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New iPad review roundup - glowing verdicts on Apple tablet

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Apple's third generation of the iPad has received very positive reviews from the technology experts, despite some people lamenting the tablet's lack of 'sparkle'.

Announced at a press event last week, the new iPad boasts a high resolution Retina display, a faster A5X processor, 4G connectivity and a new 5-megapixel iSight camera.

A new Apple iPad on display

© PA Images / Paul Sakuma/AP



Much of the focus of reviews has been on the new display, including AllThingsD founder Walt Mossberg describing it as "dramatically better" than predecessor the iPad 2.

Writing on the site, he likened using the display to "getting a new eyeglasses prescription - you suddenly realise what you thought looked sharp before wasn't nearly as sharp as it could be".

He also welcomed the fact that the higher screen resolution does not come at the expense of battery life, giving the iPad the "edge over other tablets".

Concluding his review, Mossberg wrote: "Since it launched in 2010, the iPad has been the best tablet on the planet. With the new, third-generation model, it still holds that crown."

Macworld said that the new 'Retina Display', boasting a 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution, makes images look "undefinably better" than the iPad 2.

"It's the same image, but all of a sudden, there's much more information there - small textures and tiny details that were previously omitted," said the site.

"The videos look great. Watching an HD movie or TV show on the new iPad is like having a home theater in your lap. Well, assuming you've got some good headphones, of course. The iPad's mono speaker seems to be unchanged from the previous model.

"Users of the iPad 2 shouldn't fret: Their iPad investment is certainly good for another year. But they might not want to look too closely at the new iPad's screen. Once you get a load of that Retina display, it's hard to go back to anything else."

A new Apple iPad on display

© PA Images / Paul Sakuma/AP



SlashGear claimed that the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs "would have approved of the new iPad", noting in particular the improved battery life that ensures the tablet will last two days between charges.

The site noted that the "omission" of Apple's voice-activated assistant Siri is disappointing, with the new voice dictation function in the iPad keyboard not quite as good.

But it added: "Apple doesn't need another revolution, it has already started one, and the new iPad brings a fresh degree of refinement to a segment in which it is undoubtedly the king."

Discussing the display, TechCrunch said that "once you see and use the new iPad, there will be no going back". It added that going from the new iPad to the iPad 2 makes the screen look "blurry".

The site was impressed by new iPad's speedy new 4G LTE connectivity, supporting download speeds at over 40Mbps, around 40x faster than 3G.

It said that the new 5-megapixel rear-fitted camera is "much, much, much better" and the images do not suffer from the lack of flash. The camera can also shoot 1080p video (up from 720p) at 30 frames-per-second with image stabilization.

TechCrunch noted that the front-facing camera remains the "ho-hum VGA-quality variety", although accepted that this is mostly used for video calling service FaceTime (which remains only available on WiFi).

New iPad (third generation)

© Apple



Apple was recently forced to defend the naming of the "new iPad", but The New York Times feels that the firm should have just called the tablet the "iPad 2S".

"In the past, Apple added the letter S to iPhone models that weren't exactly new but had been tastefully enhanced (iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4S). That's exactly what's going on with the new iPad."

The paper's review welcomes the new Retina display and 4G LTE connectivity, although it suggests that the third generation of the iPad lacks a bit of sparkle.

In part, The Verge agreed: "While the updated features are a boon to the new iPad, it doesn't offer an experience that is significantly different from the previous version.

"If your screen never bothered you, and you never wanted a faster cellular connection or a better camera, there's not a great argument to upgrade.

"However, if you're in the market for your first tablet, or upgrading from the original iPad or an Android device, do not hesitate. The new iPad is the most functional, usable, and beautiful tablet that any company has ever produced."

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