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.



155. JenniferWright

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 14, 2014

Annoyed would be a understatement I’ve been given the run around by Apple over the past six months over the iPad 3 Why. Prior to the iPad 3 launch Apple went on a aggressive add campaign and for me one of the strongest selling points of their new iPad that it was going to have 4G even though 4G was not yet available in the UK I was told by a sales rep of a well known high street pc company that the iPad 3 would work with the UK network when it came available. At the time I could only afford the 32GB data model but none were avaluble. I cannot begin to tell you how hard it was to find the extra money to get the 68GB Version but I had little choice it was not until some months later did I find out that the IPad 3 was never going to work on the UK 4G network. It was not long after that that Australian courts ruled against Apple selling the ipad3 under false advertising. And Apple withdrew all mention of 4G in the UK so as far as I’m concerned the product was being advertised in the UK as having 4G when it did not. Now six months down the line they have scrapped the iPad 3 so the resale value has gone down the pan and their is not a hope in hell of me finding another £600 plus for the iPad 4 so yes I’m very bitter very bitter indeed.

88. GDance90

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 27, 2012

Nice review. I regularly use my iPad for graphic design work, and my workflow has never been so streamlined. I can draft ideas on my iPad's vivid display using Adobe Ideas, and then mail them to my clients over AT&T's zippy 4G LTE network (great coverage here in San Fran).

87. Pete613

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 25, 2012

Guys stop bitching and moaning about how the new iPad in thicker than the Ipad 2 , Too bad apple made it thicker so they could fit in better equipment like the new camera and battery. SO stop bitching, Would you rather have a slow as s**t paper thin tablet or a fast ass tablet that's as thick as a large magazine? You pick.

84. Acipeter

Posts: 2; Member since: May 24, 2012

Where can i get it?

82. ShirleyTemple

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

I have an iPhone 4S and an iPad 3 and it feels like a waste to have both but oh well... (The iPad was a gift so...) The iPad is a joy to surf the web with but if there isn't any wifi you're pretty much only limited to playing games. While the iPhone's tiny screen gives me a headache after a while. With Apple I guess you can never have the best of both worlds.

85. Acipeter

Posts: 2; Member since: May 24, 2012

in case you wanna sell the ipad, i would like to buy it. thanks

80. DjRealskillz

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Went to best buy and couldn't tell the difference between the ip2 and "the new" iPad... To similar, I'm sticking with my ip2. I guess if you had an ip1 or ip1/2 that was 3G it would be worth it switching to 4g. Other than that. Not worth the money to switch. Also, the camera on the back is not a selling point for me. We have cellphones with more than capable cameras. If I'm on my tablet it's to do something more serious than just to take pics. I rarely use the back camera, he'll my case has it covered up lol. The front camera is more important in my eyes. Just my 2 cent opinion.

83. ShirleyTemple

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

I agree, can't tell the difference either :)

77. vahnx

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 24, 2012

Can you pretty please link me to your wallpaper? So colourful, I can't find it anywhere (checked all Youtube comments and comments on this page).


Posts: 187; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

i was able to used iphone 4 and honestly i find the os itself simply, simple and has no extraordinary for me, thats why i tried different os. windows for me is much intresting and android is more intriguing for it always bring something new on the table. im not an apple hater/fan or an android fan.. but with all due respect i find this review very biased, and one sided and even their previous reviews :( its just sad i dont know i find this as a gimmick jst by looking at cons itself it has no flash, no micro sd interface still looks old. the only thing that makes me happy bout the os are the apps, the updates and it almost have no bugs at all but nothing else..

62. greyhulk

Posts: 186; Member since: Jun 30, 2010

I'll admit to picking one of these up. I previously had an iPad 2 and was considering getting a Transformer Prime. I agree with a lot of comments on both sides here. iOS really is limited in a lot of ways. An Android tablet is more like a laptop experience with a file system and much more customizable. However, I also find that my iPad simply works for what I need it for and that's important to me. Many of the Android tablets I have owned started running like an older Windows machine after several days without a reboot. For me, the upgrade was about the screen and LTE. AT&T's LTE is super fast in Texas and I wanted to take advantage with my tablet. Also, the screen is pretty great. The most important feature on a tablet is the screen and this one does not disappoint. To me, most iOS apps look better and are updated much more frequently. iOS also seems to get most of the new apps first. That being said, I'm still interested in a Transformer Prime, but I was going to wait until the new, improved model comes out (TF700T), and it's still a ways off.

35. drtech

Posts: 135; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

Well this is a good review by PA. anyone reasonable person (ie not typical fandroid trolls that post here) can agree this is an awesome tablet. Consensus is that Apple is the clear market leader in tablets.

39. tedkord

Posts: 17517; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Apple is still the leader in tablets. There's no doubting that. It's inevitable, however, that it won't last. Just as with cell phones, eventually Android will overtake its market share. (assuming, if course, that Google keeps producing it, and some other third party os doesn't pass them both)

28. wentworth

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 05, 2012

Poor fandroids, they're still waiting for an awesome Android tablet to come out but it never does, and Apple continues to make millions of dollars with a tablet that looks the same as it did 3 years ago. That's gotta be harsh, specially for Samsung and Motorola. Samsung will come up with a tablet with the same or higher resolution eventually, no doubt, but the sad thing is that you will be using a smartphone-made app on a super-high-res display and it will look like crap. The future of tablets was, is and always will be Apple.

34. tedkord

Posts: 17517; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

iTards were saying the same things about Android vs. the iPhone 4 years ago. How'd that turn out for ya?

36. drtech

Posts: 135; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

iPhone is still the market leader and number one selling phone.

37. tedkord

Posts: 17517; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

And, Android has double the market share, which 4 years ago iFans insisted would never happen. And its increasing its lead.

41. drtech

Posts: 135; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

Android isn't a phone bud and this isn't a team sport so you're not "winning"

43. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Drtech except it is,smartphones are a platform choice essentially ios or Google android and the ios team is losing by a fair few goals

45. drtech

Posts: 135; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

Apple competes with Samsung, HTC, Motorola etc. google has a different business model than Apple. Google wants quantity because of advertising. Apple makes their money off selling hardware. Apple currently owns more than 50% of profits in the cell phone industry. Andro unless you own stock in Google you're not winning. Why do you take this so personally? Why does Apple doing well bother you so much that you come here everyday to bash them?

44. tedkord

Posts: 17517; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I'm not winning. Android is, however. Despite Apple's best attempts to stifle innovation through litigation. (which, hopefully will end with a more reasonable man at the helm)

46. drtech

Posts: 135; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

You should be thanking Apple for their innovation. With them you wouldn't have your android phone or tablet. Apple totally revolutionized smartphones and tablets. If you prefer android that's fine, but there's no reason for you being irrational and hating and bashing everything they do.

51. tedkord

Posts: 17517; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I agree. Apple did revolutionize the smartphone with the original iPhone. I also hope they remain successful, as having several successful platforms will drive competition, which drives innovation and lowers prices - a win for us. And, I don't hate or bash them for everything - only for their patent trolling antics. I think Android is the superior OS, but that's an opinion, not a bashing. However, since the original iPhone, apple has sat on it's laurels, and allowed Android to zoom past it in innovation. They've taken a course of releasing a new product each year, with barely any changes (often changes that other devices have had for a year or more), and to compete in the courtroom, not the market.

57. tmcr7

Posts: 180; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

same old ish!t which has already been disproven so many times.

42. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Phonearenas own article a day or two ago showed how android Will have the lion share of the tablet market also within a year or two,

24. tedkord

Posts: 17517; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It's quadruple the iPad2 resolution, not double. Seriously, PA, you need to invest in writers who are knowledgeable in tech.

27. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

Bet you failed maths at school. 1024 x 2 = 2048 768 x 2 = 1536

32. tedkord

Posts: 17517; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Resolution is the total number of pixels on the screen. They've doubled the number horizontally and vertically, which comes to 4 times the pixels. Try it yourself. (2048x1536)/(1024x768) Better use a calculator, as this 7th grade math is clearly above you.

65. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

Thanks you for correcting my understanding of what it is.

33. drtech

Posts: 135; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

Typical fandroid making himself look like an idiot

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