The first reason any photographer would benefit from adding the new iPad to his or her gear is that Apple retained many of the features of the outstanding iPad 2. These include:
9.7-inch, LED backlit display with IPS LCD technology.
Storage options: 16GB, 32GB or 64GB.
Front-facing camera with VGA image quality.
Sensors with 3-axis accelerometers and gyroscopes.
Wi-Fi bandwidths at 802.11 a/b/g/n.
Connector ports: Apple 30-pin dock connector and 3.5mm headphone jack.
Location technology: Wi-Fi, digital compass and aGPS.
The first major difference between the new iPad and the iPad 2 is the resolution of the display. They may be the same physical size, but the new iPad’s “retina display” is 2048 x 1536 pixels compared to the iPad 2’s 1024 x 768 pixels. Such a major upgrade is sure to make it easier to view, analyze and edit photos for sharpness, color saturation, contrast, etc.
The new iPad is the first tablet with Bluetooth 4.0 technology. The iPad 2 has Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. The results are a dramatic reduction in power use and a much greater communication range, which could be as much as 200 feet. New iPad users will also have the option of streaming AirPlay via Bluetooth 4.0 when there is no access to a Wi-Fi network.
The new iPad is powered with a 42.5-watt-hour lithium polymer battery compared to the iPad 2’s 25-watt-hour lithium polymer battery. Both models still provide 10 hours of battery life, but the bigger battery is needed in the new iPad to run 4G LTE, since it and other technologies use more power faster.
Another major reason to consider the new iPad seriously over the older iPad 2 is the introduction of LTE data functionality. Apple describes the new iPad as “world-ready,” with 3G, HSPA+, HD-HSPA and 4G LTE on Verizon and AT&T. In comparison, the iPad 2 offers EDGE plus Quadband HSPA or CMA EV-Do Rev. A for Verizon only. Although the data capabilities of the iPad 2 may be all some photographers will ever need, it may prove more difficult to purchase eventually, since Verizon and AT&T will naturally want to sell more of the new iPad.
Although some photographers and tablet users were hoping for an upgrade to an 8-megapixel camera in the new iPad, it does feature a 5-MP camera compared to the iPad 2’s 1-MP camera. Plus, the lens has also been improved, so the new iPad is a device that will capture much better photos and video.
It’s very clear that the features and capabilities of the new iPad are simply not possible without an upgrade to the processor, from an A5 in the iPad 2 to the A5X in the new tablet. The “retina display,” higher resolution camera, 4G LTE and other new functions of the iPad “3” require the much greater processing power and speed of the A5X.
Although the new iPad is priced essentially the same as the iPad 2 when it was released, Apple is reducing the price of the older device. The approximately $100 difference will not be a barrier for those photographers who will benefit from the fabulous display and the fastest mobile data technology on a tablet.
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