Apple iPad (4th generation, Wi-Fi)

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Reviewed by FrogRabbit (Currently owns)

The iPad 4th generation is a good product, with a few mentionable short-comings.

The first short-coming is the amount of storage. When Apple released the iPhone 4 with the Retina Display, it also doubled the base amount of storage to accommodate for increased app sizes. The base amount of storage stubbornly remains the same despite the addition of the Retina Display on the iPad, and it definitely isn't enough. All 16 GB was used in the blink of an eye.

Another disadvantage is its weight and thinness. The full-size iPad is too heavy to hold in one hand.

The iPad mini's size and form factor is actually more practical and useful than the full-size iPad.

Poor speaker location.

Performance isn't slow (especially relative to the competition), but it could be smoother.

In summary, what Apple is selling right now as the full-size iPad is an incomplete product. The Retina Display is not quite ready, and it would have been better if they went with the MacBook Air approach instead. This is further proven with the iPad mini, which does not have a Retina Display yet. The Retina Display is something you want to implement across a whole category of products to spur adoption and creation of appropriate content.

The second part of the review is about the tablet experience.

What tablets differ from traditional computers is their immersiveness. Tablets offer an intimate and passionate experience for reading the web, and reading just about anything. The purpose of a tablet is presentation and simulation. "Skewmorphism" is part of the full screen experience.

Some tablets are widescreen, but the iPad isn't. Part of being a tablet and a mobile device is having a valid portrait orientation. The portrait orientation is easier to hold - center of gravity. It also is part of the point in losing the physical keyboard - so one is not actually selling a touchscreen laptop. I don't use my full-size iPad in portrait orientation while browsing the web much, but that is a result of the outdated web. Many websites should offer a valid portrait orientation layout, which does away with sidebars.

Tablets aren't quite a traditional computer replacement, yet. Sophisticated tablet tasks take many more steps than the same task on a traditional computer. The iPad still feels a bit tacky, and could do more to offer a true tablet experience. Many OS X features could be adopted still. When I traditionally set my app index background to black or dark grey, the small size of the app icons was apparent to me. App icons could be enlarged and more detailed, with OS X as an example.


The Breakdown

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  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
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  • 10
  • Design 8
  • Display 8
  • Camera(s) 7
  • Speakers 7
  • Performance 7
  • Software 8
  • Battery life 8
  • Ecosystem 8
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