The New iPad – First Impressions

Apple is a logistics and marketing machine.  The new iPad went on pre-sale the day it was announced, March 7th 2012.  It become available to the general public on March 16th.  Apple made sure, at least in my case, to have my new iPad delivered to me on the same day it was released.  While this may be subtle, the pure logic of this does not escape me.  Apple wants to ensure that there are very few negative feelings surrounding their new products.  Having it not arrive in the hands of eager users on the day it is released would create not only disappointment but a feeling of ‘why bother to pre-order’?

Well, I received my new iPad and have had the opportunity to work with it now for about 24 hours.  My impressions:

  1. The Display – is pure magic.  When Apple says that it represents the highest resolution display ever produced for a tablet, they are really not preparing you for what is absolutely outstanding.  I can not see any pixels at all and the colours are vibrant and beautiful.  The performance is amazing and I do not notice any difference between the new iPad and the iPad 2 in terms of graphics performance.  That is saying a lot given that there are four times the number of pixels to drive.  The quad-core GPU does an amazing job at keeping the experience very satisfying.
  2. 4G/LTE – here in Canada, we have three providers offering true 4G service – Rogers, Bell and TELUS.  I activated my device on Rogers and while I note there is LTE service indicated in the display, the signal strength is quite low in the areas I have had the opportunity to test.  Even though the signal indicates it is weak, the bandwidth performance appears very snappy.  When I can get a good signal, I will conduct some bandwidth speed tests.
  3. Voice Dictation – while Siri was not released for the iPad, Apple has provided a voice dictation capability which is also available  on the iPhone 4S.  The dictation is fast and accurate and offers an alternative to typing.

The real question:  If you are are current iPad user, should you upgrade to the new generation?  The quick answer is yes and maybe.  If you own the 1st generation device, then absolutely!  The new device is an amazing upgrade from the original offering.  It offers all the same benefits as the iPad 2 in terms of weight and size, yet on the merits of the screen alone, you owe it to yourself to get the newest product.  If you are an iPad 2 owner, then it really depends.  If you have the ability to resell your existing device, then by all means, upgrade.  While the new iPad is an evolutionary device, the screen difference alone is a major selling point.

The age of the post-PC era is indeed upon us and is not going away.  With the advent of cloud computing, it is only logical that these kinds of devices will become more pervasive and useful.  The other biggest factors with the launch of the new iPad is the introduction of the new apps.  iPhoto for the iPad alone is worth it.  It in many ways outdoes it’s big brother version on the Mac bringing incredible editing capabilities that take advantage of the multitouch interface.  iMovie also shines alongside Garageband.  The iPad is a creative tool and not just a passive, reading tool.  This will become more and more realized as very capable software continues to be released.

About Grant Fengstad

I’m a technology professional in the travel and transportation sector and have been very involved with the Internet for over 20 years.