In almost a week after the launch of the new iPad, literally thousands of articles have appeared on the subject, most of them glowing eulogies of Apple’s latest gadget. Yes, 3 million units were sold in just 4 days. And yes, it does indeed come with an impressive new Retina display. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be? After all, we’ve heard Apple CEO Tim Cook basically describe the new iPad as a game-changer. In this post, we’ll consider whether or not that’s really the case.

Users of the new iPad can probably all agree that it does indeed have a fabulous screen – four times the resolution of previous models, enhanced color reproduction and (consequently) a sharper and more vibrant display for the user. As impressive as this is, one would have to say that it’s not enough to justify Tim Cook’s claims. Of course, many users will love the added clarity of the display. But surely there must be more to the new iPad than that.

In fact, there is. This new iPad is capable of connecting to incredibly speedy data networks, up to 4G LTE in fact. This of course allows you, for instance, to stream very fast video. Users with a penchant for speed will no doubt appreciate this a great deal. But, there appears to be a drawback. Thanks to the ultrafast 4G LTE users are burning through their monthly data allowance more quickly than ever. This USA today article is one of many to make this point. It would seem, then, that the faster connection is something of a double-edged sword.

Why then are we supposed to think of this new iPad as so revolutionary? It can’t really be for the improved iSight camera (as good as it is). Most users don’t really regard the tablet as a device for taking pictures. Their are other gadgets out there for that. Indeed the iPhone itself does the job rather nicely with its 8-mega pixel camera. Yes, Apple have now incorporated a similar camera (5 mega pixels) into the new iPad. But this is at most a nice add-on. It’s not a revolution.

It seems, then, that we’re forced to return to the Retina Display. The new iPad does feature a number of other small improvements (for example an extra voice dictation option), but when all is said and done the major “innovation,” if we can call it that, is the quality of the screen. Does this alone justify
the extra $100 that the new iPad costs? Or is now a better time than ever to consider a 1st or 2nd generation iPad?

It goes without saying that any answer is subjective. Judging by Apple’s record sales in the first few days of the launch, millions of people consider the iPad to be fully worth the investment. On the other hand, it’s worth pointing out that the iPad 2’s best price has now been reduced by $100, making it
more affordable than ever. For those who are not much concerned by the quality of the screen, this is presumably still a good option.

Finally, there have been rumours of a possible “iPad 4,” though how trustworthy these rumours are is difficult to say. Should it be released with a whole host of new features, we might then be in a position to speak of a “revolution.” As things stand, it seems we’re dealing with an iPad that is visually more impressive than its predecessors, but by no means the “game changer” that some have suggested.