Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

iPad reviewed: "Like getting a new eyeglasses prescription"

March 15, 2012: 5:53 AM ET

Apple's (AAPL) most-favored tech writers got it last week and have now weighed in

The Retina display. Click to enlarge. Image: The Verge

The Wall St. Journal's Walt Mossberg: A Million More Pixels Than HDTV. "The key upgrades are to those core features — the 9.7-inch screen and the data speed over cellular networks. These upgrades are massive. Using the new display is like getting a new eyeglasses prescription — you suddenly realize what you thought looked sharp before wasn't nearly as sharp as it could be."

The New York Times' David Pogue: A Polishing of the Old. "If you're in the market for a tablet, here's the bright side: For the same price as before, you can now get an updated iPad that's still better-looking, better integrated and more consistently designed than any of its rivals. And if you already have the iPad 2, here's an even brighter side: At least this time around, you don't have to feel quite as obsolete as usual."

The Verge's Joshua Topolsky: Does the tablet king retain its crown?  "Minor gripes aside, the iPad remains best in breed when it comes to design and materials. Other tablets may have more ports or larger screens, but few can match the elegance, sleekness, or solidness of this device."

Macworld's Jason Snell: Apple advances the ball with a better screen, camera, and cellular connection. "The new iPad is just that: The iPad, updated for a new year and millions of new iPad users. It's not smaller or lighter, but it's got a remarkable screen, a much better rear camera, and support for cellular networking that can run at Wi-Fi speeds. It's the iPad that millions of people have embraced, only one year better. Users of the iPad 2 shouldn't fret: Their iPad investment is certainly good for another year. But they might not want to look too closely at the new iPad's screen. Once you get a load of that Retina display, it's hard to go back to anything else."

Fox News' Clayton Morris: Hands-on with Apple's new iPad. "The new iPad includes a better display, faster performance, better camera, and a snappy new operating system. Those may seem like small steps in the tablet space. But having used the new iPad for the past week now, I can tell you it's a giant leap for connected mankind."

Daring Fireball's John Gruber: Pixels pixels pixels. Battery battery battery. Speed speed speed. "Reading on the big retina display is pure joy. Going back to the iPad 2 after reading for a few hours on the iPad 3 is jarring. With bigger pixels, anti-aliased text looks blurry; with smaller pixels, anti-aliased text looks good; but with really small pixels like these, anti-aliased text looks impossibly good — and what you thought looked pretty good before (like text rendered on older iPads) now looks blurry."

TechCrunch's MG Siegler: The New iPad Makes Apple's Tablet Domination Clearer Than Ever. "If you have the original iPad, I say this is a no-brainer. If you have an iPad 2, it's a tougher call since it still seems nearly as fast as the new iPad. But if you choose not to upgrade (or to spend $399 for the 16 GB iPad 2 now), again, treat the new iPad as if it were Medusa when you're in an Apple Store. Do. Not. Look. At. It."

The Loop's Jim Dalrymple: iPad Third Generation. "I struggled after the event to put the right words together to describe the display and a week later I'm still lost for the proper analogy. The only thing I can think of that comes close is comparing it to the first time you ever saw an HDTV. Remember how startling it was to go from one of those giant standard definition projector TVs to an HDTV? That's what this is like."

SlashGear's Vincent Nguyen: "Steve Jobs would have approved of the new iPad. With its focus on the holistic experience rather than individual boasts around its constituent parts, it's the epitome of the Post-PC world the Apple founder envisaged. No lag or delay; no frustrating cloud settings or arcane minimum software requirements. Simply pick up, swipe, and you're immersed in a joined-up ecosystem. Apple doesn't need another revolution, it has already started one, and the new iPad brings a fresh degree of refinement to a segment in which it is undoubtedly the king."

The Guardian's Charles Arthur: The screen is the computer. "The iPad 3 puts Apple a mile ahead of anything we've seen from Android tablets. The interface is unchanged. But all sorts of incremental details – especially the screen, but also the camera capability and so the graphics heft, and the mobile broadband capability – have been ratcheted up. It's hard to see anyone catching this product because it offers what people want: access to computing wherever you are. Not every sort of computing, and there are still rough edges (notably the dictation) and incompatibilities (LTE). But for function and form, nothing else gets close."

The new iPad goes on sale Friday morning at 8 a.m. in the U.S. and nine other countries.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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