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iPad 3 reviews: another winner for Apple

The iPad 3 officially launches tomorrow, if you were lucky enough to get your preorder in early enough, and the first reviews have hit the net. The consensus? Apple have created another winner.

If you have missed all the news on Apple’s iPad 3 then a quick recap is in order. The latest version of the tablet computer features an Apple A5X processor with double the memory of the previous versions- up to 1GB.

The A5X is a powerhouse of a mobile chip, featuring a ‘quad core’ GPU which will be needed to power games if they run at the native resolution of the new tablet – 2,048×1,536. This is increased from 1,024×768 on the previous version. This new ‘Retina’ display is the biggest talking point, although there are many other new additions such as a 5MP rear facing camera.

The reviews mention that the new iPad is heavier and thicker than the iPad 2. They had to use a more powerful battery (42.5 watt), so the size increase had to happen. The sizes are still 16GB, 32GB and 64GB even though we know that applications will demand more storage space (due to the higher resolution panel).

The Verge have a review live and author Joshua Topolsky says “Yes, this display is outrageous. It’s stunning. It’s incredible. I’m not being hyperbolic or exaggerative when I say it is easily the most beautiful computer display I have ever looked at…

You literally can’t see pixels on the iPad’s display when you hold it at a regular distance, and even up close you have to really inspect the thing to see dots. For rendered text or high resolution images, it just looks otherworldly; like a glowing piece of paper.”

Jason Snell of Macworld added “That power comes from the X factor in the A5X processor—a new quad-core graphics engine. And sure enough, the third-generation iPad blows away every other iOS device in terms of graphics performance. In our tests using the GLBench 3D graphics testing app, the third-generation iPad could draw a complex 3D scene at the full frame rate of its display, 60 frames per second, without breaking a sweat. And in GLBench offscreen tests, which aren’t constrained by the display’s frame rate, the third-generation iPad had a frame rate 1.6 times that of the iPad 2 (and 13 times that of the original iPad).”

Watt Mossbery of AllThingD commented on the all important battery life, saying

“Apple claims up to 10 hours of battery life between charges, and up to nine hours if you are relying strictly on cellular connectivity. In my standard battery test, where I play videos back to back with both cellular and Wi-Fi on, and the screen at 75% brightness, the new iPad logged 9 hours and 58 minutes, compared with 10 hours and 9 minutes for the iPad 2. Other tablets died hours sooner in the same test. In more normal use, the new iPad lasted more than a full day, though not as long as the iPad 2 did.”

Slashgear also have a review live and they mention the camera quality.

“Apple says it has borrowed the camera technology and optics from the iPhone 4S for the new iPad, though still the 5-megapixel images the tablet is capable of do lag behind the 8-megapixel examples from the smartphone. There’s more visible noise and chromatic aberrations at full zoom, though the quality is far, far better than any stills the iPad 2 can achieve. You also get face recognition for up to ten people per frame, automatically adjusting focus and exposure, but the camera app UI itself is no more complex than before.”

Kitguru says: Whether you like Apple or not, you have to hand it to them. They know how to design a tablet.

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