When the fourth-generation iPad was announced during Apple's press conference in October, it caught a lot of people by surprise. We all expected the iPad Mini and a refresh on the Apple desktops, but to release another iPad in a matter of months of the third generation? It was very unexpected. Apple's latest iPad raises the question, is the upgraded processor and Lightning connector worth it enough to ditch your "new iPad" for this one?
Build and Design
The design of the "newer iPad" is more or less the same of the iPad that came out earlier this year. That's in no way a bad thing, as it maintains it's beautiful simplistic design and is still one of the best looking tablets out in the market. The iPad 4 maintains its minimalist design with a solid build, gorgeous display, and easy-to-figure out layout. You have a FaceTime HD camera in the front and a 5-megapixel camera in the back. The only physical difference in the build and design of the newer iPad is the Lightning connector at the bottom.
With the release of the iPad mini, there is an obvious size and weight difference between the two,which will make the larger iPad feel like a brick. The fourth-generation iPad still weighs just 1.3 lbs, which is lighter than most tablets close to its size and lighter than any textbook we used to carry.
The 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 Retina screen is one of the best (or I can go so far as saying the best) looking of any tablet out on the market today. Much like the third-generation iPad, text, pictures, books, magazines or whatever that's optimized for the Retina screen look absolutely gorgeous. When you compare this to the iPad mini or the iPad 2, the difference in screen quality and resolution is very obvious. On the iPad mini, reading some Newsstand Apps was not a good experience because of the blurry, pixelated text. I had no such issue with the Retina display.
If you are going to do some work on the go, such as graphics, photos, reading and writing, I would highly consider the larger iPad over the Mini. The full-size iPad has substituted many tasks that I would do on my laptop because of the more than adequate screen size and display quality. If making a decision between this, the iPad mini, or any tablet, the iPad with Retina Display would be the most sensible choice.
Typing with the iPad's on-screen keyboard is great for short emails and text messages. Entering web addresses is also a breeze with the built in Safari browser. Navigating through each screen with swipes and gestures is also very responsive. For those who wish to use the iPad to actually write though, you may consider getting a Bluetooth keyboard such as the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover (highly recommended) to type on.
Other Buttons and Ports
Like the newer iOS devices, the overall layout of the iPad is very simple. You have the Home button, Volume Up and Down, Lock/Mute Switch (you can change it to either one in the Settings), Power/Sleep button on the top right hand corner, and the headphone port on the top left.
Let's not forget that moving forward starting with the iPhone 5, iOS devices will include the new Lightning connector port. If you were as frustrated as I was to carry two chargers for your phone and tablet, this will ease the pain a little bit! Also with the new Lightning connector out, there are new accessories available such as the camera connecting kit and SD card reader made specifically for this new port.
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