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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  • Confusador - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    "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."

    I have to agree with this sentiment, as I've been hoping for higher resolution monitors for some time. Not that I use a Mac, but still it would be nice to see pressure coming from somewhere - I certainly expect to benefit from the pressures this display will put on Android tablets.
    Reply
  • antef - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    It matters a lot less on a desktop monitor that you're probably sitting a good couple feet away from. During normal usage of my 1920x1200 24" display I don't really feel like it needs extra resolution or sharpness. And yes there's an iPhone 4S in my household so I have that to compare to. Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I have used 1920x1200 displays (not mine), and I'd quite like a boost. Text in partcular doesn't render properly at small sizes, and as someone who deals a lot with text (IRC, code), finding that one font-size that's small enough to show a lot of code but big enough to render properly is annoying. Especially if you like having smooth edges. Reply
  • WaltFrench - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I don't imagine that many people will buy an iPad for coding, even if it gives more visual bandwidth.

    But I'm a bit surprised that you don't find acceptable fonts for such high-pixel-count screens. Maybe it's a rendering issue???
    Reply
  • chemist1 - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    "Especially if you like having smooth edges."

    Yes, I think that's precisely what it comes down to. I use my 24" Dell 2408WFP Ultrasharp, 1920x1200, principally for text, and I'm happy with the resolution (94 ppi) -- because, on my Mac, I defeat as much of the text smoothing as possible (for coding, I find unsmoothed Monaco is the sharpest-looking in Terminal). OTOH, even with the higher-res 129 ppi screen on my notebook, anti-aliased fonts look blurry to me. I don't know what pixel density would be necessary to make them look sharp -- I suspect even doubling the res. of the 24" display would not be sufficient. Laser printer output looks sharp enough to me, but I understand that is 600 -1800 dpi.
    Reply
  • dasgetier - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    As an enthusiast hobby photographer and developer, I would definitely love to see 24" or 27" monitors with 4K resolutions at 16:10 aspect ratios. Reply
  • B3an - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I'd love 4K res on a 30" monitor. That would be so perfect for image editing... and playing games of course.

    And as for the iPad 3, totally not interested. Waiting for Windows 8 tablets. Preferably one with a keyboard dock, because then it will also replace my laptop. A dockable Win 8 tablet is pretty much the ultimate portable device and i've no idea why anyone would buy an iPad once these things are out later this year.
    Reply
  • french toast - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Yes i totally agree with you, wp7 Mango is already as slick and fast as ios 5.1... on far less powerfull hardware.

    W8 will bring the same level of slickness on comparable hardware..just with the added benefit of more freedom and more power....Microsoft is back in the game baby.
    Reply
  • Michiel - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Dreams are good, dreams are fun, dreams are interesting.

    Keep on dreaming.

    Microsoft is down and out !
    Reply
  • WaltFrench - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Microsoft has a great opportunity in the Enterprise, because companies are already on board with management tools, development tools, training and the like.

    That's not what moves phones, nor is it what moves consumer products. Win8 doesn't seem to offer desktop users much of anything they don't already have, and the tablet-specific stuff comes with a bunch of new limitations (no Flash in the mobile IE; no legacy apps in Windows on ARM) that will require careful attention to deployment plans over the next couple of years. With PC sales on the wane in the developed world, and zero presence in the consumer space, the very nice and useful Win8 features are not likely to result in a lot of sales at least thru the first half of 2013.

    By which time it wouldn't be surprising to see “the new iPad (4th generation; early 2013” together with even better tools to exploit Apple's expansion into business. And their so-far total domination of the non-subsidized tablet business. And their continuing success with consumer handsets.

    Microsoft is more than capable of first-class software development. Its mistakes in the phone area alone are enough that I'm surprised Ballmer still has his job. They have their work cut out to communicate to individuals what Win8 ARM/X86 tablets and multiple phone brands will do for consumers that THEY want to do.
    Reply

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