Isn’t it surprising that Apple has launched three tablets in a single year and still managed to make a successful sell of each version. Despite of new development and releases from Microsoft and Google, Apple is still holding its place as a major player in the tablet market. And with the release of new iPad 4 they have confirmed that they are not going to lose their market anywhere in near future.
The iPad 4 doesn’t come with any major updates, it is retaining the display, design and primary camera of the earlier version iPad 3, only major improvement is in the chipset and it also comes with the new lightening port, and HD FaceTime front facing camera. So overall, it is the same tablet as the iPad 3 with magnificent Retina display, a boost to the processing power, and Lightening port that ensures seamless compatibility with the new iPhone 5. Now, is this enough for to justify an upgrade or to get this new tablet? Let’s take a close look at it.
Design And Display
The design of iPad 4 is almost same as the iPad 3, design wise you can say, it’s a perfect clone of iPad 3 for most of the parts except for the new lightening port. With its simple glass front and the gorgeous aluminum back makes the device feel like completely solid. There is no doubt that it is the most premium looking and feeling tablet available in the market. The shape, size and weight is almost same as the iPad 3, with the retina display it weighs only 662g with dimension of 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4 mm. The Wi-Fi only version is around 10g lighter.
The controls of iPad 4 are identical to the iPad 3, the home key is on the front , screen rotator and volume rocker is on the right, screen lock key/ power button is on the top. Like other versions of iPad you can configure the rotation lock as the mute button. Beside the power/lock key you will see a 3.5mm audio jack on the top, and microphone at the center on top. The new addition to this version of iPad is the lightening port placed beside the speakers at the bottom.
Now it comes to the display, Apple has kept the same retina display you get in the iPad 3, its 9.7 inches 2048 x 1536 display provides greater visual experience. If we ignore the display of new Nexus 10 Retina display has the best display quality and it offers a lot sharper images, even the tiniest text is perfectly readable and the pixels are barely visible. Its greater viewing angles, vibrant colors, and the color accuracy are the key assets of this display, although the outdoor performance could have been little better but still it is better than the most of the displays.
Memory and CPU Performance
If we talk about the performance of this new iPad 4, it comes with improved and higher performing processor Apple A6X – 1.3GHz, design wise it is same like most of the tablets and mobile processor based on ARM technology but with some variation from Apple. It is 2x faster than the A5X processor used in iPad 3 and the graphics are even 4x faster than iPad 3.
Although the processor speed of the previous version of iPad was good for the current apps but the increased speed will improve the experience as more sophisticated apps are coming to the market, and you will find more occasions where the increased speed is appreciable. If you already have iPad 3 I don’t think it would be a reason for buying iPad 4, you should wait for iPad 5 or 6 before the apps really start leaving iPad 3 behind.
This 4th generation iPad has 1GB Hynix LPDDR2 RAM on the board, you will experience the increase in memory bandwidth but the additional memory appears to be available to the GPU cores not the CPU cores.
The Lightening Connector Port
Apple has introduced new lightening connector port in the iPad 4. Where other tablet manufacturers are continuously adding extra ports like memory card slot, HDMI port, USB port etc.… Apple decided to make it simple and added only one lightening connector port. You can use this port to connect anything but you will need respective adapters because you will not be able to connect anything directly, not even the USB. The best thing you can do it to get a USB adaptor and convert it to the USB port. It can be a bit expensive to buy the adaptors for all your old docks and cables.
The new iPad 4 comes in two variants either Wi-Fi + Cellular or Wi-Fi only. The Wi-Fi covers all Wi-Fi standards: a/b/g/n, It is dual-band so it works fine on both 5GHz and 2.4 GHz bands. The Cellular version comes in either quad band GSM.HSPA, one with dual band LTE, or a CDMA version with Penta band LTE and quad band GSM/HSPA. Since the cellular connectivity is for data transfer only, you will not be using it for calling purpose.
GPS connectivity is available in only Wi-Fi + cellular version, you will not get the GPS in the Wi-Fi only version. However, iPad 4 comes with GLONASS support this time, which was not available in iPad 3. Two positioning systems help to get accurate positioning in any area.
Apart from this you also get nano-SIM support (Only for cellular units), stereo Bluetooth 4.0, and lightening connector which we have discussed earlier.
iPad 4 comes with the same camera iPad 3 has, 1.2Megapixel front-facing camera and a 5Megapixel rear camera. The rear camera produces high quality pictures, the colors look completely natural with very well balanced exposure. In dark conditions the camera fails to produce good quality pictures, the shots go very grainy & washed out. It does not have flash for the camera so you will not the able to light things up in dark conditions.
The front facing camera does it work very well, it is meant for 720p HD video calling and it serves its purpose but again it doesn’t have flash so in dark condition it it is not so much of a help.
Battery quality and performance have always been great, Apple always provided the best battery life considering its weight and size. You can use it for 10hrs continuously and stand by time is of weeks. Although gaming demands more battery power but you will be able to play heavy games for 6-7 hours easily. Overall iPad 4 remains one of the best in class in terms of battery life.
This new iPad 4 with the Retina display, higher performance, longer battery life, and new lightening connector port it is really one of the best tablet in the market now. But the question here is, is it worth to get iPad 4 if you already have iPad 3? Since there is no big upgrade of improvement in iPad 4 with respect to its previous version, I think it would be wise to wait for the next version and see what Apple has to offer with iPad 5.
|Color||Silver / Black, Silver / White|
|Screen size (diagonal)||9.7 inches|
|Resolution (X)||2048 px|
|Resolution (Y)||1536 px|
|Launch OS version||6|
|Clock speed||1.4 GHz|
|RAM size||1 GB|
|Internal size||64 GB, 32 GB, 16 GB|
|Wi-Fi support||802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11a|
|802.11n frequencies||5GHz, 2.4GHz|
|Effective pixels||1.2 megapixels|
|Effective pixels||5 megapixels|
|Sensors||Ambient Light, Gyroscope, Accelerometer|
|Quoted use time||10 hr|
- Display is still best-in-class
- Apps launch faster and smoother than ever
- App ecosystem is unrivaled
- iOS is lacking some features
- Lightning ecosystem is relatively small
- Still pricey with LTE