Apple iPad 3 Review
The iPad 3 is the latest tablet offered by Apple, the company that invented the tablet concept a few years back with the original iPad. Since then, the iPad has been through a few revisions, and the latest device is bigger and better than the original in all ways – which is exactly what you’d expect.
While Apple have been busy improving the iPad, however, a host of other rival tablets have cropped up that offer similar features and technology. The question we all want to know the answer to now is, how does the iPad 3 stand up against the competition, and is it worth buying? Let’s find out.
Key Specs For The iPad 3
Release Year: 2012
Operating System: Apple iOS
Display Size: 9.7 inches
Connectivity: Wi-Fi / Wi-Fi+ 4G
Cameras: 5 MP, 0.3 MP
Battery Life: 10 hours
iPad 3: The Pros
16GB / 32GB / 64GB Versions: Like most tablets, the iPad 3 comes in several different versions. In terms of storage capacity, there are 3 options – 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. Offering three different storage options is something no company other than Apple is currently doing with tablets. That gives them the advantage of competing with all of their rivals, whether they’re offering 16GB and 32GB options, or 32GB and 64GB options.
The three different options have the obvious benefits and drawbacks that come with either small or large storage capacity. This mainly boils down to a price trade-off. The smallest storage option is cheaper, the largest the most expensive. So if you’re looking to save money you’ll go for the bottom option, while if your budget’s unlimited you can go for the top option. Then there’s the in-between option for those with a budget that won’t stretch to the top but still goes further than the basic.
Wi-Fi And Wi-Fi + Cellular Options: In addition to the three storage options, the iPad 3 is also unique in offering both a standard Wi-Fi option and a Wi-Fi + cellular option. The cellular addition supports 4G connectivity while out and about, meaning you can stream movies wherever you are – even out in the middle of a field if you’ve got network coverage.
The Wi-Fi only option is, naturally, the cheaper choice. By contrast, the Wi-Fi + Cellular option costs significantly more, and after that you also have to pay the contract fee for cellular connectivity. This isn’t cheap, but it is currently something only offered by one or two tablets, and gives you the unique ability to stream content without a wireless connection.
The cellular service for the iPad 3 is currently offered by only two providers (with their own plans): AT&T and Verizon. Check out the plans on Apple’s website to see which provider would suit you better.
Speed: Of course, the iPad 3 competes well with its rivals in terms of speed. You won’t feel like this tablet is lagging behind at all. Everything from start-up to menu navigation is a fast and smooth experience, helping to maintain the very high level of user experience that has built the Apple empire.
Rear-Facing Camera: The rear facing camera on the iPad 3 weighs in at 5MP and delivers very high quality images. Although it’s not the highest resolution camera on a tablet (there are 8MP tablet cameras out there) it offers a comparably detailed image. You’ll not have any complaints with the images that the iPad 3 turns out – if you do, you ought to go out any buy a dedicated digital camera because you won’t find anything better on a tablet.
1080p Video Recording: Another great feature of the rear-facing camera is the 1080p recording quality. That’s full HD quality, which means you can play your videos back on an HD TV in full-screen and enjoy incredible detail.
Image Quality: Image quality on the iPad 3 is definitely in the leading class, matching all rivals. This is thanks to the Retina display technology that offers 4 times as many pixels as the iPad 2. This makes for extremely crisp and clean images that are great for photos, videos and games.
GPS: 4G models of the iPad 3 (those that include cellular connectivity) offer true GPS technology. That means you can use it as a navigation tool when on the road.
iPad 3: The Cons
No Flash Support: The perennial problem with the iPad, and all Apple products, is the lack of Flash support. This is a truly frustrating, and even debilitating, flaw that Apple products suffer from due to a clash of business interests. Apple themselves do not see it as a problem, rather a design choice. This doesn't change the issue for consumers, however.
In practical terms, the lack of Flash support will leave you struggling to make full use of many websites which are Flash-reliant. One example is the streaming content on Amazon which requires Flash. No Flash, no Amazon streaming video.
This is probably the single greatest stumbling block for all Apple devices, and it’s enough to put off many potential users (and even existing owners who get fed up with the problem). It’s by no means a fatal flaw – Apple products still do well despite this major annoyance, and they use alternative means to deliver video from sites like YouTube. But for some users it could be a deal-breaker.
No MicroSD Slot: Apple like to keep their products minimal and simplistic - it’s a part of their design ethos. Unfortunately, this has practical implications for users who like increased functionality. If you want to make use of a microSD card, whether for data transfer or increased memory storage (as on many other tablets), you won’t be able to as the iPad 3 has no microSD slots.
Is The iPad 3 Worth Buying?
Summing up, the iPad 3 is one of the best, if not the best, tablets available. The competition is strong, especially in the Asus Transformer Prime, but the iPad 3 has a number of advantages that make still make it the top choice for a tablet on most accounts. Just be prepared for the lack of Flash support that will noticeably hamper your web browsing experience.