Much praise has been heaped on the new iPad since it arrived onto the market a few weeks ago. It’s true, the new screen is impressive and it advances what was already ahead of the competition, pushing the iPad further out of sight.
You would expect the Apple-centric press to be all over it, waxing lyrical about the new device whilst suggesting you all go out and buy one. However there has been at least one post that rides roughshod over that idea. Matthew Bolton over at Tap! magazine admits that whilst the new iPad is a great device with a fantastic screen, compromises have been made.
But I’m through the looking glass. I see the compromises that have come about in the new iPad – the slight extra thickness, the noticeable extra weight, the fact that it runs hotter than the iPad 2 – and I know that technology is on the way that could solve these problems, and that it should all be mainstream by the end of 2012. Again, I wouldn’t tell other people they should wait for these reasons, because none of it is certain, but I’m confident enough to commit myself to holding off
Now that I’ve had chance to play with the new iPad in person I’m inclined to agree with him. The screen is impressive – fonts are sharper, more defined and icons seem to pop out of the screen. However, the iPad 2 screen isn’t bad by any means and whilst the jump from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4 was a big improvement, this just doesn’t feel as significant a leap.
The A5X chip is certainly a more powerful chip where graphics are concerned, but at the end of the day it has a lot more pixels to feed. If you throw enough benchmarks at it you can prove whatever you want to. Synthetic benchmarks will show a significant improvement over the A5, but when you try to fill a few million more pixels than you had before you may find yourself with less headroom than you thought you had.
It isn’t going to be an issue for Angry Birds, but I wouldn’t expect the new GPU to open the floodgates for a string of Crysis-beating action games, just a load more Angry Birds titles full of pigs with tiny pixels.
It also takes longer to charge, gets a little warmer and until the rest of the world catches up it’s going to be forced to deal with low resolution images & textures the way our HD TV’s had to when HD was something broadcasters didn’t want to hear about.
It has problems that will be fixed further down the line, probably when the iPad 2 reaches the end of its useful life.
Don’t get me wrong, if I had an original iPad or no iPad at all I’d be down to the Apple store like a shot, but the iPad 2 will do me just fine for now.