Reviewed by roessnakhan (Currently owns)
If you are in the market for a tablet, the iPad (used, previous generations or current) should be your go-to choice. If you're really on a budget, the iPad 2 is still very capable (I suggest picking up a used one rather than a new one at $399). But getting to the new iPad...
Design-wise, there's nothing really becoming about the new iPad (if you're used to the form factor of the previous generation). The weight difference is (to me) noticeable, though it doesn't present an issue. I actually prefer a bit more heft than the iPad 2 (I was a huge fan of the first-gen's feel). The thickness is also noticeable when first handling the device, but you get accustomed fast. What is becoming about the new iPad is what you're going to be looking at all the time - the display.
The display on the new iPad is stunning. Web browsing is extremely personal, clear, and crisp now. In fact, I would suggest showing people a web page over a photo if you want to sell them on the display. Upon getting the iPad I was worried about scaling issues with websites, and while some images are grainy, for text-rich pages like The Verge, websites look great.
The camera is also a nice upgrade. In fact, I am really impressed with the camera. I had to list a few items on eBay so I decided to use the iPad's camera for shots. To preface, you'll look like an idiot taking pictures with it, but the results are very good for a tablet, are comparable to the iPhone 4 (I think I read they're the same camera). Quality is great.
I'm not a huge gamer on the iPad (aside from Temple Gun and other processor-light games), so I can't really attest to the improved GPU performance, but I'm sure its solid.
The final questions are should you buy or should you upgrade? If you're in the market for your first tablet, most definitely. The iPad is the best tablet, and the easiest ecosystem to become accustomed to (large thanks to app developers). The iPad has never left me wanting, and that thanks goes to the developers who are always finding new ways to use this medium.
Should one upgrade? A little harder of a question. If you're using the first-generation, I would say yes. If you're using the iPad 2, it depends on your use case. If you're doing a lot of gaming, the GPU probably will make a large improvement, but if you're doing basic web browsing, emailing, etc. you shouldn't upgrade. The improvements are notable, but not required to enjoy the device.
- Design 9
- Display 10
- Camera(s) 8
- Speakers 8
- Performance 10
- Software 9
- Battery life 9
- Ecosystem 9
- Dock 8