iPad (4th gen) Hands On

by Anand Lal Shimpi on 10/23/2012 3:06 PM EST


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  • tipoo - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I wonder if this will be a trend with Apple, before people could expect to feel bummed once a year with each new device, now this is only half a year, I wonder which rate they will keep going forward.

    Also I bet this is why they didn't call the last iPad the iPad 3, since this is such an incremental update it's all just "the new iPad" to consumers.
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    that last generation was the new iPad, this is the newer iPad.
    No confusion at all.
  • tayb - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    It seems to me that they're switching to their Mac naming convention. They're just going to call these devices "iPad" instead of numbering them. They don't number the Macbook line they just released updates. It wouldn't be confusing if Apple didn't call the second iPad "iPad 2." Now it IS confusing. Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I think it would work best if they go with year.
    But it won't work in this case, because you'll get 2 "iPad 2012" iPads. But normally, it'll work, because they usually do the annual release cycle.
    I think it just makes sense with year, precise and clear.

    The same thing goes for iPhone.
    Now we have the 6th iPhone name iPhone 5.
    They could've gone with iPhone 2012.
  • rs2 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    You forgot the /sarcasm tag. Reply
  • Formul - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    This is a really iterative upgrade and as a 3rd gen iPad user I don't feel bummed at all .. just like I don't feel bummed by the new Air compared to my last year one.

    To me this early release of 4th gen indicates that we may se a major overhaul of the iPad in the spring.
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Yep, 2 releases a year. sounds great. Reply
  • tim851 - Thursday, October 25, 2012 - link

    I don't think so.

    The A6 was probably supposed to go into the 3rd gen iPad in the first place. Being Apple's first self-designed SoC, it took a little longer. They had to release a Retina iPad though, because the screens were probably being manufactured already and the stock market expected it. So they went the conservative route of doubling the GPU-cores in the A5 to make sure graphics performance wouldn't suck and called it a day.

    Now that the A6 is ready in volume, they just shoved it in. That's why they released it now. It probably helps to free up production lines for A5s to go into the Mini. And it puts them in a much more comfortable position against the upcoming onslaught of Win8 and Android tablets.

    I doubt that it will be a regular thing for Apple though, to release to iterations of a product per year.
  • augiem - Thursday, October 25, 2012 - link

    I think the real reason for the iPad 4 was the Lightning connector. They can't very well sell the iPhone 5, iPad mini, new iPods all with the new dock connector and not update the iPad, one of their flagships. It's not just being OCD, its confusing for end users and troublesome for manufacturers. Reply
  • aliasfox - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    People were bummed when they had to wait 16 months for the iPhone 4s

    People are bummed that they only waited 7 months for the iPad 4th gen

    People wail on Apple for not having more frequent product announcements to keep up with the competition

    People wail on Apple for having too frequent update cycles, thus devaluing the equipment they just bought

    I do think this is perhaps a bit too incremental for many people to care though - very few people were complaining that the iPad3 was too slow - overall, it stacked up reasonably well even against Tegra3 based competition. I was hoping that Sharp would've had enough yield for its IGZO displays, but judging by the fact that it wasn't mentioned and that the thickness and weight are the same, it seems like they aren't.

    Sharp IGZO was supposed to alleviate the lower light transmission issue that hiDPI displays have - with better light transmission, Apple could've reduced the backlighting and shrunk the battery, bringing the iPad back to iPad2 size and weight.
  • Formul - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I think they are keeping the IGZO screen for the next year iPad as it will make it significantly thinner and lighter and make it worth the year-cycle. Reply
  • dugbug - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I think they just want both iphone and ipad in the holiday buying cycle rather than summer. Reply
  • D1RTYD1Z619 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    This is going to be called the "new" Ipad2. Reply
  • lmcd - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    ...that iPad is actually truly ugly. It looks like they scaled up a Galaxy Note II. Which is already ugly. It needs side bezel to look normal. Reply
  • PeteH - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Are you talking about the mini? Reply
  • etamin - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    So what's in it? Dual Swift cores with PowerVR Rogue? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    To the best of my knowledge Rogue isn't ready to ship yet (the timing of the design release puts it in 2013), plus if it was Rogue they would have pointed out the graphics performance. We'll know more soon, but dual Swift cores along with a SGX543MP4 and a 128bit memory bus is the most reasonable guess I can make. Reply
  • etamin - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    ah you're right. I was thinking they were comparing graphics performance with the previous iPad (A5X) rather than the A6 (iPhone 5)...sneaky. Reply
  • madmilk - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    A6 and A5X are similar in graphics performance, so nothing sneaky going on. A6 is SGX543MP3 at 266MHz, A5X is SGX543MP4 at 200MHz, and this is probably a SGX543MP4 at 400MHz. The increase in clock speed should be possible with the new 32nm process. Reply
  • etamin - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    ah I made a mistake about the sneaky part. I didn't think a full doubling of GPU performance was possible so I jumped to my question on Rogue.

    You're right, I also didn't know the MP3 had a higher clock than the MP4.
  • Tangey - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    your overall suggestion is correct, A6 & A5X are similar performance wise, however your clocks are badly out. A5X clocks its quad-GPU @250Mhz, and A6 clocks its Tri-GPU @ 325Mhz.

    A6X would need to be clocking @500Mhz to get x2 the A5X.
  • Zink - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    A5X and A6 perform almost identically if check out the iPhone 5 review. I guess if they are comparing A6 at 3MP with A6X at 3MP the memory bottleneck might be more apparent and help support their 2x claim. Reply
  • ibex333 - Friday, October 26, 2012 - link

    The only reason to buy an iPad 4 is because you can, and because you are filthy rich. Otherwise, there is no reason! It doesnt matter that this new device has a much faster CPU and graphics. What matters is that there are no apps to take advantage of all that power, and most likely there wont be any until the next iPad comes out.

    All new apps will run just as well on the previous iPad in every way, with the exception of maybe a few trivial novelties such as possibly some new water or smoke effects in an odd game... Is that worth an extra $100-200? Not for anyone that actually works hard for their money.

    Also, I think the previous retina iPad is better because it has the old connector making it compatible with much more devices that already exist as opposed to having to wait for manufacturers to release more devices compatible with the new connector.
  • André - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    So you don't think this is a worthy upgrade for those who still has the original iPad or the iPad 2?

    For all intents and purposes, this is a much better upgrade for those users than the iPad it replaced.
  • steven75 - Friday, November 02, 2012 - link

    I can understand the connector compatibility argument on a phone, but what the heck are you plugging an iPad into besides a charger? You don't need to use that for AirPlay or keyboards and it's not like anyone uses an iPad as a GPS in their car. Reply

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