back to article Hands on with the Apple iPad 3

Last night, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed the company’s latest tablet. It’s the new iPad, folks. And this year it’s just called "the new iPad", not iPad 3 or iPad HD. To some, it means that 2011’s model, the iPad 2, sounds newer than the latest, 2012 one. But more important than the name, should you buy one? Apple iPad 3 aka new …

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Anonymous Coward

Just a second

El Reg got an invite to an Apple launch event? Did Hell also freeze over while I wasn't looking?

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Re: Just a second

I don't think he is an Reg journalist - they use freelancers as well.

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All good-

- especially the price of the existing iPad 2 now at £330... this can only exert pressure on competitors to reduce their prices, poor dears!

------

Now, how about a screen like that on a laptop? Or being able to use a tablet as a auxiliary monitor? I would imagine it would be easier for Apple to do that, since they have control over the hardware and OS of both the iPad and (i)Mac(book), and thus offer their potential customers a feature that their competitors can't.

SJ was right- using a vertical touchscreen sounds tiring- but using a horizontal secondary touchscreen to keep, say, Photoshop toolbars on would be good.

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Re: All good-

iDisplay on Android allows you to use your Android tablet as an auxiliary monitor.

Given the name of the app, I would assume its on the Apple AppStore as well?

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Re: Laptop, auxilary monitor

Or a desktop monitor.

As for the aux display the feature all tablets lack and the one that will persuade me to buy one is HDMI *input*. Software solutions is fine for a computer, but I'd like to use it with any arbitary device with video output but only a tiny screen.

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Re: All good-

There are several apps available that let you use the iPad/iPhone as an auxiliary monitor, and have been for a few years. They work over wi-fi and work well. Not fast enough refresh for gaming but entirely usable for working on.

Air Display, iDisplay, Spashtop XDisplay, DisplayLink, iScreen and others. Essential for app design are also more specific apps like XScope that will let you view a fixed portion of your desktop display on the device even as you move your (Photoshop etc) document around the screen so you can see how it will look on the device.

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Facepalm

"Note that there’s no flash on this camera, so deploying it for stills or video is best suited to brightly lit situations."

A flash? You mean a LED lamp - and think it would help? Unless it has a magnificent Xenon flash, you better bring along a proper camera instead of relying on that toy most phones and tablets are equipped with today. Even at 5MP, the iPad 3's camera is best suited for the quick snaps people post on their Facebook walls.

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Headmaster

so "no LED lamp".

but still no flash, the the author is right.

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Anonymous Coward

The new iPad...

<s>Magical and r</s>evolutionary.

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JDX
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2X the GPU power but 4X the pixels?

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2x the CPU Power and a spanking new quad core GPU with many times the pixel shifting power the predecessor has.

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many times? Can you qualify that with an actual number or did it come straight from some apple marketing info?

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JDX
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From the article...

>>but it has twice the graphics performance of the iPad 2, I'm told

Since it's still dual-core CPU I doubt the CPU is much faster

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Based on the keynote, the CPU is a dual core A5, but with a quad core GPU, hence the name A5X(treme). The graphic performance is listed as being twice that of the A5 chip in the iPad2 and 4x that of the Nvidea Tegra3. http://www.neowin.net/images/uploaded/applemarch7grahd.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

non standard Apple 2048 x 1536 V a real Samsung WQXGA panel at 2560 x 1600, no contest

"2x the CPU Power and a spanking new quad core GPU with many times the pixel shifting power the predecessor has."

err what, you really want the non standard Apple limited supply of 2048 x 1536 iPad 3 when you can have a real spported Samsung WQXGA panel at 2560 x 1600 plus a potential Samsung Mobile Memory with "Wide" I/O Interface at The new 12.8GB/s, notice how apple dont say how slow their total ram bus is, interesting.

and more to the point why would you want a lesser apple PowerVR SGX543 and old dual A9 when you can have the newer TI OMAP5 ARM Cortex-A15x2 and pair of M4 companion core CPU's and the PowerVR SGX 544 and the bigger standard 2560 x 1600 panel to boot in 2012 for the same or perhaps even lower price.

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Anonymous Coward

and Last week, Huawei announced a Quad-core CPU (also an A9 i think it was just like the new apple , not the newer A15) with a Sixteen-core GPU

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Re: non standard Apple 2048 x 1536 V a real Samsung WQXGA panel at 2560 x 1600, no contest

"and more to the point why would you want a lesser apple PowerVR SGX543 and old dual A9 when you can have the newer TI OMAP5 ARM Cortex-A15x2 and pair of M4 companion core CPU's and the PowerVR SGX 544 and the bigger standard 2560 x 1600 panel to boot in 2012 for the same or perhaps even lower price."

I guess it helps you'll be able to buy one next week.

But mostly, because non of that interest 95% of the iPad crowd. It's like Rolls Royce, when asked about how much horsepower the Phantom has, answering "adequate".

These new iPad specs guarantee the same smooth performance of the iPad 2 at the increased resolution. This is true for every new iPad you get.

With Android, you have to get into all these uninteresting (to non-reg readers) details about cpu and gpu and what not because if it's too low, Android will run like a dog (not to mention, Android itself maybe hopelessly outdated)

Buy a new iPad, and the performance is smooth. Get a Tabloid, and it's hit and miss, unless you actually want to care about specs on a device like this. (Trust me, most people do not)

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Happy

Re: non standard Apple 2048 x 1536 V a real Samsung WQXGA panel at 2560 x 1600, no contest

Rolls-Royces are supplied with "sufficient" horsepower, dear chap. "Adequate" horsepower sounds somehow... inadequate.

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Meh

Re: non standard Apple 2048 x 1536 V a real Samsung WQXGA panel at 2560 x 1600, no contest

True.

Perhaps Adequate is adequate for Apple?

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Re: non standard Apple 2048 x 1536 V a real Samsung WQXGA panel at 2560 x 1600, no contest

The point isn't the specs, it's what you can do with it. Until I bought my wife an iPad2 I'd forgotten that rather salient fact.

The history of IT is littered with examples of architectures/systems that were technically superior but came in in second place. If you look at Windows 3.1 there were a number of superior windowing systems around, similarly x86 architecture was not the best around at the time of the IBM PCs rise to dominance. Hell, think VHS/Betamax if you want another example.

The point isn't what the numbers say, it's what you can do with your new piece of equipment quickly and easily - much as it pains me, as a die-hard Linux and Android fan, to say it the Apple ecosystem allows the average Joe to achieve results quickly and easily.

So I suppose the answer to why you would want an Apple machine of power "x" when you could have an Android tablet of power "2x" for the same amount of money is that you are not a geek.

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Re: non standard Apple 2048 x 1536 V a real Samsung WQXGA panel at 2560 x 1600, no contest

The point isn't the specs, it's what you can do with it. Until I bought my wife an iPad2 I'd forgotten that rather salient fact.

fnaar fnaar

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Thumb Up

Connectivity

Can you connect a camera or card reader? If you could, this would be a great addition to the pro shooter's backpack, allowing you to preview your shots on a large screen.

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Re: Connectivity

Yup - £25 extra for the connection kit:

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/MC531ZM/A?fnode=MTc0MjU4NjE

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Connectivity

Though according to the reviews alongside several people have complained that it doesn't deliver sufficient power to work with all cards.

And that it doesn't work with some cameras such as Canon EOS.

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Re: Connectivity

Yes, even the MK1 iPad can do that.

You can plug in a USB adaptor or an SD card. Even works with SLRs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Connectivity

You can buy a 5-in-1 card reader for the iPad for £2.99 delivered on EBay.

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Re: Connectivity

Works perfectly well with the several EOS cameras I've tried with it, as well as others I've used. Not heard of anything that doesn't work and not seen this myself. It uses either SD cards or USB so that covers every camera in one or two ways.

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Go

Re: Connectivity

I can't speak authoritatively here - just give my experience. I've got an iPad 2 with the Camera connection kit, and use it frequently with my Canon EOS 5D mk1 and EOS 400D. Direct connection to the cameras works reasonably well, but connecting the iPad to a Belkin CF card reader gives a speedier and happier experience.

Having to pay for the Camera Connection Kit is annoying, but it does work rather well. At one point, I mislaid it, and bought a 3rd-party knock-off adaptor. This was worse than useless, as it very rarely worked, and once corrupted the contents of the CF card.

I have to say I'm looking forward to trying the combination of the Canon 5D and iPhoto when on a shoot...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Connectivity

"And that it doesn't work with some cameras such as Canon EOS"

I heard similar but I thought it was a resolution thing. the iPad they say can handle images up to 19 Mega Pixels, but Canon's Pro full frame shooter (forget the model number) generates 24 Mpx?

I can't see why it wouldn't work with a card from any other EOS?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Connectivity

>And that it doesn't work with some cameras such as Canon EOS.

I'd better stop using it with mine then.

Oh wait, you're wrong, I can carry on.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Connectivity

There is at least one app which I think is associated with an eye-fi card that lets you send pictures directly to the iPad.

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eye strain

"Text is super-sharp, the jagged edges of letters quite invisible. It stops reading e-books being the strain on the eyes"

So eye strain is not caused by backlit displays but by low resolution text. better tell all the kindle owners they wasted there money

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Anonymous Coward

Re: better tell all the kindle owners they wasted there money

OK.

"Hey, all you Kindle owners - you wasted your money!"

You're welcome.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: eye strain

There are many factors behind eye strain, but the common one for backlit displays is due to poor PWM regulation of the backlight source - if the PWM frequency is too low the resulting flicker causes such problems.

Doesn't seem to be an issue for high frequency, more expensive, PWM designs.

There's another theory that says backlit displays affect the sleep cycle, but I don't think that's a proven fact yet.

Resolution is obviously also another factor, which this display addresses.

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Re: eye strain

Well I use a backlit display 8-10 hours per day, 5 days per week, and don't suffer from eyestrain.

Read a PDF on an iPhone 3GS in vertical mode and I do.

So yes, resolution matters, and backlighting doesn't, so far as I can tell, from personal experience.

Is there some Kindle marketing meme that says this isn't true?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: better tell all the kindle owners they wasted there money

Thumbs down? That's what you get for trying to be helpful.

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Re: eye strain

Does the new iPad fit in the pocket of a ski-jacket?

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Re: eye strain

On the flip side, I get a headache if I use a monitor for ~8 hours a day but not if I read my Kindle for that length of time, generally on a long haul flight.

If I've got a headache after using a monitor for an extended period it goes away if I then use my Kindle. I mean I'm not saying it cures the headache, but it doesn't effect the recovery. My eyesight's fine incidentally, it gets checked annually.

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Silver badge

Re: eye strain

Backlit screens have to compete with all other light sources and so perform worse as ambient lighting increases. Electronic ink screens reflect light and so perform better as ambient lighting increases. If you like to read outdoors that's a big win for the Kindle crowd.

And, yes, I have one of each.

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I dont understand the reduced iPad 2 pricing. £70 cheaper, great. But for "only" and extra £70 you can get the better model, so who is going to buy the iPad2 from Apple?

If they'd reduced it to under £300, maybe £279, then they'd probably shift some volume but at £330 all they are doing showing people they might as well have the newest model.

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Andrew James: "But for "only" an extra £70 you can get the better model, so who is going to buy the iPad2 from Apple?"

People who are buying a couple of dozen? I gather iThingies are starting to gain traction in business and education so while I agree that an extra £70 for 1 looks like a no-brainer, £700 for 10, let alone £700 for a hundred[1] might look a little a more compelling...

[1] OK, you're proabably into volume pricing there but a modest premium on single units starts looking like a worthwhile saving as the numbers mount up.

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Holmes

It's actually a good plan, between £329 for an iPad or £299 for a competitor people I think many will go for the former, however by then - having crossed the £300 mental barrier - the 3rd generation will seem like a good deal. Think of the £329 iPad as a door into the £250-300 market.

That said if you're a company buying iPads for stuff like point-of-sale (like Square is doing) you don't need the display or camera, so the £70 is a nice saving.

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Gold badge

They still have to make money on the thing. They would ship billions if it cost £1.

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But at higher volumes you're getting a £7k saving for 100 units. But if you need 1 unit or 100 units, you still justify whether that £70 per unit is worth it for the use of it. If the extra screen resolution etc is worth it, you pay the extra. You dont just say "ah but we can save £7k by buying the cheaper option" regardless of whether it meets your needs as well as the more expensive item.

Eg. If you're using them as some sort of up-market Argos ish catalogue stock checker, you need to decide whether your customers will appreciate you presenting them with the cheap option, or whether they would rather the better one. Would a cheap option ultimately tarnish your reputation, etc.

The point is valid in, say, a school though, where its just a matter of "do we need 10 ipads, yes, ok lets get some, the iPad2 is only £330 now, saving us £700, so we can get 12 instead of 10".

Seriously though, i really do think the open door to the £250 market is still a case of "well i can save a bit more and get the ipad" and once you have the £330 most people will just save a bit more and get the newer one. Else you might as well buy one off ebay for £280 or something.

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For £329 it's arguably great value, a talking point, and presses enough on the competition.

I don't think they have a problem with volume shifting - these will sell fine - and if the iPad 2 was £279 or even £300, they would sell less "the new iPad"s which would not make any sense. By making it close, they make more money on iPad 2 sales as well as push those who can afford it to the latest and greatest (, and don't annoy existing iPad2 owners too much; and don't set a precedent big price drop on previous generation gear that would cause people to always wait for the next generation before buying).

It's all very clever and, whilst the magic still works, very lucrative.

It worked for me - my the new iPad which will replace the original iPad is pre-ordered.

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Anonymous Coward

volume pricing?

I've wondered about this a few times - is it actually possible to get volume pricing discounts on iPads, and are they significant?

I've always suspected that since Apple seem to be able to sell as many as they can make, there are no substitutes (Android tab? really?), and the margins are small there wouldn't be much to play for.

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Right, 8" 1024x768 iPad with 8gb storage for £279 then.

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Education

The iPad 2 is targeted largely at education.

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That's the way Apple pricing has always worked, IME: the entry level is a bit cheaper than the next level up, but not massively cheaper, so that you are genuinely torn about whether to step up. The same philosophy applies throughout the range

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