Mobile and Wireless: New iPad Hands-On at Grand Central Store Reveals Stunning Screen, Speed

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2012-03-16 Print this article Print
New iPad

New iPad

Apple declined to give the new iPad an official name along the lines of "iPad 3" or "iPad HD" (two rumored monikers). In broad strokes, the device greatly resembles its predecessor, the iPad 2.
Apple launched its new iPad in the United States March 16. As expected, Apple Stores (including the giant one in New York City's Grand Central Station that eWEEK visited) saw long lines of people anxious to be among the first to get their hands on the tablet. Despite some new, upgraded hardware—including a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera and a high-resolution Retina Display (2048 by 1536 pixels)—Apple hasn't radically altered the fundamental iPad experience. Many apps seem to run faster, thanks to the proprietary A5X processor (an upgrade from Apple's previous A4), and the screen sets a new bar for display clarity. Even when you lean close, you can barely see the pixels. While the new iPad is a bit thicker than the iPad 2 (at 0.37 inches, versus 0.34 inches for the previous version) and a little heavier (at 1.4 pounds, versus 1.3 pounds) the difference feels negligible when the two devices are actually compared in the real world. Those in the United States will have the option of purchasing the new iPad with 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity on either Verizon or AT&T. Analysts predict the new iPad will prove an instant bestseller. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster expects Apple to sell roughly 1 million units March 16. Apple likely hopes that early surge will translate into long-term success against rivals such as Google Android and the upcoming Windows 8 tablets. 
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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