As an official iPad expert and now owner of
the iPad 3 the new iPad, I thought I would offer a brief review. Even though the iPad has existed for just over two years, I have already owned four of them. I bought the first iPad when he came out in March 2010. The following year, I bought the iPad 2 for my birthday in March 2011. That turned out to not a great idea because EMU ended up more or less permanently loaning me one because of a grant program I’m involved in. Long story. Anyway, all at one point in time I actually have three iPads. I mention all this because this is the main reason I have the new iPad in the first place: I sold my first two iPads to finance the new iPad, and since I didn’t sell the one I got from EMU I still have a spare.
There are lots of good places to look on the web for various reviews of the new iPad. Of the ones I’ve seen, I think this one at the site Macgasm makes the most sense— go check it out, including the pictures and their answers to the question “should I get a new iPad?” For me,the new iPad feels a little bit more zippy in in launching applications and the like, and the cameras are significantly better. Other than that, it mostly comes down to the so-called retina display. It is impressive, but to be completely honest, I’m not sure it really is that much more noticeably better than the previous iPad. Maybe I haven’t use the new iPad enough, or maybe I’m just having better memories of the previous iPad, but it seems like reading on the new iPad is pretty much the same as the old iPad. Though it is better. This side-by-side comparison pictures in that Macgasm article are pretty accurate in my experience.
The other feature with the new iPad that is interesting is the ability to dictate text. In fact, I wrote a draft of this post by first dictating it into my iPad. I was hoping to report that this is a great tool, potentially useful for academic types trying to take fieldnotes, for example. Unfortunately, I think it is kind of buggy. I don’t know why, but my cell phone with Siri seems to take better dictation. I suspect that this dictation software will get better though, and it might have to do with how I am using it too.
So, is it worth it? If you don’t have an iPad at all, sure, absolutely, and unless you’re on a tight budget, spring for the new iPad instead of the more modestly priced iPad2. If you have the first iPad and you’re starting to feel like you want some of the features that only came with the iPad2 and now the new iPad (a better display, cameras, iMovie, a few other apps, etc.), sure, get the new one. Though if you are still using your original iPad do do some basic computing stuff, read, play a few rounds of Angry Birds, etc, then probably not. And if you happen to have a couple extra iPads laying around that are easily sold, then the new one is probably worth it too.