March 7, 2012
To say I knew most of what would come out of Apple's latest iPad unveiling event is not stretching the truth. I have this habit -- call it an obsession if you like -- of following rumors sites for what's coming out and when. Considering the media obsession with Apple's products, it wasn't hard to know what Tim Cook was going to show off.
Still, let me tell you that if you have not used a tablet before, this one will blow your mind. As an iPad 2 owner, I know about what I have found good in a tablet. As an owner of every model of iPhone except the 3G, I know exactly how impressive this new Retina Display will be on a tablet.
When I bought my iPad 2, I had owned an iPhone 4 for about six months. It was the first iPhone with a Retina Display, Apple's term for displays with so many pixels per inch that the human eye cannot distinguish individual pixels. It was a huge improvement on the iPhone 3GS, one I could see within seconds. Text on the screen almost looked like it was rolling under the glass, so smooth it was unbelievable.
So I got the iPad 2 knowing that the pixel density was less than my iPhone, but I enjoyed reading Kindle books on my iPhone and knew I would read more on an iPad. But I was underwhelmed with the screen because I had been spoiled by the iPhone's great display.
Now, the new iPad brings it all together.
One of the Kindle's greatest advantages is it's E Ink screen, which made the text look almost alive. The iPhone 4 did this on a small screen. I haven't seen the latest iPad yet, but I'm pretty darn sure I'll be amazed.
I read a review from the Associated Press that almost seemed to toss aside the fact that the screen on a tablet would have four times as many pixels. It was like reading a review of Blu-ray Disc compared to DVD and hardly mentioning that your picture is insanely clearer.
Folks, head over to the nearest store with a new iPad on display after they are released March 16. Give it a look. If you like to read books, or websites, you will be amazed.
An iPad obviously won't benefit everybody. It's also hard to explain the greatness of a totally new product to someone when it costs $499. I had no idea what I would do with one when the first one was released. That's one reason I waited for the iPad 2. Over the course of a year, app developers made the device the dominant industry leader. It makes a lot of the aspects of computing just darn simple for everybody. I mean it makes it simple for everyone.
So yes, the new iPad is mostly the same with a "crisper" screen. But that's a lot like saying NASCAR is just like watching the freeway a little faster. Words don't describe the experience. Go check the new iPad out for yourself and you'll likely become a fan.
Apple CEO Tim Cook may have said it best when summing up the competition today.
"Everyone's been wondering who will come out with a product that's more amazing than the iPad 2 ... Everybody's been wondering this. Well stop wondering! We are!"
Michael Buckelew is a member of the digital team for SCNI, parent company of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
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Apple's new iPad model features a sharper screen and a faster processor