First impressions count for alot and I can say that right out of the box, the new iPad has made a good one. The new display is absolutely remarkable. Hands down the highest resolution screen I have in the house at the moment. It makes everything else look bad in comparison. It is slightly heavier and thicker than the iPad 2, but not so much that you’d notice unless you were holding them side by side. Changing apps is snappy and the processor seems to have more than enough horsepower for anything I’ve thrown at it yet. I’ll save you the laborious description of speed tests and just say that yes, it’s fast. Unfortunately, I still have to go to Baltimore before I can try it out using a LTE/4G signal (thanks, AT&T). From what I’ve seen so far, the place where the new iPad is really going to excel is in the screen. I mean it really is something to see.
As I’m restoring from my old iPad, one thing I do notice is that the 16GB size may not be sufficient if you’re someone with a ridiculously large music library or if you want to travel with more than one or two movies on your divice. With 1500 songs and 40 apps loaded, I’m down to just a touch over 6GB of memory left. If you’re going to stream video rather than store it on your iPad, 16BG appears to be sufficient, though. If you’re worried about memory, I’d say the extra $100 to bump to a 32GB unit is probably money well spent. For me, 16 should be more than enough as I’m making a concerted effort to do more and more OTA syncing with the cloud and storing fewer and fewer things myself.
As usual, build quality is solid and it feels natural in your hands. I don’t think anyone would expect anything less. Needless to say, I’m still playing. I think Apple has delivered a good solid upgrade to the iPad family. Is it a game changer? No. No it’s not. Is it still a damned impressive piece of electronic wizardry? Yes. Yes it is.
Recommendation: It’s probably not a “must have” upgrade from iPad 2, but the retina screen makes it a damned attractive machine for movies and reading. I heard one guy describing it as a “glowing piece of paper” and I guess that’s just about right. Even at close range, there is no pixillation. Nice job, Apple. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have more, uh, research to do.