New iPad: 10 Lessons Learned During the First Weekend

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-03-19

New iPad: 10 Lessons Learned During the First Weekend

It was a quiet Friday afternoon for me on March 16 until the UPS delivery person arrived with a fresh package. It was small, not heavy, and I was asked to sign for it. Those who had similar experiences know that it was my new iPad. Apple€™s latest tablet and the device that could very well go down as one of the most popular consumer electronics to hit store shelves this year.

Nearly immediately, I popped the device out of the box and marveled at its beauty. I€™ve seen (and owned) many tablets over the last couple years, but the new iPad is the best-looking option I€™ve seen yet. The set-up was simple and easy, and after inputting some information for my 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) service through Verizon Wireless, I was ready to use the tablet as I saw fit.

What follows are my initial reactions to the new iPad after my first weekend with the device. Apple€™s new iPad is by no means groundbreaking and will not prompt a seismic shift in the tablet market. But the device is notable, nonetheless.

1. The Retina Display is pretty great

The most striking thing about the new iPad is its Retina Display. The device€™s screen is the very best I€™ve seen in the tablet space, and while not the huge shock that some said it would be, was enough for me to get excited about the possibilities. What sort of apps and games will take advantage of the screen? I look forward to finding out.

2. 4G LTE is a must-have

When I bought the first-generation iPad, I decided to get only the WiFi model, since I didn€™t see myself traveling with the tablet. It was a mistake. With the new iPad, I decided to get the 4G LTE option, and I can say it was the smartest move I made. Verizon€™s LTE network is incredibly fast and it€™s available nearly everywhere I go. Not bad for $20 a month.

3. I don€™t think iPad 2 owners should upgrade

I have several friends and family that currently own the iPad 2. And as one might expect, they wanted to find out if they should dump the old option to get the new one. I told them without thinking twice that jumping to the new iPad wouldn€™t make much sense. Sure, the Retina Display is great and the LTE is a welcome addition, but they€™re not worth another $629 and up. Current iPad 2 owners should stick with their favored tablet.

4. iOS 5.1 is great, but not groundbreaking any longer

Apple€™s iOS 5.1 comes bundled with the new iPad. And although it€™s a solid operating system with few quirks, strong security and responsiveness, it€™s no longer groundbreaking. In fact, for current iPhone or iPad owners, moving to the new iPad with iOS 5.1 cuts down on the awe felt the first time you boot up an iOS-based device.

Theres No Reason for a Major Design Refresh


5. A major design refresh wasn€™t necessary

Apple was criticized for not delivering a major design refresh with the new iPad. But after I broke it out of the box and started using it, I realized why it hadn€™t. Apple€™s new iPad is still the best-looking device on the market, even though it looks just like the iPad 2. Until another company can come close to matching the new iPad with its own tablet design, there€™s no reason for Apple to push the envelope.

6. Few apps are optimized for Retina

Within the first few hours using the new iPad, I tried downloading nearly every Retina Display-ready app out there. Unfortunately, they are currently few and far between, and it appears the developers haven€™t taken full advantage of the technology just yet. Let€™s hope that changes soon.

7. The Smart Cover concept is great

Although Apple€™s Smart Cover has come under fire for being somewhat expensive for what you get, it€™s definitely a great concept. The cover only protects the device€™s screen and keeps its minimalist and ultimately mobile design intact. Add that to its use as a locking and unlocking option, as well as a stand, and I think the Smart Cover concept is second to none.

8. It€™s a price I€™d pay again

Although I€™ve been critical of Apple's pricing in the past, and I fully realize that paying between $500 and over $800 for a tablet is outrageous, it€™s a price I€™d pay again. At the end of the day, buying tech products is about finding value. And in the three days I€™ve owned the new iPad, it€™s already exceeded my expectations. Say what you will about the new iPad€™s lofty price tag, but I think it might just be worth it.

9. 32GB is not enough

I bought the 32GB new iPad version. And although I have enough room on the device to house all my music, apps and videos, it€™s really not enough. I should have bought the 64GB option to give me enough space to do what I want with the tablet. Instead, I€™ll be forced to delete some content as time goes on.

10. Apple€™s engraving needs work

For the first time ever, I decided to buy an Apple product with some engraving. Unfortunately, Apple€™s engraving leaves much to be desired, leaving only my desired text inscribed toward the top of the device. For a company that prides itself on design, wouldn€™t it have been nice if the company showed some care for what it€™s engraving on the back, as well.

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