ForestGeek Review: The new iPad

The wait is over, the new iPad has arrived. Announced on March 7th, Apple's new iPad hit stores on Friday. This is the third model of the hugely successful iPad line. Apple has branded this model simply as the new iPad ditching the rumored iPad 3 name. The original iPad was released in April 2010 followed by the iPad 2 in March 2011. For those that own an iPad or iPad 2, the big question is whether or not to upgrade to the newest model. Those without an iPad may now be considering whether the latest model is worth forking out a minimum of $500. I spent some time with the new iPad yesterday and wanted to share my thoughts. 

I wanted to get my hands on a new iPad but I am not ready to buy one. So, as a disclaimer, this review is based on spending about an hour with one. I would love to buy one, but I currently own an Android tablet and my wife has an iPad 2, so we're not in a huge hurry to make any new big purchases in that department. I decided to visit my local Verizon Wireless store to take it for a test drive and try out the 4G LTE data speeds. In addition to faster data (on the AT&T and Verizon versions), the new iPad includes a retina (very high resolution) display, updated processor and graphics processor, and a 5MP rear facing camera. Other changes include a larger battery making it slightly heavier and thicker than the iPad 2 (which I had with me for comparison). Visit Apple's website for a full list of specs and upgrades.
Upon entering the Verizon store I made a bee line straight to the iPad display. They weren't busy at all so I had it all to myself without someone looking over my shoulder. Last time I was in an Apple Store it was a mad house so I was happy that I didn't have to deal with that. The iPad didn't feel much different in thickness or weight compared to the iPad 2. The display was the most noticeable difference. When I turned on the new iPad I was more than impressed with the new retina display. Videos and pictures were especially clear. It reminds me of when I upgraded from a standard definition television to a high definition television. The display impressed me more than any other feature. 
The camera was the other feature that really impressed me. The original iPad was often criticized because of the lack of a camera (or cameras) and the iPad 2 has mediocre cameras at best. Apple finally did it right with the iSight rear facing camera on the new iPad. Its picture quality was far superior to the iPad 2. Interestingly, when I tried out the forward facing camera of my wife's iPad 2 and the new iPad, the iPad 2's camera appeared to take a better picture.
With all that said, I think the new iPad is Apple's best yet. It is definitely a better device than the disappointing iPhone 4S that was released late last year. I don't normally drink the Apple kool-aid but I really liked. I didn't like it enough to buy one just yet though. My wife is very happy with her iPad 2 and admits she wouldn't really appreciate the features of the new iPad. So, for her, it is not worth upgrading to a new one. If these features aren't important to you, now is a good time to pick up an iPad 2 with a $100 discount. Every user is different, if you're a power user or must have the newest gadgets, you'll appreciate the changes and may want to take the leap and upgrade. If not, hang on to what you have and don't even worry about upgrading anytime soon. As for me, I'm still hopeful there is an Android tablet on the horizon that can truly compete with the iPad. Until then, I'll stick with what I have.

About is your home for forestry and technology news, product and service reviews, tips/tricks of the trade, and random musings with a forestry spin.

To stay connected, be sure to subscribe or follow on all the usual social sites. Enjoy!

Want to share a tip with, email us at tips @

Latest Tweet