What The Tech?!: The “new” iPad
Brandt Ranj, Staff Writer
March 29, 2012
Filed under Arts & Leisure
Spoiler alert: the new iPad is awesome.
Until now, my opinion of the iPad has been pretty low. It seemed to me that Apple wasn’t innovating, but more biding its time until it became feasible to release a product that was truly, as Steve Jobs called it, “post-PC.” The “new” iPad makes good on that promise in spades.
The biggest change from last year’s model is the screen and let me emphasize that more: the screen. Without hyperbole, this is the best looking display I’ve seen on anything, ever. Granted, I haven’t seen any of the new 4K televisions, but those are likely for people who have eight grand to drop.
The resolution on the new iPad has doubled to a whopping 2048×1536, making it a higher resolution display than any 1080p HDTV on the market by over a million pixels. Text looks crisp, while movies and images look real. Quite frankly, I’ve barely taken my eyes off of it in my spare time. It’s essentially ruined all other screens for me, or at least made me reassess how good they really look.
With the screen out of the way, it’s easy to see that every other upgrade made to the iPad was done in order to make the display possible. A bump in processor performance and the employment of quad-core graphics are there to push the now-quadruple number of pixels. The backside camera has now been bumped up significantly and is capable of 5MP stills and full 1080p video. Although my phone is far more convenient, the iPad could probably produce some pretty good-looking videos (after getting over the “looking like a total dork” factor).
The feature that surprised me the most, however, was voice dictation. A lot of folks were really upset that Siri didn’t make it into the latest version of the iPad, but the voice dictation part did, and boy, is it sweet. I’ve dictated a rough draft of a paper, Google queries, Facebook comments and notes. It works without any calibration and the only strange part is having to actually speak punctuation marks at the end of sentences. It also recognized non-verbal commands; for example, “smiley” produces a onscreen.
In terms of new features, unless you opt to pay the extra $130 for a 4G data plan, that’s pretty much it. That being said, with all of these tweaks, the iPad can now replace a laptop computer. It has a higher resolution screen, can sync to the iCloud, is significantly lighter and now has a complete suite of apps to conquer most of the tasks traditionally taken care of by a computer.
For $5 a pop, you can buy iPhoto, iMovie or GarageBand, giving you the ability to edit high-resolution photographs, high-definition video or a 16-track record (both live and pre-recorded music). For $10, you receive a full-fledged word processor, presentation creator or spreadsheet maker with Pages, Numbers and Keynote, respectively. And these are just the apps that Apple created! There’s also myriad other task solvers developed exclusively for the iPad’s screen size and touch interface.
If you were on the fence, run, don’t walk, to check this one out. It’s a post-PC world. We’re just living in it.