When something described as new isn’t that special…
With all the recent media hype, few people will be unaware that Apple has just unveiled the latest version of its iPad tablet. In an act of astounding originality, the company has decided to call this latest offering the new iPad rather than applying a suffix as has been the case up to now. Many anticipated improvements or additions have not been forthcoming meaning that this ‘new’ iPad is rather disappointing. Whilst it’s main feature is a new retina display, or improved screen resolution to the uninitiated, there is little else to shout about, unless of course, you work for Apple!
So what does this new resolution mean to the user? The new iPad apparently boasts four times the resolution of the iPad 2 which will undoubtedly enhance the viewing of HD videos, but this is unlikely to have a dramatic effect upon many web pages which, for the most part, are only viewed for a very short time. For the poorer sighted user, text will appear easier to read. In order to accommodate this high resolution, the new iPad boasts a new processor and a graphics chip which will enhance game playing for those interested in such activity.
Needless to say, it wouldn’t be Apple without the odd gimmick. Included in the package is Voice Dictation accessed via a microphone at the bottom of the keyboard. When touched, this enables the user to dictate text but how reliable it is remains to be seen. So often, utensils like this fail to recognise different accents so any time saved in speaking text could quickly be annulled in the time taken to correct errors. Users of the latest iPhone 4S will be able to relate to Siri and the problems encountered there in recognising variations in the human voice.
Certain model variations will be equipped for the next generation 4G network although currently this is primarily aimed at the US market. By the time 4G is up and running in the UK, this new iPad is likely to have been updated at least once, so one might well question the need for this facility especially as it has to be paid for. The new iPad also comes with an upgraded 5-megapixel camera which Apple says has the ability to shoot full 1080p HD video and can therefore effectively become your camera of choice. Now I don’t know about you but the thought of carrying around a relatively heavy tablet and using it to take everyday snapshot photos really doesn’t bear thinking about. Most people will either use a dedicated compact camera or their mobile phone for taking photos, although most compact cameras still beat hands down any mobile phone lens.
This new iPad is almost the same size as the model it will eventually replace although it weighs slightly more. It claims a similar battery life of up to 10 hours under normal usage and still runs the current iOS 5 software. The product will be available from 16 March 2012 with pricing starting at £399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model.
In the words of Apple, this iPad is resolutionary rather than revolutionary, the latter being something which we have come to expect from the company. As was the case with the iPhone 4S it appears little more than a marketing ploy on behalf of Apple to encourage susceptible and naive people to part with their money. The product does very little in addition to the current iPad 2 and it is virtually guaranteed that a further replacement encompassing more industry-setting standards will be launched within the next twelve months. Given that this offering is the new iPad, one can only speculate as to the name of it’s successor… the new new iPad maybe?
Unless you really need this product, don’t waste your money upgrading from earlier versions as the next incarnation is likely to render all current models redundant!