iPad 4 – is it worth upgrading?

iPad 4 – is it worth upgrading?
Boy, now that's what you call a surprise! Apple just announced an upgraded iPad model – the fourth-generation iPad or the iPad 4, if you wish to call it that, with better internals and enhanced wireless connectivity. The unveiling comes only about 7 months after the previous iPad was made official, and we bet that the great majority of the ones witnessing the event didn't see this coming.

In fact, we are sure that many an iPad owner are now holding on to their third-gen iPads wondering whether it is worth dropping another $500 or more on a new new iPad, or sticking with the old one would be the wiser thing to do. Well, to them we say wonder no more as we are here to help! We will now go over the most significant new features being introduced with the iPad 4 and give our opinion as to whether upgrading because of them is a justified investment. Let's start with...

A6X processor

The iPad 4 comes with an A6X processor, which we presume is more or less an A6 chip with upgraded graphics meant to handle the huge resolution of the tablet's Retina display. As a result, the newest iPad is up to twice as fast as the previous generation with an A5X chip, according to Apple. Moreover, graphics performance has been doubled without that affecting the tablet's battery life. But will there be any noticeable difference in the tablet's speed and responsiveness? Well, that depends on your usage. 

Casual users that don't really push their iPads to their limit with demanding apps or games perhaps don't really have the need for the new A6X processor. After all, the third-gen iPad with its A5X chip is extremely responsive already, be it when surfing the web, enjoying music or video from iTunes, or playing Angry Birds. What may eventually make it worth upgrading, however, is that sooner or later, developers will deliver software that takes full advantage of the new chip's performance – think heavy applications for professional use or visually intensive 3D games. That's when having an A6X ticking inside your iPad may be worth it, but for now, your third-gen iPad will surely get the job done.

FaceTime HD Camera

Do you use FaceTime a lot? Then here is a feature you'd truly appreciate. The iPad 4 has an upgraded front-facing camera that now captures video in 720p. As a result, your FaceTime conversations will be more enjoyable as the added resolution will allow the other party to see you better, and in case they happen to have an iPhone 5, an iPad mini, or an iPad 4, you'll get to enjoy clearer video as well. It is also worth mentioning that FaceTime will work both over Wi-Fi and over a cellular connection, in case your iPad supports it. Speaking of which...

LTE service from Sprint

The iPad 4 and the iPad mini will be available with cellular service from Sprint, in case that is your carrier of choice. Sprint currently has over 30 cities under its LTE blanket, and new ones will be added over time until the network is fully expanded in accordance to the carrier's plans. That is expected to happen in 2013. That's not a whole lot when compared to the list of markets Verizon and AT&T can brag with, yet coverage isn't everything. Sprint is offering LTE service with truly unlimited data, so one doesn't need to worry about throttling or overage fees. 

And that is pretty much it. The remainder of hardware and software features found on the iPad 4 are identical to what the older model has to offer – from the 9.7-inch Retina display and 5-megapixel iSight auto-focus camera, to iOS 6 and the 10-hour battery life. If you care for an even faster processor and better front-facing camera, or you simply enjoy using Sprint's cellular service, then you might want to consider getting the new iPad 4. But if none of those features interest you, then just hold on to your third-generation iPad at least until the iPad 5 comes around. 

Related phones

iPad 4
  • Display 9.7" 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A6X, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB



1. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

People who. Bought a iPad 3 during the last month may have been trolled by apple or may feel trolled

19. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

I want to see tear down of iPad 4 and iPad mini, interesting if internal parts are still based on hot glue like in New iPad (a.k.a. iPad 3).

36. The.Dark.Knight.Rises

Posts: 72; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Surface, you are Dead with a capital D. This thing will be blazing fast. In fact iPad 3 was already very fast. Twice the GPU performance !!! Crazily awesome graphics. Surface will be using tegra 3 GPU- hahahahhahaha!!! The ipad 3 gpu was already faster. The A6 CPU is faster than tegra 3. Ipad has better camera and can do almost everything a surface can do. Lol fail surface tablet. I had an ipad 2 last year and I have an ipad 3 this year and so believe me when I say there's nothing like an iPad.

37. The.Dark.Knight.Rises

Posts: 72; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

I am comparing this with surface RT. iPad 4 can't be compared with surface pro because surface pro is a PC not a tablet. a PC minus the keyboard.

38. infinitemethod

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 04, 2012

Why is the Surface Pro not a tablet, yet the RT is? Solid logic. Sounds like you're already admitting defeat. Haha

40. The.Dark.Knight.Rises

Posts: 72; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Surface pro is a damn PC! It is nearly twice as heavy and twice as thick. Tablets are thin slate. Ipad is the king.

41. infinitemethod

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 04, 2012

I'll take a little more thickness and the weight with those specs, compared to an ipad's silly specs and mobile app. launcher OS. Apple fan's must be very tiny and weak. Man up. The fall of Apple has already begun.

2. Savage unregistered

Big NO! Stay happy with your iPad 3.

25. jaoowolabi

Posts: 201; Member since: Jun 07, 2012

Ipad 3 or wait for ipad mini Retina display

27. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Agree +1 is this all apple? Is this all you can do now? Change the chip and call it the next gen? No. Apple, you're better than this. Please, don't just make an incremental upgrade. Prove to your loyal customers that you can do more. You don't need to update your iPad every year. Just do what you did with iPod touch. Seriously? A faster GPU, LTE, and front-facing camera? Really? FRONT FACING CAMERA? DO YOU EVEN CONSIDER THAT AS AN UPDATE? No. No. No.

31. maier9900

Posts: 272; Member since: Dec 17, 2011

Yes, and they didn't just change the chip, they changed a lot more to make it better than the previous one. Same as samsung does when releasing an updated galaxy s device. They change the hardware inside, and of course give a new name like galaxy s 3 or the NOTE 2.

33. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

you serious man?

39. infinitemethod

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 04, 2012

You poor little fanboi. I feel bad for you.

42. juwansome

Posts: 11; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Agreed, no need to update every year, every other year is fine with me. It's all getting a bit out of hand, but I guess it's good for business, since people seem to run out and buy the newest model anyways... not me though, happy with iPad 3rd Gen!!!

3. AnTuTu

Posts: 1620; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Hell Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

35. Android2627

Posts: 28; Member since: Mar 03, 2012

Whatever it is Fast Processor & GPU etc etc but DUMB ios is Not a worth of a penny... and that to made by a Greedy Thug Company!...

4. JKING_25

Posts: 53; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

I don't mean to be a hater but even thought the A6X is a powerful chip the iPad 4 has nothing on the Srface PRO.

8. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

Ya it is. The pro has an Intel core i5

5. Scientist

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 22, 2012

Disappointing and pathetic

6. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

If you have the ipad 3 is not wise to upgrade to the ipad4 but if you don't have an ipad go buy this beauty.

9. 305Bucko

Posts: 506; Member since: Aug 07, 2011

I returned my ipad3 a couple weeks after it launched... So glad i did. The iPad4 addresses all the little things that made me go back to my ipad 2

12. kingpet13

Posts: 139; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

What if you have an android tablet? Is it worth downgrading?

15. sithvenger

Posts: 371; Member since: Aug 25, 2012

Depends on if u consider it a downgrade. Nice jab at apple though...NOT.

17. blingblingthing

Posts: 978; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

It is worth downgrading if you can afford it.

21. kingpet13

Posts: 139; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

I can definitely afford it, considering my current tablet (transformer pad infinity)cost the same price, and I also got a keyboard dock for 150 more. :P

24. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

$150 for a keyboard? Wow. Apple should die.

34. eli577

Posts: 142; Member since: Jun 29, 2010

Oh man...are you REALLY considering changing an Infinity to a tablet like this? You out of your mind....no harm intended.

14. sithvenger

Posts: 371; Member since: Aug 25, 2012

Well said

18. SleepingOz unregistered

Why? Better wait for the ipad5, which will be out in about 3months.

44. juwansome

Posts: 11; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Nah I say if you have iPad 1 or 2 and want to upgrade then go buy the iPad mini ... better specs (processor/cameras) and new features (Siri/ lightning dock connector), easier to carry and hold out of all the full-sized iPads, and it's more affordable than the iPad 4th Gen.

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