have been a 'must-buy'. As it stands, the new iPad feels more like a 'do-want'."
SBS: Trevor Long
"Overall, the third generation iPad takes the design and technology successes of the iPad 2 and improves them in some small and some very large ways. At these price points, there’s no foreseeable end to the domination of Apple in the Australian tablet market."
The Gadget Guy: Valens Quinn
"Apple has done it again with the new iPad, creating a tablet that sets the benchmark for all other brands. If a high-definition screen, a decent camera and fast data connectivity are all on your short list, then this is certainly the tablet for you."
The Verge: Joshua Topolsky
"Let's be clear: the new iPad is in a class by itself, just as its predecessor was. As the latest product in a lineage of devices that defined this category, the iPad continues to stand head and shoulders above the competition. With the addition of the Retina display, LTE, more memory, and a more powerful CPU, Apple has absolutely held onto the iPad's market position as the dominant player and product to beat.
The new iPad is the most functional, usable, and beautiful tablet that any company has ever produced."
Daring Fireball: John Gruber
"Reading on the big retina display is pure joy. Going back to the iPad 2 after reading for a few hours on the iPad 3 is jarring. With bigger pixels, anti-aliased text looks blurry; with smaller pixels, anti-aliased text looks good; but with really small pixels like these, anti-aliased text looks impossibly good -- and what you thought looked pretty good before (like text rendered on older iPads) now looks blurry.
The retina display is amazing, everything in the UI feels faster, and the price points remain the same. What’s not to love? It’s that simple."
Wall Street Journal: Walt Mossberg
"Apple hasn't totally revamped the iPad or added loads of new features. But it has improved it significantly, at the same price.
It has the most spectacular display I have ever seen in a mobile device. The company squeezed four times the pixels into the same physical space as on the iPad 2 and claims the new iPad's screen has a million more pixels than an HDTV. All I know is that text is much sharper, and photos look richer.
Since it launched in 2010, the iPad has been the best tablet on the planet. With the new, third-generation model, it still holds that crown."
TechCrunch: MG Siegler
"What we have is a 9.7-inch stab of aluminum and glass that when illuminated, becomes an absolutely stunning display of light and color. At first glance, the new iPad is almost indistinguishable from the iPad 2. The same Smart Covers even fit on both. But it doesn’t matter what the device looks like. What matters is what you’re looking at: the screen.
Web pages look almost as if they’re being displayed in a high-quality glossy magazine. Photos look like photos — the printed out kind. Text is razor sharp and crisp, just like print.
Technology is amazing, and this new iPad is amazing. Also amazing: the only company competing with Apple right now in this particular space is Apple. So the only real question is: do you upgrade if you have a previous iPad model?
If you have the original iPad, I say this is a no-brainer. If you have an iPad 2, it’s a tougher call since it still seems nearly as fast as the new iPad. But if you choose not to upgrade, again, treat the new iPad as if it were Medusa when you’re in an Apple Store. Do. Not. Look. At. It."
Macworld: Jason Snell
"The new iPad is just that: The iPad, updated for a new year and millions of new iPad users. It's not smaller or lighter, but it's got a remarkable screen, a much better rear camera, and support for cellular networking that can run at Wi-Fi speeds. It's the iPad that millions of people have embraced, only one year better.
Users of the iPad 2 shouldn't fret: Their iPad investment is certainly good for another year. But they might not want to look too closely at the new iPad's screen. Once you get a load of that Retina display, it's hard to go back to anything else."
Slashgear: Vincent Nguyen
"At the start, we mentioned those voices calling out for revolutionary change to the iPad. It’s hard to see where it would actually be necessary. A good metaphor is, perhaps oddly, buying new tires: you don’t want them to reinvent the wheel, but you do look at the materials to see how they hold up to the competition. Apple has perfected its tablet form, and with the A5X it has tacitly acknowledged that throwing faster processors or extra cores at a device doesn’t necessarily improve it.
Specs are done. The question now is, if I have my iPad, can I go for two days with ample use and without recharging? The answer, with the new iPad, is yes. Rivals running Android have chased Apple on specifications, but the overall user experience lacks the refinement and polish of the iPad. That will take more to address than a beefier processor or a higher resolution screen.
Steve Jobs would have approved of the new iPad. With its focus on the holistic experience rather than individual boasts around its constituent parts, it’s the epitome of the Post-PC world the Apple founder envisaged. No lag or delay; no frustrating cloud settings or arcane minimum software requirements. Simply pick up, swipe, and you’re immersed in a joined-up ecosystem. Apple doesn’t need another revolution, it has already started one, and the new iPad brings a fresh degree of refinement to a segment in which it is undoubtedly the king."