Reviewed by AndyGapin (Currently owns)
It's hard to review the 3rd gen iPad since it's so similar to the iPad 2 in so many ways. To put it simply, the new iPad takes an already industry-leading experience and makes it significantly better. Anyone reading this has no doubt already read over and over how amazing this display is, but that doesn't change the fact that it's true. This display is mind-blowingly stunning. You really haven't even seen anything like this before. It's as good as everything you've read.
The battery life seems on par with the iPad 2, maybe ever so slightly shorter, but the real issue here is how long it takes to charge the new iPad. Your best course of action is to just plug it in when you go to bed every two or three nights. In my completely unscientific observations, it seems to take 6-7 minutes to charge 1% of battery power. Ouch.
On paper, the only other downsides to the new iPad are the fact that it's slightly thicker and slightly heavier. In all honesty, you may notice the thickness, but it in no way makes a difference in use. The weight can be a bit of a mixed bag though. I can't tell if it's just in my head or if I really do feel the extra weight during use. It's not a lot though. In no way should this factor into a buying decision.
While the rear camera is a welcome improvement that you'll rarely use, I would have liked to see the front camera updated. Personally, this is the camera that I feel gets more use. Why not put a good camera up front? I use this camera for self portraits and video chatting. Why not make me look good?
I only gave an 8 for speakers because this seems to be completely unchanged and there was no introduction of stereo speakers. While the speaker is plenty loud, having stereo sound would be nice. Maybe Apple hasn't done this because the default orientation of the iPad is meant to be portrait so they would need to add three speakers so you can have stereo music in portrait and stereo for video in landscape.
Ultimately, the 3rd gen iPad is absolutely wonderful and the only tablet worth buying right now. Oddly, tablets are fairly mature hardware-wise already. There isn't much to them. It's just a screen. The important stuff is all software. So the new iPad ups the ante a bit on the hardware front, but now iOS needs to do the same on the software front. We'll see if iOS 6 can really take the iPad to the next level, but even still, this is the best table you can buy today...and any day in the foreseeable future.
- Design 9
- Display 10
- Camera(s) 8
- Speakers 8
- Performance 10
- Software 9
- Battery life 9
- Ecosystem 10