Unsurprisingly, the release of the new Apple iPad was welcomed last Friday with crowded lines and credit cards. In fact, Apple boasted an impressive 3 million iPads were sold on opening weekend. The retina display, A5X chip, LTE support and stronger battery have been major selling points for Apple. As the dust settles from Friday’s big release, a few blemishes are beginning to spring up. Getting my hands on with the iPad this weekend, I did notice a few things about the device. By no means am I challenging the value or quality of the iPad – it remains my top recommendation for a tablet – but may be a few things worth considering for those looking to upgrade or are on the fence between getting an iPad 2 or the “new iPad.”
- It gets warm. Already the debates and “controversy” have spread across tech blogs and newspapers. The new iPad definitely gets warm, especially in the back corner. I never noticed it in my iPad 2. It could be that the smart cover conveniently blocks direct contact to that area, but never once have felt any heat. The new one, as I played around with it at the Apple store, was immediately warm to the touch. The keyword is “warm.” It’s not hot. It’s certainly nowhere close to my laptop and shouldn’t be considered a deal-breaker at all, but it is worth noting, especially if you’re planning on using power-intensive apps and games. The verdict is still out as the iPad continues to get tested. Initial reports from Consumer Reports suggest that the new iPad can get as hot as 116 degrees Fahrenheit. Whether or not the new iPad poses an actual risk will most certainly be determined in the days to come.
- The world isn’t ready for retina display yet. One of the major selling points of the iPad is the retina display. There is a noticeable difference when viewing things on the new iPad. However, it’s usually limited to text, HD video, and high-res photos. The retina display requires a resolution that most websites and apps aren’t built out for. In the past few days, several apps have been updating to accommodate for the new display, but you’ll occasionally notice things like logos, icons, or pictures looking a bit pixilated. When web browsing, text appears extremely sharp but everything else, including pictures, graphics, etc. will seem less than stellar – in fact, it’s the retina display that makes it stand out more. Apple’s shown the ability to change the market – we’ll most likely see the web shift to “hi-def,” but it will take some time before the rest of the internet catches up to Apple.
- Get used to HD video… and spending more money for it. Following the previous point of the retina display, the new iPad will demand HD quality. Anything under looks noticeably bad. Just remember, when it comes to HD video, you’ll be shelling out more money to buy/rent movies. Even with streaming, you’ll need a strong connection to avoid buffering issues and if you’re using LTE, be careful of those data caps. HD doesn’t come cheap!
- More storage is needed. As apps and games shift to take full advantage of the retina display, you’ll find less available storage. If you’re looking to store a lot of movies and games, you may want to look past the basic 16GB model.
None of the points above should be a deterrent if you’re considering an iPad, but it’s at least worth a second thought to which iPad you’d get. Still, whether it’s the new iPad or the iPad 2, the iPad remains, dare I say, amazing.