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Apple's iPad 3, Part 1: The Complete Retina Display And A5X Review

The New iPad: Let's Get Technical

This is in Bakersfield, CA, mind you.

On Friday, most people in the world awoke and went about their normal routines. But a fevered few—the truly hardcore believers—instead abandoned their plans, rescheduled meetings, skipped classes, called-in sick, and joined the mad rush to buy the new iPad 3. Was it worth the trouble? Well, that depends on who you ask. The iPad 3 is a near duplicate in looks and size of its predecessor (which is why Gizmodo was able to fool a few into believing an iPad 2 was an iPad 3), causing some to question the hype. Yet, for those who really know what they're shopping for, the iPad 3 delivers.

The iPad 3 is slightly heavier than its predecessor. On our shipping scale, the actual weight comes out to 660 grams, or 1.45 lb. That's 10% heavier than the iPad 2 3G (600 grams/1.31 lb.), reminding us that holding the original iPad became tiresome after a few hours. We're not pleased with the added weight, but examining this device's physical attributes will have to wait for a more in-depth review to follow.

In the meantime, let's cut the lights and roll the highlight reel. The video above sums up everything. Unveiled by Apple a couple of weeks back, the iPad 3 has four key selling points over the iPad 2:

  • A new "HD" Retina Display
  • Improved graphics performance
  • 5 MP rear camera
  • 4G LTE mobile broadband networking

Personally, the relatively low screen resolution of previous tablets has always been a bit of a turn-off. However, the iPad 3 display is the exact opposite, delivering a whopping 2048x1536 resolution and 264 pixels per inch on the same 9.7" screen as before. The result: an exceptionally crisp display, particularly well-suited for viewing pictures and watching movies. The display is unquestionably superior—but how much so? Let's dig deeper.