NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple's fourth-generation iPad was the biggest surprise at Apple's busy product introduction on Oct. 23. But for consumers and enterprise customers, the latest full-size iPad is a must-buy.
Apple's fourth-generation iPad was unveiled at the company's special Oct. 23 event
. Its announcement was a surprise, considering the so-called "new iPad" launched in March. As some might expect, that announcement annoyed some recent iPad buyers who thought that they would have ample time to own the product before it would be replaced. No such luck.
But even though Apple's timing could have been better
, those who might be considering a new tablet now have found a device worth buying. The fourth-generation iPad is everything that the "new iPad" should have been. And with a new processor that promises far better performance, it might just be what the corporate world is looking for in a business-class tablet.
So when Apple releases the fourth-generation iPad on Nov. 2, the device looks at least on paper like it will be worth buyers' hard-earned dollars. It could prove to be the best tablet Apple has produced yet.
Here are the reasons why.
1. The A6X processor
Apple's A6X processor is central to the fourth-generation iPad's consumer and enterprise appeal. According to Apple, this CPU will deliver performance that's double that of its predecessor. The fourth-generation iPad's graphics power will also double the previous device. Not bad.
2. Welcome to Lightning
Although Lightning has been criticized for not providing easy backward compatibility with the previous 30-pin connector, it's a good idea to get into the Lightning mix sooner rather than later. By adding the port to the fourth-generation iPad, Apple is demonstrating that Lightning is the future. Customers are going to have to accept the new port if they want to stick with Apple.
3. iOS 6 is tops
Apple's iOS 6 is running on the fourth-generation iPad
. So those who are already using the software—more than 200 million of you—should feel right at home. Apple's iOS 6 is the best software version the company has launched yet and it makes for a more efficient user experience.
4. It won't be updated any time soon
If there's anything you can bet on with the fourth-generation iPad, it's that it won't be updated any time soon. Judging by Apple's decision to launch two iPads this year, the company is trying to change its launch timeframe to ensure it takes greater advantage of the holiday shopping season. Don't expect an iPad 5 to launch for another year.