The moment Tim Cook took the stage and announced the new iPad on March 7th in San Francisco, I immediately started brainstorming on my review for the device. There are clear challenges in comparing generational, iterative products like the iPad — especially when the devices themselves look nearly identical. Looks, of course, are really only half the story with the new iPad (side note: the name is just "iPad," though Apple seems to be using "new" quite liberally). In fact, looks may not be the story at all.

While the device does appear to be physically nearly identical to its predecessor, there are significant changes in the product. For starters, it's boasting that outrageous Retina display — its 9.7-inch screen delivering a whopping 2048 x 1536 resolution. The new iPad is also equipped with a greatly improved camera on its back (a 5 megapixel shooter, not unlike the one featured on the iPhone 4), new 4G LTE options (for both Verizon and AT&T), and a considerably more powerful processor.

After the event last Wednesday, amongst the praise you could also detect a distinct sentiment of disappointment — mostly from the press. Much like the fallout after the introduction of the last iPhone, there were questions: Why does it look the same? No quad-core processor? Has Apple lost its edge? Yet despite the questions, pre-orders seem to be record breaking (just as with the iPhone 4S).

But is the iPad as good as it needs to be? Has Apple made the right moves, or is it slipping behind the competition? Most importantly, does the new iPad successfully defend the last version's reputation as the King of Tablets? I'll answer all those questions, and more, in this review — so read on!