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iPad reviewers love the Retina display, speed, camera

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

David Pogue writes in the New York Times that the new Apple iPad should have been called the iPad 2S, because it makes only incremental changes to the iPad 2, like the iPhone 4S. The technical improvements in the new device, which is available Friday, “keep it at the forefront of desirability – just ahead of the snapping jaws of its Android competion.”

Like most reviewers, he’s dazzled by the “very, very sharp screen.” The new Retina dispaly is four times sharper than that of the iPad 2. Apps rewritten for the new screen are “incredibly sharp,” he says and high definition videos are “dazzling.”

He praises the new 5 megapixel back camera that will also shoot hi-def video.

The feature we’re personally most interested in – the new iPad’s ability to translate speaking to text – is unfortunately more limited than Siri in the iPhone 4S. It allows users to type email or in text apps, but not to set alarms or “snag facts from the Web” by asking out loud. Pogue suggests that may be an Apple marketing department hold-back. He notes it does work accurately with good Internet connections.

In any event, it’s a shame it doesn’t have the full range of Siri capabilities.

The major problem we have will all tablets and touch screen products, personally, is that typing on virtual keyboards is a real pain in multiple body parts. We would buy it just to be able to search the Web orally instead of via touchscreen typing.

Pixels, pixels, pixels, speed, speed, speed

John Gruper at Daringfireball.net, writes, “Pixels, pixels, pixels, battery, battery, battery, speed, speed, speed. That’s the new iPad. He also notes that RAM has been doubled (from 512MB to 1MB), which is mostly dedicated to the improved display -which is double the resolution of the iPad 2, but still makes apps feel faster.

He describes the retina display as similar to that of high end glossy magazine print – “Except that it updates live. It’s living, breathing print.”

Gruber says the new iPad reveals what is important about Apple’s priorities: how things look, feel, which means fast graphics processing.

He notes that Apple does not generally make devices that have less battery life than former models, so the new iPad is slightly thicker and heavier than the other models to accommodate a larger battery, since the high resolution display and more speed mean more battery drain.

Other takes on the new iPad:

Walt Mossberg, Wall Street Journal (loved its 4G LTE speed).

Joshua Topolsky at The Verge offers photos, in depth looks at multiple features, and this video review: