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Apple iPad 3 Review (64GB)

As I said earlier, it is difficult to deliver a full review of a product as diverse as the iPad 3 overnight, but I do feel as if Apple have pushed the tablet sector to a whole new level. The new Retina display is clearly a huge improvement over the older panel, delivering richer, more vivid colours and much smoother text and graphics, significantly enhancing legibility with specific applications.

We haven’t yet had the chance to thoroughly test out the battery life, but it seems to be similar to the previous iPad designs, around 9-10 hours. Playing very demanding games will likely reduce this a little more, but we used the tablet for 8 hours before starting the review and we still had 15% battery life left.

Performance is definitely improved upon the original iPad, but it felt fairly similar to the iPad 2 when browsing and performing general duties. The gaming experience however is dramatically improved and we can’t wait to see what the leading developers have in plan between now and the end of the year. Mass Effect Infiltrator is an exceptionally impressive game to play and is one of the better Electronic Arts titles we have played on the mobile platform. If you have just bought an iPad 3 we recommend you snag a copy as soon as possible.

The new camera is certainly a welcome improvement and it delivers a decent image with good light. The light sensor can get a little confused with strong side lighting … blasting out highlight detail, and it doesn’t perform great in low light environments either, adding ISO noise into the final image. To be fair, we would expect this anyway, so it wasn’t a shock.

Apple are under attack right now for their claims of 4G support in the United Kingdom and Europe. Due to the radio frequencies 4G won’t work in Europe. Americans and Canadians have 4G predominately in the 700 mhz and 2100mhz spectrum. Many parts of Europe, such as Germany are using 800mhz, 1800mhz and 2600mhz, meaning the iPad 3 simply won’t pick up the 4G networks. It looks as if we will need to wait for iPad V4 before we can use the 4G functionality in Europe. Not a big problem for me, but I would think that many people will find this a minor concern.

Technically, the iPad 3 is one of the most capable tablet computers on the market. The battery life is strong, and the processing performance reaches a whole new level, especially when it comes to powering high definition games. The new retina display is beautiful, we could finally stream 1080p content to the screen in native resolution via the incredible Air Video application. Compared with the older iPad computers, it is the difference between night and day.

Will this be enough to target PC centric users who have a loathing for all things Apple? We doubt it will win over this hard core ‘anti Apple’ audience, but in the right hands, the new iPad 3 is a diverse, and very powerful tool. Just be aware that we think the 16GB version may prove limiting long term, especially with the added storage space required now for native Retina capable applications. Apple should really have added a 128GB version to their portfolio.

We will be following this review up shortly with some video content, so keep watching the home page !

Pros:

  • Beautiful design.
  • great processing power.
  • strong battery life.
  • iOS is the market leader.
  • easy to migrate data from older iPad.

Cons:

  • The camera is still not going to impress purist photographers.
  • 4G is broken in Europe.
  • 16GB model will prove limiting.
  • 128GB version should be added.

Kitguru says: It is the best tablet on the market.

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Rating: 9.0.

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