The Bottom Line
Nov 6 2012 - Apple's recent revision of their flagship iPad device retains its best overall features including the retina display and improves the performance, battery life and FaceTime camera. These updates certainly aren't worth upgrading for those that have the third generation model but it helps Apple retain its lead in the tablet marketplace. The Lightning connector may be more compact and convenient that the aging 30-pin connector but buyers will have to purchase an expensive adapter to use older peripherals they have collected over the years.
- Incredible Display
- Long Running Times
- Improved Forward Camera for HD FactTime Support
- Lightning Connector Requires Expensive Adapter For Use With Old Peripherals
- Tablet Still Gets Warm From Extended Use
- 1.4GHz Apple A6X (Cortex-A9) Dual Core Processor
- 1GB Memory
- 16GB Storage
- 9.7" QXGA (2048x1536) Multitouch Display
- 1.2 Megapixel Front Camera, 5.0 Megapixel Rear Camera
- Power VR SGX 554MP4 Quad Core Graphics
- 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth 4.0
- Lightning Port, 3.5mm Audio Jack
- 9.5" x 7.3" x .37" @ 1.44 lbs.
- iOS 6
Review - Apple iPad 4
Nov 6 2012 - It was only this past spring that Apple released its third revision of the iPad that was dubbed the New iPad and yet the company has already revised it just before the holidays. On the whole, very little has changed with this revision, officially dubbed iPad with Retina Display, as it retains the same basic shaped and appearance as the last one but with the new Lightning port instead of the old 30-pin dock connector. This has a few advantages such as a connector that can be put in either way and still work and potentially faster transfer speeds. The downside is that the new connector means it doesn't work with older peripherals without the need for an expensive adapter.
Internally, the iPad 4 receives a new processor in the A6X which is a revised version of the processor also used in the iPhone 5. This is a dual core Cortex-A9 based ARM processor that runs at a 1.4GHz speed compared to the 1GHz speed from the old A5X of the past model while also supposedly improving power consumption. In the majority of applications, users probably won't notice much of an increase in speed but some functions like the camera seem to have improved in its ability to take pictures in rapid succession. Speaking of the cameras, the forward facing camera has been upgraded from a rather low VGA resolution model to the 1.2 megapixel camera that allows for high definition FaceTime chats.
A complaint that some users had on the New iPad was heat. In extended use especially with demanding apps like games, the tablet would get warm in spots your hand would be to hold the tablet. Unfortunately, this issue still remains even with the newer and more efficient processor. It isn't going to get too hot to hold but some sensitive to heat might find it uncomfortable.
The display remains the same with the new Retina enabled screen with a native resolution of 2048x1536. This is the highest resolution in a 10-inch tablet until the Google Nexus 10 is released later in the month. It offers an exceptional sharp display with some outstanding color. Now that more apps are enabled to take advantage of the display, there are fewer times when you encounter larger pixelated text and images.
One of the big changes when the third revision of the iPad happened was the use of a larger battery pack to handle the power demands of the higher resolution display. The battery pack is still one of the largest on the market but the new processor promised to offer longer running times with Apple claiming ten hours of use. In digital video playback testing, the new revision is able to run for roughly eleven hours. This provides it with roughly three quarters of a hour longer running time compared to the past revision but with even better performance from the processor. Of course, it still can't top the ASUS Transformer Prime that can achieve nearly sixteen hours when used with its keyboard dock.