The new iPad is the laser printer of tablets – a review
Like many others, I’ve now had the new iPad (henceforth referred to as simply ‘iPad’ per Apple’s instructions) for a week, and while I haven’t used it as much as I would like to, I think I’m ready to review it.
I previously/still have the original iPad (I first had the 16GB WiFi version for a year, then basically traded it for a 16GB 3G version which I’ve had for the last year) and skipped the iPad 2.
Though I was sorely tempted to get the iPad 2 a year ago, due to scarcity the first few weeks I didn’t – and after that period I came to realize I really didn’t need it – the iPad 1 was nearly as good, and in fact was nearly identical in one respect (and to me the most important one), the screen.
Yes, I know that the iPad 2′s screen was more vibrant than the original iPad, but still, resolution is where it’s at, and as everyone knows, that had stayed the same. I decided then and there that I would wait for the Retina iPad, even though many were saying that such a thing wasn’t even possible at the time (and maybe it wasn’t, I’m no display expert).
So I decided to wait, even if it meant that – like the iPhone – it took four generations to get to a Retina screen on the iPad. Luckily for me and a few million of my closest friends, Apple beat its cycle by a generation and delivered the iPad. So now for the review.
Forget LTE, the A5X, the improved camera (which I actually quite like), and forget that you’ll be forking over another $500+ that you could use for groceries or 2.5 Kindle Fires, the iPad is the screen and the screen is the iPad. Nothing else matters. I really don’t think it helps to mince words – nothing else matters.
Now, I say this as hardly an Apple fanboy. The only other Apple product I’ve ever owned was a 3rd gen iPod Touch, which I returned after a few months. No iPod. No Mac. No iPhone. I own a (soon to be sold on eBay) Android tablet, an Android phone, and a Windows 7 desktop. I’m not wearing iBlinders – the screen (i.e. the iPad) is just that good.
How good? Well, a few reviewers have likened it to the difference between standard and HDTV. It’s a good comparison (even if you could find one in a dumpster, would you really go get a non-HDTV and put it in your house at this point?) but I don’t think it’s the right comparison, because video on the iPad is just about the same as it is on the original iPad and on other tablets.
No, the better comparison is (and you have to be of at least a certain age to get this) between a dot-matrix printer and a laser printer, because when you see text on this thing, you simply can’t believe what you’re seeing. In fact, multiple times over the last week, I’ve printed out something from a laser printer, glanced at it, and wondered why it didn’t look as good as the text on my iPad. And I’m talking about top of the line office laser printers here. Honestly, text on the iPad is so good that I wouldn’t be surprised if someone at some point finds a correlation between lower printer sales and the popularity of the iPad.
Of course, since the iPad created and is defining an entire new tech segment, it would be like the original iPad was the first dot-matrix printer, was offered at a very reasonable price, and then two years later Apple came out with a laser printer for the same price. The first office laser printer was $17,000 (though interestingly, if you read the Wikipedia entries about dot-matrix and laser printers, the laser printer was actually invented a year before the dot-matrix printer, go figure).
But unless you are an investor, the business side of things isn’t what you care about – it’s the screen.
I really hope for your eyes’ sake that you’re reading this on an iPad.