[Editor's note: This review has been stickied to the top of Cult of Mac. Scroll down for more news.]
Let’s face it, we’ve been waiting for Apple to make drastic changes to the iPad since it released the third-generation device in early 2012. While it did introduce a high-resolution Retina display with that model, and it has made nice improvements in speed and other areas since then, we’ve all been clamoring for improvements to its design.
We’ve got those with the iPad Air — and a whole lot more. The new slate looks just like a larger version of the iPad mini. It maintains its 9.7-inch Retina display, but it has narrower bezels, a substantially thinner design — it is now just as thin as the iPad mini at 7.5mm — and it’s 28% lighter than its predecessor at just one pound.
In addition to that, we get Apple’s incredible 64-bit A7 processor that promises up to two times the power and graphics performance of the A6X, the new M7 motion coprocessor that made its debut in the iPhone 5s last month, and two W-Fi antennas with MIMO technology. And all of this will cost you just $100 more than the iPad 2.
The fourth-generation iPad with its dual-core A6X processor was certainly no slouch, but it looks like one when you put it up against the new iPad Air. Thanks to that new 64-bit A7 chip, the iPad Air is an incredible 80% faster than its predecessor in Geekbench tests, and over five times than the iPad 2 (which is only $100 cheaper).
This could be the first ripple of a very big wave: the Commercial Times out of Taiwan is claiming that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (or TSMC) is about to start trial production for Apple’s A6X SoC this quarter.
Why is this a big deal? Apple’s arch-nemesis Samsung currently manufacturers the A6X chip… and it might herald Apple shifting all of its multi-billion dollar chip business away.
Bigger isn’t always better. It depends how you use it.
Apple launched the fourth-generation iPad back in October, introducing a new A6X processor, a FaceTime HD camera, and its new Lightning connector. But despite those improvements, it appears the device isn’t selling as well as its predecessors. The reason? Another tablet is “cannibalizing” its sales.
But that tablet isn’t from Microsoft, or Google, or Amazon — or any other manufacturer for that matter. That tablet is the iPad mini.
The 4th gen iPad looks almost exactly the same as the 3rd gen iPad — inside and out.
iFixit has now performed its customary teardown on Apple’s fourth-generation iPad, and it seems like a lengthy case of déjà vu. While there are some differences between this model and its predecessor, such as the introduction of Apple’s new A6X processor and Lightning connector, it seems the device remains largely the same — inside and out.
Shortly before unveiling the iPad mini last week, Apple announced a new fourth-generation iPad — just 7 months after it released the third-generation iPad. In addition to an improved FaceTime camera, faster Wi-Fi, and Apple’s new Lightning connector, the device comes with the latest A6X processor. But is it a worthy upgrade over its predecessor?
Well, if performance is important to you, then yes, it is.
Pick up a new iPad within the last 30 days? Ask Apple to swap it for the latest model.
While some companies churn out new smartphones and tablets every month, Apple has traditionally given us at least 12 months with our iOS devices before replacing them with newer models. So it was a big surprise to us all when it announced a new and improved fourth-generation iPad on Tuesday, just seven months after the third-generation iPad went on sale.
If you bought a “new” iPad within the last 30 days, however, don’t be too miffed your device is already obsolete — because you could be one of the lucky ones. If you take your device into an Apple Store, there’s a chance you’ll be able to swap it for a brand new, fourth-generation model free of charge.
The iPhone 5 is here. What does that mean for the next iPad?
The iPhone 5 is a cutting-edge device with a lot of impressive new technology, from Apple’s incredibly fast new A6 chip to impressive new in-cell touch display technology and a brand new Lightning dock connector. It’s a certainty that Apple will use some of this technology in the fourth-generation iPad, which is likely due in March of next year. Here’s what the iPhone 5 tells us about what the iPad 4 will be.