Apple iPad (3rd generation, Wi-Fi)

Verge Review

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...

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Basic Specs

Thickness 0.37 inches
Weight 1.44 pounds
Screen size (diagonal) 9.7 inches
Operating system iOS
Launch OS version 5.1
Media streaming AirPlay
CPU brand Apple
RAM size 1 GB

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Tech Specs

Hardware

Height 9.5 inches
Width 7.31 inches
Thickness 0.37 inches
Weight 1.44 pounds
Color Silver / Black, Silver / White
Speakers Mono

Display

Screen size (diagonal) 9.7 inches
Technology IPS LCD
Resolution (X) 1536 px
Resolution (Y) 2048 px
PPI 264
Touchscreen type Capacitive
Multitouch Yes

Software

Operating system iOS
Launch OS version 5.1
Media streaming AirPlay

Processor

CPU brand Apple
CPU model A5X
Cores 2

Memory

RAM size 1 GB

Storage

Internal size 64 GB, 32 GB, 16 GB

Connectivity

Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi support 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11a
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth version 4.0

Front Camera

Video resolution VGA
Video framerate 30

Rear Camera

Effective pixels 5 megapixels
Focus type Autofocus
Video resolution 1080p
Video framerate 30

Ports

Video out Yes
Headphone 3.5mm
Data connections iPod

Sensors

Sensors Ambient Light, Gyroscope, Accelerometer

Battery

Capacity 42.5 Wh
Removable No
Quoted use time 10 hr

Recent News

No recent news about Apple iPad (3rd generation, Wi-Fi).

Recent Discussions

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  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by ChristianO (Currently owns)

    Apple’s iPad (2012) does not betray much newness on its surface -- only an eagle-eyed observer can really distinguish it from the iPad 2 when the screen is off. But once you light up that display and begin swiping, pinching, and zooming, any doubts about sameness are washed away by a wave of eye-popping color saturation and high resolution.
     
    Some improvements are not significant or even nonexistent: CPU is essentially unchanged, front camera is still VGA, and the speakers are a tad louder but still just mono, and hardware design is virtually identical. Yet these are relatively minor gripes because they do little to degrade the overall experience. Moreover, the lack of change in some specs speaks volumes for how impressive the iPad 2 was and still remains.
     
    But back to that screen: the new iPad’s retina display is an absolute marvel of engineering. I unboxed my new iPad right next to a relative's iPad 2, and the room took a collective gasp when I compared the two screens. Just luscious. No display currently in production really compares in the tablet (or any other) space. And being that the screen is the iPad's true raison d'être, its astonishing beauty shapes the entire experience. What’s more, I believe the retina display is the kind of killer feature that will future-proof the 3rd generation iPad – in five years, this iteration will likely still hold up well assuming good software support and optimization. It’s that good.
     
    On the performance side, Apple’s trademark buttery smooth software experience remains the norm. Videos look crisper, retina-optimized games pop even more, and the beefed up battery holds up through all that graphical heavy-lifting.
     
    In sum, despite outsize expectations driven by the media and the vox populi, the new iPad is an unqualified triumph. Once again Apple pulls even farther ahead of the competition by avoiding spec-by-spec one-upsmanship and focusing instead on refining an experience that was already the industry standard. I know most outfits say it’s not worth it to upgrade if you already have an iPad 2, but I disagree. Save your change, sell what you must, trade up, whatever. Just get the new iPad and you’ll see that it’s more than just an iterative upgrade -- it’s a glimpse into the future of computing.
     

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Speakers 8
    • Performance 10
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 10
    • Dock 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by maryhb (Currently owns)

    The latest iPad is almost flawless. The screen is magnificent, and the dictation tool actually works pretty well. I haven't played any games on it, but regular use has been very quick and snappy. As clean and useful iOS is, the lack of really robust multitasking and widgets is occasionally really disconcerting. The only hardware gripe I have is the speaker placement; I feel like my roommate across the room is hearing more than I am. On the whole, an incredibly varies and useful device that offers by far the best functionality and value for the price.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
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    • Camera(s) 8
    • Speakers 8
    • Performance 10
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by rcrook2 (Currently owns)

    The new iPad brings with it all of Apple's signature trademarks as of recent (best in class retina display, aluminum unibody design, and seamless user experience). While there is more to be desired on the software side of things, the fact remains that iOS has evolved 5 generations and is the most polished mobile operating system available with an ecosystem unmatched, only rivaled. Although the VGA front facing camera has yet to change from the second generation iPad, you would have trouble finding a better rear camera on any other tablet (although it doesn't seem to be as useful as Apple might lead you to believe). An updated GPU alongside everything else leads me to believe this year will see some of the most stunning mobile applications to date making this the best time yet to purchase tablet. Overall this is by far the best experience you can have on a tablet. More and more Apple seems to only be outdone by itself.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 8
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Speakers 8
    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    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.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Speakers 8
    • Performance 10
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 9
    • Dock 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by BoringCode (Currently owns)

    The new iPad is, to borrow a phrase from Steve, a magical device. The display looks better and actually has more pixels then my 27" HD monitor that I have on my PC. In fact, I would recommend the iPad just for the display.

    The rear camera takes good pictures, a little washed out but they are okay. The 1080p video recording is a plus. The front camera is nothing exciting. Of course, I would never recommend a tablet because of its good cameras. I just never use them.

    Battery life continues to amaze me. It feels like the iPad could run forever. Performance is great. I've never noticed stutter or lag in any of the apps, specifically in Real Racing 2. The ecosystem is again amazing. I could spend hours looking for apps or music or video in the store.

    The software is great. I personally love iOS. I do have a few gripes with it. For example no widgets, or the fact that there is no unified login for the many apps that Apple makes. I constantly am entering my information every time I launch an app like Game Center for the first time.

    Overall, the iPad is a great device that has a big jump over competitors. I strongly recommend it.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
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    • Camera(s) 7
    • Speakers 7
    • Performance 10
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 10
    • Dock 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
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