Product Type: Apple Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
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Apple can keep their "new" iPad !
Apple iPad 3 Wi-Fi + 4G 16 GB
Member Name: rosaliecullen
Apple iPad 3 Wi-Fi + 4G 16 GB
Date: 11/05/12, updated on 14/05/12 (134 review reads)
Advantages: Better camera and video/Retina display
Disadvantages: Not a whole lot better than the iPad2
Due to the nature of my job (techy), work always like us to have the latest technological releases when they come out so I have been fortunate to own an iPad1, iPad2 and now a 'new iPad' (for the purposes of the review, I'll call it an iPad3). The iPad3 was launched in March 2012 and although I wasn't one of the first to own it, I have now owed it for around 8 weeks so can give a good overview of the product. The iPad3 can be WiFi (which means you have to have a wireless connection for the internet to work, so something like your home hub would be fine, but as soon as you went outside of your house, you would have to find a Wifi connection for it work). This is typically the cheaper model and comes in 16Gb, 32Gb or 64Gb. The other option is the Wifi+4G model. This means that you would have to purchase a data plan so that you could use the internet anywhere where there is a 3G signal (most places in the UK except rural areas have a semi-strong 3G signal). I'll come onto the 4G later in the review. The Wifi+4G also has 16Gb, 32Gb or 64Gb of space.
==What is an iPad?==
Unless you have been living in a bubble for the past three years, you will know that an iPad is Apple's version of a tablet computer. What does that mean? A tablet computer is the size of a typical notebook which is sort of like a digital version of the Victorian slate. It is very transportable and has around 80% of the functionality of a standard desktop computer. The beauty of the tablets and the iPad in particular is that they are very light so really good for travelling and for business folk. iPads are touch-screen which make them very easy to use. Apple have a way of making their software extremely intuitive and it becomes readily obvious what you need to do next in order to move from one app to the next. The iPad 3 is no exception, it is extremely intuitive and very very easy to use. The touch-screen gestures and typing on a touch screen may take a little longer to pick up if you are used to a desktop or laptop. You can get e-mail, browse the web, check Facebook, Tweet to friends, edit documents, geotag photos, take photos and video and just about anything you can possibly think of.
==3G or Wifi?==
I have owned both a WiFi iPad and a WiFi+3G iPad and must say I prefer the flexibility of the 3G due to the travelling I do for work. I can typically use my 3G-enabled iPad on the train which I find quite useful. However, in my opinion, if you don't travel a lot for work and will only use the iPad at work or at home, there is no point spending the additional ~£100 to purchase the 3G functionality.
==What about 4G?==
The new iPad boasts 4G capability. Except in the UK we are not anywhere near being ready to use 4G on the mobile networks (heck, lots of places even struggle with 3G). As Apple are an American company, the 4G boast was definitely made with their home-country in mind. America is much closer to widespread 4G networks than we are in the UK. What's the deal with 4G anyway? Well currently 3G has a slower connection capability than WiFi (I guess it is a bit like dial-up for mobile phones/tablets), 4G will be like broadband for phones/tablets which is why it is big news. In my professional opinion, 4G won't be widespread in the UK for at least 3 years with London being the first city to get it (trials have already taken place there). So really how much better is the iPad3 at connecting than the iPad2? In a word, it is not better at all, it is just 4G ready (as per the HD ready televisions)...but in my opinion, by the time we are ready for 4G here in the UK, it'll be time to buy an iPad6. Don't upgrade to an iPad3 for the 4G capabilities it has no effect here in the UK.
==How much space do I need?==
Space is an interesting concept on the iPad and it depends on what you want the iPad for. If you have hundreds of mp3s and videos and want to store them all on your iPad, it's definitely time to buy a 64Gb iPad. I have only ever had a 16Gb iPad as I don't store music on there, just PDFs, lots of apps (100 maybe), some data, few hundred pictures. At this moment in time for me a 16Gb capacity is more than plenty, plus if it gets full it makes me sort out some of the rubbish that is on it.
The camera and video have had a good upgrade from the iPad2. The camera is now 5Megapixel which puts it in line with other standard hand-held cameras. It also has video stabilisation and recording in 1080p which basically means a HD video. The quality is really good for such a non-specialist tool. For me, the iPad is a bit clunky to take photographs and video on but now that iMovie is on the iPads (a video editing tool) there may be a chance that more video will be recorded using iPads. I'm glad Apple made this upgrade but mainly for the photos. I still find it awkward to record video with such a huge device. The iPhone is much, much better for that.
==The retina display==
I happen to think that the iPad is pretty slick-looking as it was before the screen had an upgrade to the retina display. I personally wouldn't pay the money to upgrade from an iPad2 just for the retina display but having it does make you spoiled as you do start to notice the difference. I had the retina display on my iPhone and noticed the difference between that an the iPad2. However, retina display is not necessary, but it is an nice addition and if the iPad4 didn't have it on, I'm certain I'd notice a difference now.
No it isn't Siri and no it isn't very good. The latest update to the iPad is voice dictation but it is not as accurate as Siri on the iPhone (which has its own problems regularly) and irritatingly can't be used when there isn't a WiFi or 3G signal (not sure why!). Voice dictation is definitely not a reason to upgrade to an iPad3. I never use it now after realising how poor it is.
The battery life on all of the iPads I have had has been extremely good. The ipad3 is no better than the ipad2, nor does it need to be. Unlike the iPhone, the iPad isn't typically used for phone calls, doesn't waste battery searching for mobile signals and because mine is only occasionally hooked up to 3G, it quietly uses battery very slowly. My iPhone needs charging daily, the iPad I use a lot less but Apple says it has 10 hours battery life and I'd say they were pretty right with that. If i used my ipad all day it woukd need charging daily, Reading books and browsing the web doesn't use much battery so I charge mine once or twice a week. What I do like is that the battery holds its charge very well when it isn't in use ( and just in sleep mode). To conserve battery further, just switch it off.
==iPad2 or iPad3?==
As the iPad2 has now come down in price, I can't find enough good things about the iPad3 to suggest you should spend £100+ more on the iPad3. In terms of functionality the iPad2 does everything the iPad3 does, essentially for me, the iPad3 just records better videos and takes better photos (everything my iPhone or digital camera does). iPad3 is significantly better than iPad1, but so is iPad2. Save your pennies and buy an iPad2. Unless the iPad4 has something significant (and I wouldn't even say Siri is significant), I may not upgrade to the iPad4. However, it still gets 4 stars because it is an amazing device (just not £100 better than the iPad2).
Thanks for taking the time to read. If you have any questions please message me!...and just to clarify I absolutely love my iPad2 and iPad3, just don't think this is worth the extra bit of cash yet. 99% of people would be more than overjoyed with an iPad2.
Summary: Buy an iPad2
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