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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Apple iPad

It is not called the iPad 3 or iPad HD as geeks had earlier speculated, but Apple's latest tablet still packs in plenty of goodies
The Straits Times - March 14, 2012
By: Grace Chng
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Apple iPad

From $658 for 16GB Wi-Fi, $828 for 16GB Wi-Fi/4G; Pre-orders on store.apple.com/sg

Apple's newest iPad crams 3.1million pixels into a 9.7-inch screen. Its 2,048 x 1,536 pixel screen has more pixels than existing iPads - in fact, even more than a 1,080p high-definition TV.

 

This is the sort of retina display technology that iPhone 4S users have enjoyed since last June.

In the 20 minutes or so that I had my hands on the new iPad, I found the text on Web pages so sharp that there was less need to zoom in. It was sharper than the text in e-readers, making reading really easy.

All the goodies of the new iPad are found under the hood. Physically, it remains the same, so existing covers are still usable.

However, you will feel the extra heft of the battery that was put in so that the retina display would not mean a shorter battery life. At 652g, the new iPad is 50g heavier than the iPad 2. It is also 0.6mm thicker at 9.5mm.

Powering the new tablet is a new chip, the A5X. Its four graphics cores provide the computation needed for superior gaming and smooth operation of the retina display.

Graphics on the Infinity Blade: Dungeons, the game specially created for the new tablet, were knife sharp and displayed every detail of the warriors' armour clearly.

Instead of Siri, the digital personal assistant, Apple built voice dictation into the soft keyboard. To activate, tap on the microphone icon and speak.

It is startlingly accurate - but this talent is definitely foreign. So forget about using words such as 'char kway teow' and 'chendol' because it does not recognise them.

Apple upgraded the rear camera to 5megapixels, but disappointingly, it left the front-facing camera with only VGA quality, which makes Facetime video conferencing somewhat hazy.

There was no chance to test the battery life. Apple claims a 10-hour battery life with Wi-Fi and nine hours on 4G.

Users should be aware that with retina display, files will get bigger as more pixels are needed. So photos, magazines and other data will take longer to download.

More data also means fewer apps can fit on the iPad. So it is best to use Wi-Fi for downloading photos, magazines, videos and other big files.

If you own the original iPad, then the new tablet should be on your buying list. Gamers will also find the fast processor an asset. This is also the iPad to buy for movie buffs and avid readers.

But there is a caveat.

The new iPad is incompatible with Singapore's 4G LTE network, though it will work with the islandwide 3G network and Wi-Fi as well.

But 4G LTE is a key feature of the new device and, for some folks, it may be less bang for the buck.

So for the time being at least, the Wi-Fi models may be the best bet for users in Singapore.

 

 

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