Reviewers confirm 4th-gen iPad is merely an incremental refresh

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Alongside the release of iPad mini reviews, the embargo was also lifted for reports on the fourth-generation iPad, which brought incremental changes and tweaks including the faster A6X processor.

The Verge

In practice, the most noticeable difference between third and fourth generation of iPad is how quickly apps launch. It's not so much that the older iPad is slow to launch apps, but the A6X-powered model is consistently and noticeably faster to do so.

The fourth-generation iPad is the very definition of an iterative change: Apple made important things better, but neither overhauled nor revolutionized anything.

CNET

The A6X speeds up the iPad back to levels you'd expect, and it handles Retina Display graphics even better. This is the iPad 3S, so to speak.

The new front-facing FaceTime HD camera doesn't feel as dramatic as it did on the iPhone 5 or fifth-gen iPod Touch. For one, the iPad's screen is a lot larger; also, that high-res Retina Display can display a lot more pixels, so the average image just comes off as grainier. It's still better than before, and it makes a difference on FaceTime calls, but the rear camera remains the same as before: 5 megapixels, no changes.
Benchmark Comparison

TechCrunch

For now, one primary way you?ll notice that this iPad is better than the last version is in the front-facing camera.

It simply seems like Apple decided they wanted to push out a new iPad version before the holidays with the new connector and gave it a spec boost as a bonus. Why not do more? Because they don?t need to right now.

SlashGear

With the iPad with Retina, there?s the sense that you?re paying for potential. The current level of apps simply don?t take advantage of the improved chipset ? save, perhaps, the browser ? but you?re getting the newest connector and the reassurance that your tablet will keep up with whatever App Store developers throw at it over the coming months.

The third-generation iPad arguably didn?t need refreshing; in fact, if Apple hadn?t opted to change to Lightning, it could realistically have held off changing its largest tablet until early 2013, as per its typical yearly refresh cycle.
It was reported earlier on Tuesday that preorders for the fourth-generation iPad were sold out, with the next available shipments coming in one week.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 132


    Yep. They give us the fastest tablet ever made with the best screen on a tablet and the most versatile port on a tablet… 


     


    And all people can do is whine.

  • Reply 2 of 132
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    "Reviewers confirm 4th-gen iPad is merely an incremental refresh"

    This much was already known...

    The greater question is how developers will handle creating apps that specifically take advantage of the A6X's 'power' when Apple will still have devices running on the older A5, A5X, and A6 SoCs?
  • Reply 3 of 132
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,076member
    I believe that the real reason that the new "4th Gen iPad" was released is because of the Lightning connector. If the iPhone 5 had not shipped with the Lightning connector, but the old 30 pin connector, I bet we'd have gotten an iPad mini with 30 pin connector and no iPad 4th gen refresh.

    Apple could not be seen to have this new connector but then not have an iPad to sell to those who bought the iPhone 5 (and were new iOS customers and did not have legacy 30pin devices). Their two top devices, iPhone 5 and iPad would have different connectors and that would be bad in trying to sell to new customers.


    =
  • Reply 4 of 132
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,076member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post



    "Reviewers confirm 4th-gen iPad is merely an incremental refresh"

    This much was already known...

    The greater question is how developers will handle creating apps that specifically take advantage of the A6X's 'power' when Apple will still have devices running on the older A5, A5X, and A6 SoCs?


    Same way that developers have handled this same situation on any platform.


     


    -

  • Reply 5 of 132


    Let's see... Twice as fast as the 3rd generation... I suppose one could call this an incremental refresh, but it's a heck of a refresh for the same money.


     


    No body mentions if it runs cooler, weighs less, or if the battery lasts longer... 

  • Reply 6 of 132
    thrangthrang Posts: 762member
    No one tested LTE? iPhone 5 LTE is much better than the older implementation in the iPad 3 - Schiller mentioned improved LTE, presumably on par with the iPhone 5, so this would be noticeable improvement...
  • Reply 7 of 132

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chadbag View Post



    I believe that the real reason that the new "4th Gen iPad" was released is because of the Lightning connector. If the iPhone 5 had not shipped with the Lightning connector, but the old 30 pin connector, I bet we'd have gotten an iPad mini with 30 pin connector and no iPad 4th gen refresh.

    Apple could not be seen to have this new connector but then not have an iPad to sell to those who bought the iPhone 5 (and were new iOS customers and did not have legacy 30pin devices). Their two top devices, iPhone 5 and iPad would have different connectors and that would be bad in trying to sell to new customers.

    =


    My speculation is that the iPad (4th generation) was the iPad wanted to release this year. The 3rd generation felt a little rushed to get the Retina display out there.  Overall, I think the 4th gen iPad is a great update.

  • Reply 8 of 132

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Yep. They give us the fastest tablet ever made with the best screen on a tablet and the most versatile port on a tablet… 


     


    And all people can do is whine.



    Until these devices teleport you from one end of the universe to another in a matter of moments, people will whine. It's a shame but that's the way it is.

  • Reply 9 of 132

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

    No body mentions if it runs cooler, weighs less, or if the battery lasts longer... 


     


    iPad: 1.5 lbs. (1.6 cellular)


    iPad 2: 1.33 lbs. (1.35 cellular)


    iPad 3: 1.44 lbs. (1.46 cellular)


    iPad 4: 1.44 lbs. (1.46 cellular)

  • Reply 10 of 132
    guyrguyr Posts: 41member


    The question no one seems to be asking is 'does this now mean the iPhone and iPad will now have it's annual refresh cycle in Q4, just in time for US thanks giving/xmas'.  Now the iPad has moved, this leaves a big hole in the Q2 release calendar, unless Apple have a new TV product or other to fill that slot next year...

  • Reply 11 of 132
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    Let's see... Twice as fast as the 3rd generation... I suppose one could call this an incremental refresh, but it's a heck of a refresh for the same money.

    No body mentions if it runs cooler, weighs less, or if the battery lasts longer... 

    Nope... Nope... and Nope (unless you count Engadget's rather 'interesting' battery run down test).

    guyr wrote: »
    The question no one seems to be asking is 'does this now mean the iPhone and iPad will now have it's annual refresh cycle in Q4, just in time for US thanks giving/xmas'. 

    That does appear to be the case.

    Yep. They give us the fastest tablet ever made with the best screen on a tablet and the most versatile port on a tablet… 

    FACT: They're not 'giving' anyone anything, they're offering it at quite a cost, especially for those who just bought the 'new' iPad only a few months ago.
  • Reply 12 of 132

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post



    FACT: They're not 'giving' anyone anything, they're offering it at quite a cost


     


     


    No shit. You know *exactly* what he meant, but yet again you take the opportunity to troll.

  • Reply 13 of 132
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    it's not a pony! waaah ...

    just a significant hardware update that was ready to go and gives buyers the best product Apple can without waiting til next year for it.

    so of course that doesn't count. let's all go fawn over the new Nexus or Surface instead.
  • Reply 14 of 132
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,236member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chadbag View Post



    I believe that the real reason that the new "4th Gen iPad" was released is because of the Lightning connector. If the iPhone 5 had not shipped with the Lightning connector, but the old 30 pin connector, I bet we'd have gotten an iPad mini with 30 pin connector and no iPad 4th gen refresh.

    Apple could not be seen to have this new connector but then not have an iPad to sell to those who bought the iPhone 5 (and were new iOS customers and did not have legacy 30pin devices). Their two top devices, iPhone 5 and iPad would have different connectors and that would be bad in trying to sell to new customers.

    =


     


    I thought this too. If they simply pushed out a modified iPad 3 with the lightning connector it would probably have been met with consternation from the press. The spec bumps help shift the focus away from the underlying theme that Apple is using this update to wrestle new users over to a new connector type.


     


    Next year's release timings are certainly going to be interesting.

  • Reply 15 of 132


    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

    FACT: They're not 'giving' anyone anything, they're offering it at quite a cost, especially for those who just bought the 'new' iPad only a few minths ago.


     


    image

  • Reply 16 of 132
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Yep. They give us the fastest tablet ever made with the best screen on a tablet and the most versatile port on a tablet… 


     


    And all people can do is whine.





    I'm puzzled by your comment here. They're slightly editorialized, but they do mention the performance improvements, and refer to it like a refined 3. None of them make comparisons to anything other than prior ipads. What did you want them to say? I really don't read whining from any of these.

  • Reply 17 of 132

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Yep. They give us the fastest tablet ever made with the best screen on a tablet and the most versatile port on a tablet… 


     


    And all people can do is whine.



     


    They? You mean Google/Samsung. So that would be:

    - Nexus 10

    - Nexus 10


    - Nexus 10

    Right?

  • Reply 18 of 132
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post





    Nope... Nope... and Nope (unless you count Engadget's rather 'interesting' battery run down test).

    That does appear to be the case.

    FACT: They're not 'giving' anyone anything, they're offering it at quite a cost, especially for those who just bought the 'new' iPad only a few months ago.


    i actually bought an iPad 3 several months ago. my wife is happy with it. exactly how would i somehow come out ahead by now denying others an improved model now that it is ready?? i'd have to be a REAL JERK to think like you suggest ... i'm happy for them. whatever i buy next year will be even better. that's the way it works. you can only have the latest and greatest for a while. actually, the software updates are much more important since they benefit owners of several generations. what a sourpuss.

  • Reply 19 of 132


    Originally Posted by Nathillien View Post

    They? You mean Google/Samsung. So that would be:


    - Nexus 10

    - Nexus 10


    - Nexus 10

    Right?



     


    image


     


    Giving the ol' folder a workout tonight…

  • Reply 20 of 132


    The thought crossed my mind, is Apple moving to a new annular "tick tock" product cycle with the iPad.  March/April 2013 for the new iPad/iPad Mini anyone?

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