Final Words

In many ways the new iPad was a known quantity. We knew to expect a faster SoC, a significantly higher resolution display and LTE support - Apple delivered on all fronts. The new iPad, much like another iPhone, is simply a tangibly improved version of its predecessor.

The iPad 2's display quickly became unacceptable from a resolution standpoint. The 3rd generation iPad's Retina Display completely addresses the issue and creates a new benchmark for other players in the tablet and ultraportable notebook space to live up to. It really is great to see Apple pushing display technology so aggressively and at reasonable price points. I do hope it's only a matter of time before we see a similar trend on the Mac side.

 

The finer details of yesterday's announcement were interesting - a much larger battery and 4x-nm LTE baseband. Arguably the most important information however is what Apple didn't talk about.

Today we have a first-world-problem with tablets, including the iPad - they are spectacular for certain usage models, but frustrating for others. Tablets aren't notebook replacements yet, but they can be more useful than a notebook depending on what you're doing. At the same time, tablets can be considerably worse than a notebook - again, depending on what you're doing. The solution to having the best of both worlds is to switch between or travel with two devices: a tablet and a Mac/PC. Ideally we'd like to see consolidation where you'd only need one.

Windows 8 proposes a solution to this problem: a single OS that, when paired with a convertible tablet (or dockable tablet like the Transformer Pad), can give you a tablet experience or a full blown desktop OS on a single device. Apple hasn't tipped its hand as to what the iOS UI strategy is going forward. I suspect we'll get some update at WWDC this year, but Apple is playing it very quiet at this point. Microsoft's strategy does bode very well for Windows users who also want a tablet, however it does alienate Windows users who want a more robust desktop experience. It's clear to me that Apple is trying to move the iPad closer to the MacBook Air in its product line, but it's unclear to me whether (or when) we'll see convergence there.

A Much Larger Battery
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  • medi01 - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Don't iZombie much, please.

    I keep my phone and tablet at the same distance, I guess I "hold it wrong way" in Hypnosteve's books.

    The point of "retina" was that density was so high, that pixels were indistinguishable for a human eye. (distance matters a lot here) at some magical distance.

    Indeed by playing with distance one could reduce resolution yet claim "it's "retina"". But then one could apply that "retina" buzzword to many pieces of older hardware.

    Off-screen benchmarks show no practical results to the customers and are only deceiving. Nobody uses CPU/GPU on their own, it's used only with particular resolution screen and decoupling them is just a way to deceive.
    Reply
  • doobydoo - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    How far you personally hold your tablet away is irrelevant. 'Retina' term isn't about you. It's about a typical user, with typical vision, holding the tablet at a typical distance, being unable to distinguish pixels.

    Typical users DO hold tablets further away, so it's perfectly logical.

    By 'Playing with the distance' you could indeed claim anything is retina - but that would make your claim incorrect because people don't hold the device at that distance, on average. The consensus amongst scientists and tech experts is that people DO hold tablets at the distance required to make this display retina.

    Off screen benchmarks eliminate both resolution and v-sync as factors (v-sync on screen benchmarks are the only reason the iPad 2 was slower in any GPU benchmarks - it limits FPS). As a result, you are given an accurate comparison of GPU performance. 'Practical Results' that you describe is a very difficult metric to calculate. While you would seemingly advocate a raw FPS metric, that fails to take into account resolution.

    For example, is 100 FPS at 10 x 10 resolution better than 60 FPS at 2000 x 1000? Of course not.

    Whichever way you look at it, the new iPad has a GPU which is up to 4x faster than the fastest Android tablet. It also has the best resolution. Any games designed to run on that high resolution will be tested to make sure they run at a playable FPS so the 'real world' performance will be both higher resolution and just as fast as any Android tablet.

    You seem to be completely bitter and unable to admit Apple has the technological lead right now.
    Reply
  • seanleeforever - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    i didn't realize my 2 year old 1080p 65 inch TV was 'retina' display. Reply
  • Michiel - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Envy eats you alive. Go see a shrink ! Reply
  • medi01 - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Oh, sorry, I've forgotten it's a status thing.
    People paying 20-50 Euros less for a Samsung Galaxy obviously can not afford these über - revolutionary devices, hence they could only envy.
    Reply
  • ripshank - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    medi01: So sad. Your remarks only show your insecurity to the world.

    Relax, breathe and just let others enjoy their gadgets of choice rather than resorting to name calling and mockery. Realize these are friggin gadgets, not politics or religion. But from your comments, it's like Apple killed your family, took away your job and stole your wife.

    What is wrong with the world today when people get so worked up over an object?
    Reply
  • medi01 - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    Ad hominem, eh?

    There is nothing wrong with objecting to lies.

    Reviewers "forgetting iPhone in the pocket" on comparison photos where it would look pale, including nVidia's cherry picked card vs AMD's stock on marketing department's request and "off-screen benchmarks" all over the place are not simply bad, it stinks.
    Reply
  • stsk - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    Seriously. Seek help. Reply
  • doobydoo - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    1 - There is something wrong with objecting to lies INCORRECTLY. That's your own failing.

    2 - Ad hominem? I'll never understand why you Americans try to use that phrase all the time, as well as 'Straw man' - it not only makes you sound pretentious, trying to sound more intelligent than you are, it's also hypocritical:

    'Don't iZombie much, please.'

    Just say 'insults' - jeez.

    3 - Off-screen benchmarks are used by impartial review sites, as I explained above, because that is the only way to properly compare GPU performance. On-screen benchmarks have different resolutions and are limited by v-sync.

    4 - Claims of conspiracies on photos is just ridiculous.
    Reply
  • Greg512 - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    "you Americans"

    Way to be a pretentious hypocrite.
    Reply

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