New iPad vs. iPad 2: We compare Apple's two tablets

We compare the new iPad with its predecessor, the iPad 2

Apple's new iPad looks the same as the iPad 2, so what has been upgraded?

Apple's new iPad looks the same as the iPad 2, so what has been upgraded?

Apple has unveiled its third-generation iPad, simply called the "new iPad". Is it much better than its predecessor, the iPad 2? Let's find out.

We preview the "new iPad"
Read our Apple iPad 2 review

The new iPad looks identical to the iPad 2, but boasts a high resolution "retina" display, has an upgraded 5-megapixel camera and is powered by an A5X processor with quad-core GPU. However, Aussies miss out on 4G connectivity.

Check out the full specification differences between the iPad 2 and the new iPad below:

Apple's new iPad vs Apple iPad 2: Specifications

Feature New iPad iPad 2
Display technology Capacitive IPS Capacitive IPS
Display resolution 2048x1536 1024 x 768 pixels
Display size 9.7in 9.7in
Processor Apple A5X (dual-core) Apple A5 (1GHz dual-core)
RAM 1GB (unconfirmed) 512MB
Internal memory 16GB/32GB/64GB 16GB/32GB/64GB
Video recording Video recording, HD (1080p) up to 30 frames per second with audio; video stabilisation Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio
Rear camera 5-megapixel with autofocus; tap to focus; face detection in still images 0.7-megapixel still camera with 5x digital zoom
Front camera Video recording, VGA up to 30 frames per second with audio; VGA-quality still camera Video recording, VGA up to 30 frames per second with audio; VGA-quality still camera
3G networks (3G + Wi-Fi models) HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100MHz HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100MHz
4G networks US/Canada only No
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP 2.1 with A2DP
Battery life Up to 10 hours Up to 10 hours
Accelerometer 3-axis 3-axis
Gyroscope 3-axis 3-axis
GPS Yes Yes
Expandable memory No No
Width 9.4mm 8.8mm
Weight 652g (Wi-Fi), (662) (Wi-Fi + 4G) 601g (Wi-Fi), 613g (Wi-Fi + 3G)
HDMI-out Yes, 1080p (with optional Digital AV Adapter) Yes, 1080p (with optional Digital AV Adapter)
Adobe Flash support No No

The new retina display is the clearly the key aspect of the new iPad. It now has a resolution of 2048x1536, double to that of the original iPad. This gives it a pixel per inch (ppi) of 263, a significant increase over the 132ppi of the iPad 2.

Most of the other improvements are minor, though the significantly upgraded camera is good news. It features some of the same technology used in the iPhone 4S, but in a 5-megapixel lens with backside-illuminated sensor. Up from the paltry 0.7-megapixel camera on the iPad 2, the new iPad's camera now doubles as a full HD 1080p video recorder. Disappointingly, the front-facing camera remains VGA.

The Apple new iPad is 4G, LTE capable in the US and Canada, with separate models for Verizon and AT&T, but 4G connectivity isn't available for Australia. Wi-Fi + 4G models of the new iPad use the 700MHz and 2100MHz bands while Telstra, the only carrier in Australia to have a 4G network, uses the 1800MHz band which isn't supported. Aussies will benefit from dual-channel HSPA+ technology, however, which provides a theoretical maximum download speed of 42Mbps: faster than the iPad 2.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the new iPad is thicker and heavier than its predecessor. It's now 9.4mm thick compared to the the 8.8 thickness of the iPad 2, while weight has also increased.

What do you think of the new iPad? Does it offer enough upgrades over the iPad 2 for you to buy one? Let us know in the comments below!

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
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