Apple New iPad 3 Wi-Fi + 4G
Review Let's face the elephant in the room first. The 'New iPad Wi-Fi + 4G' as Apple calls it - I'll use iPad 3 - may be branded 4G but that's eff-all value to us Brits. The tablet's cellular radio doesn't work with the frequencies being proposed for UK 4G communications.
But let's be honest, that doesn't matter, for a couple of reasons. First, there are no commercial 4G services in the UK to hop onto even if the iPad 3 could reach out on the right wavelengths. Second, by the time there are, we'll be on to the iPad 4, possibly even the iPad 5 - 'New New New iPad', anyone? - and that almost probably will support 4G networks in the UK.
So it's important not to get hung up on that '4G' label. Think of the New iPad 4G as the New iPad 3G and get on with your life. Since you're paying no more for the new tablet's cellular data hardware than you would have done for the old one, that's a very easy point to get your head around.
From a distance, who'd know the difference? Clue: the iPad 2 is on the left
The iPad 3's compatibility with 3G HSPA+ data links means it's darn quick in most parts of the world - or as quick as local radio conditions and the speeds networks actually run to, which don't always reach what the technology is capable of. And it still supports GSM Edge for everywhere else.
You'll also get the same GPS functionality, irrespective of the radio in use, something absent from the Wi-Fi only iPad 3, which has to use triangulation to work out where it is. But I suspect that's sufficient for most iPad users, leaving the GPS hardware in the Wi-Fi + 4G model a nice-to-have rather than a necessity.
The new one's barely any thicker
The extra circuitry adds 10g to the cellular iPad's weight, but I defy anyone to be able to feel it. Weight is important, though, for its over-time arm straining capability, and I think that is an issue here. The new iPad is less comfortable to hold for long periods than its predecessor was.
What a performance: iPad 3 (top) and iPad 2 (bottom) in Geekbench 2
Single benchmark run after hard restart
Next page: Net worker
Question not answered in the review...
If the author didn't own any tablet, would he spend the £79 more on the iPad 3 or just get an iPad 2... he's tried both and should have a view on that... we can tell he prefers a WiFi only version (with the use of an external 3G card - it has the added advantage of tricking the iPAD into thinking it's on WiFi and hence you can use FaceTime)
Re: Question not answered in the review...
I'd pay the £79 for the better screen, yes.
Kudos for mentioning the 4G issue in the opening statement.
Personally I think that Apple's use of the 4G moniker is likely to backfire. Apple are aware that the 4G unit will ONLY work on Verizon in the USA and a few networks in Canada (even then, I believe that you have to use one of their SIMs, ie not via roaming). It will not work on any of the existing (or proposed) 4G networks in Europe or the rest of the world. Never-the-less they use 4G as a must have sales feature whilst obscuring the truth.
When I last looked, the only UK telco with a degree of probity was Vodafone, they don't use the 4G moniker on their iPad page. I guess they decided that the margins weren't sufficient to handle the volume of callers complaining that they can't connect to any 4G networks. Like apple, the others say "4G LTE coverage is not available in all areas and varies by carrier"- FFS- why not just list the ones it will work on, ie., not yours
Any other firm would get a right royal kicking by the press if they did the same thing. Perhaps that is why NO other maker is marketing 4G devices in the UK.
Mind you it looks as though the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission are going to fine Apple for misleading customers. Time for Trading Standards to step up to the plate..
Wasn't quite expecting to be able to say this phrase as early as 2012...and by a tablet of all things.
Re: flash in the pan?
I turned off Flash on my old Windows tablet, to see if I could cope without for a month. I could, so bought an iPad 1. I do still miss Flash. But not often. Probably less than twice a month do I have to email a site to myself, to remind me to check it on the desktop. I'm willing to put up with that, though I'd prefer Apple to allow Flash, but I know they won't.
I guess it entirely depends on what sites you frequent. Perhaps a test, by installing FlashBlock, and seeing how many times you have to click on those little icons?
Someone with an Android tablet can hopefully tell us how well Flash works on ICS. I've read suggestions that it's a bit flakey on Android, but I've no real info.
The lack of a proper file system is the most annoying weakness of iOS for me. And the £160 for 48GB of extra storage - Apple flash chips must be hewn from solid gold... By the purest maidens... Riding unicorns...