The world waited with bated breath until last week to hear Apple’s announcement on the successor of the industry leading iPad 2. Now that the cat is out of the bag, how does the new iPad stack up against the iPad 2. That’s a question a lot of people would be looking to answer. This is our take on it.
If you put the iPad 2 beside the new iPad (don’t turn it on just yet), you will be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two. They look exactly the same, weigh almost the same (the new iPad weighs a little more than the iPad 2) and have the same colors. So where is the extra cost coming from? Turn on the two iPads and you will be able to tell the difference instantly. The iPad 2 came with a 1024 x 768 pixel display whereas the new iPad comes in with a record shattering high resolution retina display with 2048 x 1536 pixels. Yes it might be overkill but you have to hand it to the Apple genies who managed to cram that kind of resolution into a device that is the size of an A4 sized sheet of paper. The other changes are also under the hood; the new iPad gets an updated chip (the A5X) vs. the A5 in the iPad 2, has the dictation feature (handy if you write a lot), and it can work with 4G as opposed to the iPad 2 that is only compatible with 3G. Thankfully Apple has also updated the camera to a 5MP version which is leaps and bounds better than the almost worthless <1MP version in the iPad 2. You also get new apps in the Apple store just for the new iPad (a lot of the apps have to be re-written to work with the increased resolution). That’s about it for the differences. The battery life remains the same (the new battery is larger but the extra juice is needed to handle the increased resolution and display) as does the storage capacity. Here is the spec comparison between the two.
Now let’s come down to the point most people will consider. Price. The iPad 2 prices have gone down (as expected) to accommodate for the new iPad. For the WiFi only models (which is what we would mostly use in India), they go from $399 (for the 16GB) to $599 (for the 64GB). The new iPad prices start from $499 (for the 16GB) and go up to $699 (for the 64GB). To recap, the differences between the iPad 2 and the new iPad are:
- Display and resolution
- Updated Camera
- Dictation feature
- Updated chip
- Updated network compatibility
So is the new iPad worth the extra $100 than the iPad 2? We think it is. But does that mean we are going to rush out to buy it as soon as it hits the market in India? Not really. We’ll just wait and stick with the iPad 2. For now.