iPad 2 vs iPad (3rd generation)

Having had the opportunity to have had each of the three iPads, I would like to weigh in on the discussion about the iPad 2 verses the New iPad.

I just got my new iPad last week and I already love it! I continue to be amazed at what the people at Apple can create. Enough with my love affair with the iPad, let’s get to some real practical comparisons. My goal is to get you to think about which iPad is right for you.

Price

The iPad 2 has been dropped to $399 for the 16 GB wifi model. From what I have read, this is the only size you can order from Apple. I have found some other models at local stores.

The New iPad starts at $499 for the 16 GB wifi model. The price goes up from there, raising $100 at each step for the wifi models.

Display

The display on the New iPad is very nice, but so is the display on the iPad 2. You can tell a difference between the two. The retina display is not enough for me to recommend the New iPad.

Camera

I was very excited when I got my iPad 2 because it comes with a camera. I was disappointed in the fact that the iPad 2 camera is not very good. With plenty of light and a very still subject, the pictures come out okay at best.

The New iPad has a 5 mp camera with auto focus. It is much nicer. You still need a still subject.

Of course most people have a smart phone with a good camera. You have to decide if this option is important for you to take the step up. For me, if I want good quality pictures, I am going to grab my Cannon DSLR.

Battery

Battery life is the same for both iPads. Even after using my iPad 2 for a year, the battery will last all day.

Processor

The iPad 2 has the A5 chip and the New iPad has the A5X chip. I have found the New iPad to be slightly faster at typical tasks such as browsing the web. Of course this may be just my imagination.

Dication

There is a new feature on the New iPad called Dictation. You can dictate into the microphone anytime your keyboard is shown. I have found the feature works very well. There is a disclaimer though. Basically, Apple records your voice to convert what you say into text. It sends information to Apple. Keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to use the dictation feature.

Size

Technically the New iPad is larger that the iPad 2. Realistically, the size and weight are only a little larger. You can’t tell a difference.

3G and 4G

I have only used the wifi models so I do not have the experience to discuss the difference in speed from 3G to 4G on either iPad.

Final Thoughts

If you have been wanting an iPad, but haven’t wanted to spend the money, I would suggest trying the iPad 2. (Unless you have lots of disposable cash.) The difference for most users is not great enough to warrant spending the extra for the New iPad. On the other hand if you really use some of the new features such as the camera and dictation, I would suggest you purchase the New iPad. Overall you have to decide for yourself which is the best for you. Either way, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.