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Monday
Mar192012

The New iPad - First Thoughts

I got my new iPad on Friday, and have had a couple of days to play around with it.  I have also compared it to my iPad 2, and I have to say that my initial thoughts about it match up with my experience.

This is a great device, so I'll cut to the chase: if you are looking for your first tablet, or wondering whether you should upgrade from an iPad 1, the answer is an unqualified yes.  If you have an iPad 2, then it really depends on how you answer these questions:

  • Does the resolution on your iPad 2 bother you?
  • Do you want a faster cellular connection?
  • Do you want a better camera?

If you answer Yes to one or more of these questions, I'd suggest you upgrade.  If you answered No to one or more, you're probably okay keeping the iPad 2 for a while longer.

The first thing I noticed about the new iPad was its weight - it's only 1.8 ounces heavier than the iPad 2, but it is quite noticeable to me, especially when I put the SmartCover and back cover on it.  To be fair, my Switcheasy CoverBuddy doesn't quite fit - it's made for an iPad 2, which is a little thinner than the new iPad - I'll get rid of it when something that fits is available.  That said, it's still lighter than the original iPad, so I'm not complaining.

At first, I couldn't tell the difference between the iPad 2 display and the new iPad's retina display - I thought, "maybe they sent me an iPad 2 by accident."   After a while, though, the differences began to become clearer - literally - the display is significantly better on the new iPad, whether you're reading a book, watching a movie, or reading email.  Here's a comparison of the Gmail app icon - it's from a great review of the new iPad at The Verge:

For most of you, the real difference here will come in the clarity of the text you read with the iPad.  It's clear, crisp, and really enjoyable.

Next - the camera.  I've already said that I just don't get why anyone would want to hold up something this big to take a picture.  But if you happen to be someone who does, you'll want to take a look at the new iPad's camera.  I took two pictures of my new book iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers.

Taken with iPad 2 cameraTaken with the new iPadNot even close.

I did not purchase a 4G model - I don't need one because I have a 4G Mi-Fi hotspot - but reviews I have read say that the 4G speeds are "faster than wi-fi fast."  That assumes, of course, you are in an area where 4G networks are available.  

Now, it's not all roses and honey with my new iPad.  There are a couple of things I wish were different, and they all deal with the battery.  In order to keep the iPad's impressive 10-hour battery life, they had to increase the size of the battery, and they did - by about 70%.  For me, there have been two effects of this massive battery:

  • The device gets unusually warm after using it for a few hours.  Not "it's going to explode!" warm, but warm enough to know something is working pretty hard under the hood.
  • Bigger battery = longer charge time.  Be prepared to leave it plugged in overnight to get a good charge.

The Huffington Post offers a great roundup of 9 reviews on the iPad, if you'd like to read more about what tech experts are saying (spoiler alert:  they all love it, too).

I agree with the experts that the new iPad is the best tablet currently on the market - so I'll say again, if you're thinking about buying a tablet, you owe it to yourself to take a look at the new iPad.

So what's your take?  Do you already have your iPad?  Does my review (or the others above) push you over the edge to buy one?  Is there no way you'll ever one?  Leave your comments below and let's discuss!

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Reader Comments (6)

Tom: I agree with your review. I had the iPad2 but really wanted to add the 4G so I upgraded. The retina display has to be one of the best things about the new iPad.

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrew Carls

Nice coincidence that your book was handy for a picture! :-) Joking aside, I got my copy of your book on Friday and have picked up some new apps for my iPad and iPhone.. Your book is a great resource for any lawyer looking to make their iPad an even more productive tool.

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterReid Trautz

For a lawyer who uses the iPad for work the voice dictation feature of the New iPad alone is worth the upgrade.

March 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames R Nieset

I totally agree - the voice recognition on the iPad's dictation is already much better than what I get with the Google app. A note of caution, however: when you use the dictation feature, Apple takes your words and uploads them to their servers - apparently, they keep this information for a period of time. I'm sure they aren't doing anything with this data, but be aware of that when dictating confidential information. It's just one more place where data can be stored outside of our control.

March 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterTom Mighell

Just wondering a couple of things: 1) if available, is an e-book version or hard copy better for following along and actually doing the things recommended in iPad in One Hour (and, not incidentally, is the e-book version only for iPad/Nook/etc?, or can it run on my iMac so I can follow-along with the iPad?); and, 2) are the two books equally applicable to all 3 iPads (I have a "1", and just got a "3")? One other point that may, or may not be addressed in your book(s): I use Macs exclusively in my practice and home and, as such, having apps that sync with and are functional (both ways) on all my i-devices is pretty important if, for no other reason, to save duplication, confusion, and expense. So, do you address multi-use and device apps, per se?

Thanks.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher N. Luhn

HI Christopher,

1) Both books are available as iBooks in Apple's iBook store - which means you can read them on your iPad. The first book is available as an ePub through the ABA book store, but the 2nd book is not - yet. Not sure why. I do not believe that you can read an iBook on a Mac device - again, I don't know why Apple has this limitation. If you have software on your Mac that can read ePubs, then you should be able to read the first book on your Mac.

2) The first book was written a year ago, so it definitely applies to the first two iPads. I just finished a draft of the second edition, and I think that as far as the "new iPad" is concerned, the first edition is still about 90% accurate - it just doesn't mention any of the features of the new iPad. The first edition is now somewhat behind on apps, because they are changing all the time - but the Apps book is pretty current, and applies (in most cases) to all three versions of the iPad. I say "in most cases" because there are a few apps that have come out for iPad 2 and the new iPad that won't work on the first iPad.

3) Keep in mind that your iPad uses the iOS operating system, but Macs use the Mac OS - two different operating systems, so they don't sync in the way you are thinking. iPads will interact the same with Macs and PCs, through iTunes. What you will need to focus on instead is making sure you have the right apps and services that will perform the same functions - for example, iCloud will keep a lot of your data synced between iPad and Mac (or PC); services like Dropbox and Box also offer this functionality. Additionally, there are a number of apps that have desktop equivalents - I am a big Evernote user, and I like it because it keeps all of my "notes" synced between iPhone, iPad, laptop and desktop. Both books address many of these types of apps.

Hope this helps - let me know if you have additional questions.

May 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterTom Mighell

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