- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
KELLNER: ‘New’ iPad a stunning, paradoxical improvement
Question of the Day
The reported first-weekend sales of 1 million units of the “new” Apple iPad leave little doubt that this product, the third in the series, is going to be successful. (AT&T Wireless, in a nebulous one-sentence announcement, said it sold the most iPads it ever did for an opening day, but a spokesman refused to flesh out that claim.)
Perhaps the greater issue is whether you should buy one now. Five days into my ownership experience, I can offer a definite “maybe.”
It’s not that the new iPad isn’t sleek and fun and fast and visually stunning - “It’s all that and a bag of chips,” as a friend likes to say. But if you own a 2011 iPad 2, should you bail and upgrade? Perhaps, but only perhaps.
I’ll return to that question in a moment. First, just how good is this thing?
Let’s start with the screen. Yes, it has a million more pixels than a high-definition television set (not that your reviewer counted each one) and the quality is impressive, as good as, if not better than the HDTV for which I shelled out several thousand dollars a few years back. And while I can’t carry that HDTV with me, the new iPad is quite handy.
It’s my hope that the new iPad will prove its graphics-oriented “chops” when I’m next out on a road trip shooting an event or location with my digital single-lens reflex camera. Between the super-high-resolution screen and a new, iPad version of Apple’s iPhoto, this could be a real game changer for professional photographers and for photo “duffers” such as your reviewer.
I’ve never really been one for benchmarking tests: My contention is that users buy computers (and now tablets) to use, not to benchmark. That said, I can report that the 64 GB new iPad seems faster than a similarly configured iPad 2 from a year earlier, thanks to the beefed-up processor in the new model. One esoteric program a colleague and I both use would, on the old iPad, take a few seconds to load. Now it’s available in the blink of an eye. Other processes seem faster, though, again, I didn’t break out a stopwatch to time them.
Sound quality is impressive, both through the tiny (but not tinny) built-in speaker and particularly when a good pair of headphones is connected. That’s important not only for movie- and TV-show-watching, but also for music. (You can put plenty on a 64 GB iPad.)
What else impresses? Well, the built-in 5-megapixel iSight camera on the rear of the device is a bit lagging, megapixels-wise, against the 8-megapixel iSight camera built into the iPhone 4S. But it should be good enough in a pinch, and it certainly could work nicely with, say, a document-scanning application for road warriors trying to ride herd on receipts, etc.
Nothing in life is perfect, of course, and there are a few things about the new iPad that concern me.
For a change - I’ve been an AT&T Wireless customer for ages - I bought my new iPad with a Verizon-friendly 4G LTE data radio. Signing up (and signing on) is a bit of a hassle, but $20 off the credit card later, I had a month’s worth of data service, 2 GB maximum.
That is, of course, when one could get an appropriate signal. Forget 4G; I got no “Gs” of any kind in Frederick, Md., or on my way home one evening. It was even tough, I kid you not, getting a signal around the corner from Verizon Wireless’ regional office in Fulton, Md. Move into Silver Spring, and the LTE is on and works blazingly fast.
Because Verizon advertises itself as having the best 4G network, I’m sure these are temporary problems. At least I hope so.
The more serious (for me) worry is that this unit seems to burn through battery life rather quickly. I can’t say for certain, because I’d like to go through a couple of charging/discharge cycles before making a determination, but if I were depending upon this new iPad to carry me across the Pacific, I’d find some battery options, and quickly.
Overall, I like this product, but then again, I’m influenced by years of seeing some very good things come out of Cupertino. Should you buy it? If you have an original (i.e., 2010) iPad, definitely, because the speed boost and visual quality will floor you. Got an iPad 2? It’s not a crucial upgrade, but sit next to me on a long flight, and you might start saving your pennies.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Mark A. Kellner is a religion columnist for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- KELLNER: Troubling tones in too many religious debates
- KELLNER: Did a prominent rabbi find Jesus — and does it matter?
- KELLNER: 'Failed' states among most dangerous lands for Christians
- KELLNER: Positive thinking key to Horowitz's 'One Simple Idea'
- KELLNER: The year in religion offered hope, peril
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Inside the Beltway: Immigration rage festers on all sides
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Hillary Clinton: I was indeed 'dead broke,' but shouldn't have said so
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world