Feeds
85%
Apple iPad 3 aka new iPad

Apple iPad 4 Wi-Fi only tablet review

Better slate than never

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Big screen star

I don’t fall into the ‘I’d like a HDMI port on the off-chance’ camp, having only occasional - maybe twice a year - need for it. And it’s more a ‘want’ than a ‘need’. Ditto SD and USB. My Nexus 7 has neither of these, either. It does have a GPS pick-up, mind, which the Wi-Fi only iPad lacks. Not that I’d ever use a 10in tablet as a satnav, so it’s more a failing for the iPad Mini.

I would say that Apple is looking less competitive on storage. If it doesn't want to charge less than £400 for the entry-level iPad, it should by now be offering that model with 32GB of Flash, not 16GB. It can afford to be generous, and generosity will help sway many buyers who're also considering other tablets.

Apple iPad with Retina Display

Extensive bezel colour choice, not

Beyond the screen, the iPad 4 delivers considerably more oomph than its predecessors. The Geekbench testing app showed that the iPad 3’s performance was much the same as the iPad 2’s, but the new model scores considerably higher: 1766 to the iPad 2’s score of 763. That’s in part because the chip is better, but also due to a 40 per cent increase in CPU clock speed.

Despite that, there’s no degradation in battery life - up to ten hours, says Apple, and I concur. If that’s due to a bigger power cell inside, it hasn’t increased the gadget’s weight or thickness. It has gained a pair of upgraded cameras and a Lightning port, for which Apple really, really should have bundled an adaptor. I’ve deducted points off the score for that. Lightning is unquestionably a more elegant technology than micro USB, but the latter is more universal so I’d have preferred it, even if I have to take care to put it in the right way.

Apple iPad with Retina Display

Retina gotcha: text is certainly better on the retina display (right) than that of the iPad 2 (left) but not all
website and app graphics have a resolution to suit the high-pixel panel

Thanks to the App Store, there are plenty of apps to help you access media content on remote Nas boxes, and there’s Dropbox, Microsoft’s SkyDrive, Google Drive and others of their ilk for smaller files. You don’t even need iTunes any longer - there are third-party desktop apps for copying files into iOS apps’ sandboxes. I wrote one of my own, using Jeff Laing’s handy, reverse-engineered Mobile Device Access framework.

So there’s very little reason, it seems to me, to reject the iPad 4 on grounds of connectivity. Or because the screen is pants (not the case), the battery life is poor (not so, either) or it lacks horsepower (ditto). To do so because you think it’s too expensive, doesn’t run a Google OS, lacks ports you want, or you just don’t like Apple... well, knock yourself out - there are many, many equally capable alternatives out there for you. That’s what choice is all about.

Verdict

It’s daft to say Apple’s fourth-generation iPad is its best yet - how could it not be? If you're sure you want an iPad, fanboy or not, it's the one to go for. Still, there’s no need at all to upgrade if you have an iPad 3, of course - wait for the 5, at least. I wouldn’t go from an iPad 2 if it wasn’t for the retina display, though the new model’s performance hike is welcome. Having to cope with a new connector is less so, but new buyers won’t be overly inconvenienced, though they may baulk at the price. ®

Thanks to the missus for the review sample

More Tablet Reviews

Apple
iPad Mini
Ten...
Apple iPad Mini
alternatives
Microsoft
Surface
Toshiba AT300 Acer
Iconia Tab A700

Application security programs and practises

85%
Apple iPad 3 aka new iPad

Apple iPad 4 Wi-Fi only tablet review

Apple soups up its 9.7in tablet's performance and adds Lightning, but it's the "retina" display and software selection that makes this such a worthy slate.
Price: £399/$499 (16GB), £479/$599 (32GB), £559/$699 (64GB) RRP

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.