iPad review (4th-generation, late 2012)

Image courtesy of Zach Vega (Wikipedia)

Posted by: Brett

Apple launched the 3rd-generation iPad a mere 7 months ago and they’ve already released an updated model. It isn’t a huge upgrade if you already have the 3rd-generation model, but if you don’t, what’s so appealing about it? I’ll check it out after the break.

The shell of the iPad 4 is nearly identical to the iPad 3, so much so that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference just by looking at their front or back panels. Both are completely identical in weight, height, and length so even holding them would not lend a clue as to which is which. The only discernible, external hardware difference is the new Lightning port at the bottom which can also be found on the new iPad mini, iPod touch 5th-generation, and iPhone 5.

Internally, the only new component is the A6X chip, said to run at 1.4 GHz, which Apple says offers two times faster performance when doing CPU and GPU tasks. Otherwise, there’s still 1GB of RAM and the GPU is still quad-core. The iPad 4 is definitely able to launch apps more quickly than the iPad 3, although the iPad 3 was not slow by any means. Otherwise, you’d have to put the two generations together to notice any other speed differences. Fortunately, the iPad 4 is still able to get 10 hours of battery life due to the more efficient power management of the A6X.

The display looks great as usual being that it’s the same Retina display with 264 ppi. Camera-wise, the same 5-megapixel iSight shooter can be found on the back. On the front lies the new FaceTime HD camera found in the iPhone 5. Apple also says the A6X chip includes a next-generation ISP allowing for better face detection, image stabilization, and more. LTE support is now more widespread and can be found in a multitude of additional countries internationally.

Conclusion

Overall, the iPad 4 just seems like more of the same. The iPad 4 is tough to recommend as it’s pretty much identical to the iPad 3 released earlier this year. If you feel you need to have Apple’s latest tablet, you can pick one up t the same price-points as the now discontinued iPad 3, with cellular models coming as early as next week. If you have an older iPad like the 1st- or 2nd-generation model, you may find the 4th-generation appealing, but then again, Apple may have another upgrade up it’s sleeve for spring 2013.

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