The new iPad (3) Review

Last year we saw a myriad of Android tablets bursting onto the scene in hopes of stealing some glory and thunder from Apple’s pride and joy – the iPad 2. Honestly, some of those offerings, such as the Amazon Kindle Fire and Asus Transformer Prime, have been more memorable than others, but through it all, they all seemed intent on breaking the iPad’s stringent grasp on the market. Despite the onslaught of competition, the iPad 2 remained in relevancy throughout it all, and rightfully so, it maintained itself as the benchmark tablet for all others, mainly for its balanced offering and notoriety.

Unlike the recent iPhone 4S, the third generation iPad is coming onto the scene one year after its predecessor, and boy are there some high expectations surrounding it already, unsurprisingly. Just a little bit over a week ago, Apple unveiled the highly-anticipated new iPad to the awaiting public sporting a very familiar body, but with some intriguing new internals. Indeed,there are some viable alternatives from the current Android camp that can easily manhandle the iPad 2 in the specs department, but with this so-called new iPad, it’s out to once again claim the throne and prove to the masses why it’s the biggest game in town.

Sticking firm to its usual routine, this third-generation iPad follows the same price path as its predecessors, which starts at that golden price of $500 for a base Wi-Fi only model. More importantly, however, it’s packing some impressive specs that will no doubt shake the ground and firmly justify its premium offering – such as a snazzy new high-resolution Retina display, 4G LTE connectivity, upgraded rear camera, and faster processor. With all of the goodies in for the ride, it begs the question if it’s enough to push and set the bar once again? Let’s not delay the inevitable any further people, therefore, here we go!

The package contains:

  • iPad
  • USB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Product Safety & Warranty Information


Hardly a surprising decision, even more when Apple has done it in the past with the iPhone 3GS, and most recently, the iPhone 4S, the new iPad maintains the design characteristics of its predecessor – nearly to the tooth even. Well, to be more specific, it looks just like the iPad 2, but it’s minutely thicker (0.37” thick) and heavier (23 oz). Strangely, there has been a lot of fuss surrounding the increased size, but in all honesty, it’s not that a big of deal, even more when it’s still one streamlined device by today’s standards, although it is not the slimmest tablet out there. In all fairness, it’s an indistinguishable difference from the previous model, but it would’ve been cool if the new iPad was somehow lighter – instead, it’s heavier. When it comes to real world handling, it’s comfortable to grasp with a single hand, though, two-handed operation is the preferable way since fatigue can set in after an extended period of time.

Certainly, some people will dwell endlessly about it, but moving beyond that, we’re still grateful to find the new iPad to exhibit all of the lovable qualities of a top-notch tablet. Specifically, it’s donning the same exact sturdy construction that we’re so fond of seeing with Apple’s portfolio – and to tell you the truth, it’s a comforting sight! Instilling a sense of durability, thanks primarily to its milled aluminum casing and glass-covered display, this is exactly what a solid tablet is all about. Frankly, it’s not something that’s necessarily regarded as a fresh look, but it doesn’t need to be – well, that’s because it employs an established iconic look.

Part of its iconic appearance, the only indentation found on its display is the recognizable home button we’re all so familiar with. Exhibiting that expected springy response, there’s no accidental presses whatsoever with it. On the complete opposite end, is the same exact VGA camera from before perched above the display, which will handle all of our FaceTime needs. More on its quality later on.

Everything else around the sides are identical to the tooth, meaning, we’re again greeted with a dedicated power button, mute switch, volume control, 3.5mm headset jack, 30-pin dock connection port, and microphone.

Around the rear, shutterbugs will be extremely happy to find a respectable 5-megapixel auto-focus camera sans flash – now dubbed the iSight camera. Instead of that despicable camera from before, this one is already shaping out to be a welcome replacement because its sensor features backside illumination and a F2.4 aperture lens. In fact, this is exactly what’s found with its iPhone 4S sibling (save for the 8MP sensor), so yeah, it’s a nice improvement – though, there is still some awkwardness snapping photos with a tablet in public.

Lastly, it doesn’t get much notoriety amongst other things, but the same micro dots line the lower left corner of the milled aluminum casing, thus, shielding the iPad’s internal speaker. 


From a cursory look, there are hardly any recognizable differences to the eye between this and its predecessor, but that seemingly changes the moment we turn on its 9.7-inch IPS LCD display, and tune our attention to its wicked high resolution. Mind-boggling to say the least, it’s downright crazy to even fathom how they managed to produce such a panel, especially when it has double the resolution of the iPad 2 at 2048 x 1536. Very recently, we’ve been tickled about seeing some upcoming tablets sporting 1080p displays, but Apple simply blindsided everyone with the iPad’s triumphant Retina display. Even more impressive is the fact that we haven’t seen the commercial launch of 1080p displays on tablets.

So how detailed is this thing? It’s remarkable like nothing else before we’ve seen on a tablet! To put it into perspective, the iPad has the ubiquitous title of having the highest resolution display on any mobile device on the market, though technically, it’s not close to taking the coveted title of having the highest pixel density (264 ppi). Still, for a tablet, it’s one impressive feat! Walking the walk, it’s higher than most PC displays and high-definition televisions – so yes, it’s a bold statement on its own. Honestly, you can’t even distinguish a single pixel on this display, and in the end, it’s undeniably one of the sharpest displays our eyes have been fortunate to ever see. Everything seems to jump at us, draw our attention, and ultimately, we’re overjoyed with the results.

Detail aside, the IPS LCD panel delivers the same results that we’re accustomed to seeing at this point. Being complementary, it radiates wholesomely thanks to the accurate looking colors it’s able to produce, essentially giving our eyes yet another thing to drool over. In fact, Apple makes the bold claim of it being 40% more saturated with its tones, and right on the dot, our eyes justify that remark as it’s visibly evident that it’s punchier. Rounding out its prowess, it sports the same lovable wide viewing angles and high contrast to maintain its clarity even with demanding situations when using it outdoors under the sun.

So where does this rank amongst all other things? Actually, it’s a benchmark like no other, seemingly blowing off the covers of what we believed to be impossible not too long ago. No longer are we going to fancy over devices gearing up to offer 1080p displays, but rather, the iPad establishes what it means to have a snazzy looking display. Therefore, whether it’s reading or watching videos, the Retina display of the iPad is a bundle of joy that’s sure to keep the competition at bay. Yup, it’s in a league of its own.



1. atree

Posts: 25; Member since: May 20, 2011

still only last 10 hours on wifi!

16. darkkjedii

Posts: 31092; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I picked mine up at 8 am in Vegas,and have been on it super heavy since ,due to my being on vacation. When I got it it was at 91% now its at 64%. That's 27% drop in basically 6 hrs of very heavy usage. So it no doubt will get a lot more than 10 on wifi... That's what it's on too,wifi.

26. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

nice story bro.

60. greyhulk

Posts: 184; Member since: Jun 30, 2010

Considering the fact that it's accomplishing this with a screen that has double the resolution and LEDs and 4X the number of pixels, not to mention twice the RAM and a quad core graphics chip, it's pretty impressive that it's not less. As it is, Apple had to cram 70% more battery into the form factor to keep it where it was. I suppose Apple could have just doubled the battery on the iPad 2 and called it the iPad MAXX.

2. imkyle

Posts: 1115; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

Good review John. If you have an iPad 2 there really is no diar reason to upgrade.

38. cheetah2k

Posts: 2256; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Its good to see that the most significant mind boggling awesome thing about the new ipad is the Samsung made IPS LCD screen. This is perfect advertising for, and gives us all great hope for some brilliant Samsung Android tabs to be released in the not to distant future :)

50. imkyle

Posts: 1115; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

Samsung has the best screens. My Galaxy s II is perfection

61. greyhulk

Posts: 184; Member since: Jun 30, 2010

My Note's screen is pretty badass, as well. Not sure I could ever go back to a lower resolution AMOLED display.

78. aligx2001

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 25, 2012

the glaxy s II may have a good screen but its not retiena

79. kingpet13

Posts: 139; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Retina is a definition only used by apple for advertising. In fact they changed the definition for the new iPad under the pretense that people hold it farther away making the pixels harder to see. Therefore if i hold an SII far enough away, according to apple it is a retina displa!

3. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

"Surely, it’s enough to catch most people off guard, but that’s just the kind of magic found with it." so now PA is saying its magical. lol.

81. Ipaboy

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 18, 2012

I want Ipad3

4. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

I see Pa is still claiming the main new feature of the 'new' ipad being the screen is made by apple. Apple have truimphed everyone with the screen and the reviewer is amazed at how apple have done it. Apple did not make or invent this screen but leave the apple propoganda continue

19. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

Does it matter that they did not make or invent the screen? Apple is not a hardware company like HTC is not a hardware. The screen is good, why don't the other company use the same screen, this an apply article so why are you being a hater?

22. drtech

Posts: 135; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

Apple engineers designed the screen and it's the best screen on the market. You guys complain when Apple doesn't have the best specs and also complain when it does.

23. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Wrong,apple did not engineer the screen

29. Non_Sequitur

Posts: 1111; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

Oh my gosh. Another one of you. Apple didn't engineer the screen. It was the work and supplies of Sharp, LG, and Samsung.

30. SleepingOz unregistered

Please, do yourself a favor in order not to look like a stupid blind isheeep. Do some research before posting nonsensical statements. =]

58. asrr62

Posts: 56; Member since: Sep 14, 2011

Its really funny how many silly iSh33p thumb down the comments lol

67. imgod

Posts: 13; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

Get your facts right

31. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

I totally agree man, and we talk bout 9/10 iPhonearena? 9 for a device that -has NOT a File manager -it is NOT compatible out of the box with SD and micro SD -same UI as the 2007 iPhone (and there are NOT ways to edit it) -is compatible with FEW video codec and file format -it is NOT compatible with USB drivers -the most important camera in a tablet (the front facing) has the LOWEST resolution of all the tablets in the market -NO led flash for rear camera -NO autofocus for rear camera (in video recording) And i can continue for all the damn night...

40. drtech

Posts: 135; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

And is still being rated the best tablet on the market and will outsell any other tablet 10-1. Must be a reason people want it. Maybe one day you'll try Apple and find out why.

52. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Have you perhaps considered that we've tried Apple and found it lacking?

63. SleepingOz unregistered

No, he's too biased towards apple to think about that by himself.

75. sbmhome

Posts: 11; Member since: Mar 19, 2012

And that's fine that its not for you, but you are obviously in the VAST minority.

76. sbmhome

Posts: 11; Member since: Mar 19, 2012

That's fine if you don't like the iPad, but you are obviously in the minority.

53. buggerrer

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

it got a 9 for being "simplistic."

59. dil2abu

Posts: 315; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

PhoneArena always gives high rating for Apple Products.. Xperia S best and powerful mobile got only 8.5.. s**t.

68. saiki4116

Posts: 413; Member since: Mar 31, 2011

"NO autofocus for rear camera".ya,auto focus for rear camera helps to quickly take a pic of documents(macro shots).

72. tahnik

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 17, 2011

Do you know something about jailbreak? oh yes...''jailbreak is another sh*t isn't it?

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