iPad, I saw, I conquered

 
Steve Dinneen
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1080P HD VIDEO
The new iPad’s camera is capable of shooting quality high definition video. If you’re filming in good light, the results can be pretty astonishing. It has an image stabiliser to reduce “wobble”. The new screen also makes video playback noticeably better

“THAT” SCREEN
The new iPad’s biggest selling point is its retina display. At four times sharper than its predecessor, it really is remarkably crisp. The apps built to take advantage of it (see below) look gloriously sharp – it’s only a matter of time until the rest fall into line

SAME BATTERY LIFE
It almost goes without saying that Apple hasn’t sacrificed any juice for all the new bells and whistles. You’ll still get a solid 10 hours of use (and the same plodding recharge time). While it can warm up a little we didn’t experience any uncomfortable overheating

DICTATION
I said I’d eat my hat if Siri didn’t come with the new iPad. It tasted pretty good. Instead we got a rollout of Apple’s voice dictation software, allowing you to speak your notes or messages. Siri fans will just have to wait until next time

BETTER REAR CAMERA
The rear camera has been upgraded in line with the iPhone 4S. The five-element optics system is combined with a five-megapixel, backside-illuminated sensor, giving crisper images than the iPad 2 and better performance in lower light

NEW IN-HOUSE APPS
A new portable version of iPhoto offers a brilliantly intuitive interface and some very clever editing tools. It’s a great portfolio for your pictures but some lack of functionality means you can’t entirely give up your desktop photo library just yet

WEIGHT AND SIZE
iPad 2 users will notice the new iPad has gained a little weight ­– not much but enough to pick up on (at just over eight per cent). It is also (very) slightly thicker, in order to squeeze in a bigger battery. If it was a call between keeping battery life and a slight weight gain, it’s the right choice

THE VERDICT *****
Some people were disappointed by the lack of a complete redesign for the new iPad (as they were with the wildly successful iPhone 4S). The truth is, the only thing the iPad 2 really lacked was a sharper screen – the other extras we now have are just icing on the cake. The 4G capability makes little difference for UK users, although at least you can be assured the new iPad is future-proofed. The only product that comes close this is the iPad 2. If you already own the previous generation, upgrading would be a little extravagant. If not, this is the very best out there. I would love a chance to stop banging the Apple drum but right now it is so far ahead of its rivals it is unreal.