Ironically, despite claiming that it “has its feet firmly planted in the post-PC future,” Apple ran a play from the classic PC-era playbook by announcing a new iPad with upgraded specifications. Nothing revolutionary was announced by Apple today as the new iPad looks the same and comes with the same operating system as the iPad 2.
The new iPad comes with an upgraded processor that will support faster graphics, a display with double the resolution, an upgraded rear camera, and support for LTE mobile broadband. Each of the specification upgrades are significant, and the improved display will make pictures and text appear as good as print. The new iPad doesn’t enable users to do anything new, it just enables users to do what they could do on previous models better. Doesn’t that sound like the personal computer upgrades of lore?
Apple is selling the new iPad at the same prices as they were selling the iPad 2, and they also announced they are reducing the price of the iPad 2 16 GB + WiFi to $399 from the previous $499. If you don’t own an iPad today, and want to buy one, I recommend buying the new iPad rather than the lower priced iPad 2, I have no doubt that the display of the new iPad is well worth the extra $100. In fact, if you can afford it, I recommend buying the new iPad 16 GB with 4G LTE from either AT&T or Verizon, particularly if you are a heavy Internet user.
All of the iPad mobile broadband plans are no-contract, pre-paid plans that you can turn on or off from one month to the next. I currently own an iPad 16 GB + 3G and only turn on the AT&T data plan when I go on a trip and don’t know that I will find WiFi. For me, the upgrade to LTE is the most significant part of today’s announcement, particularly if the iPad has the same battery life on LTE as it does with WiFi.
The new iPad is slightly heavier than the iPad 2 and that is most likely to include a larger battery. From what I read, it sounds like it is noticeably heavier but I suspect it’s near the same weight as the original iPad. A larger battery to maintain long battery life on LTE is worth a slight amount more weight.
If I owned an iPad 2 I don’t think I would be rushing out to buy the new iPad unless I really wanted to watch HD video or play higher resolution games. I don’t watch movies or play games on my iPad, so the display isn’t as compelling to me as I am sure it will be for many other people. As an original iPad owner I am on the fence about dumping it and getting the new iPad. Again, the new iPad runs the same operating system and so besides the specs, I can do the same things with my iPad that someone who buys the new iPad will be able to do.