With the kind permission of the person who wrote this review, Scott Granados, I am posting his thoughts and observations about the new iPad 4th Generation model. For those of you considering such purchase, I thought this would be helpful. Additionally, Scott has asked me to say that he encourages this review being shared around.
For anyone interested, here’s a review of the latest iPad.
First, the generation thing is a little confusing. You’ll mainly hear about the iPad 3rd gen hen searching. Since this was released apple quietly updated the iPad along with the much more widely announced Macbook pro updates and the devices are a bit different.
The iPad 4th generation with Cellular is about the same size as the 3rd generation. The main differences are the latest iPad has an Apple A6X processor which is dual core, a quad core graphics processor, 1 GB of DRAM instead of 512MB, a cellular radio (one of two types explained later), bluetooth 4.0 and the latest 2.4 and 5.0 ghz WiFi support. The weight is between 1.4 and 1.8 pounds, about a third of an inch thick and a 10 inch display. The new lightning port is also used instead of the old 30pin connector.
When you buy one of these, there are two cellular types to pick from. One is the AT&T version which supports GSM UMTS, HSPA/ HSPA+,, GSM and LTE. Frequencies including AT&Ts LTE bands in the 700 mhz range as well as other normal 1900 mhz 3G channels. The other version is the everyone else iPad. This supports Sprint / Verizon and provides evdo rev A and B support, and gsm /LTE connectivity. The difference is each version of the iPad supports different frequencies that match their carriers requirements. I went for the AT&T version since my cell phone was already set up with their service.
Memory sizes for the iPad include 16, 32 and 64 GB versions. I decided to go with the 64 GB version to carry a lot of content, especially videos internally.
In the box you’ll find 1 iPad, one charger block, a USB to lightning cable and an instruction book. No cover is included so I bought the magnetic cover that snaps on to the side of the iPad and locks / unlocks your display automatically when opened or closed. Make sure you get something to protect the glass like this cover.
The initial setup as you’d expect from Apple, very simple and exactly the same as their other devices. Simply plug in, wait a minute, triple press the home button and VO starts. All I did was answer the questions and start using the device as a new iPad.
Activation of the cellular was equally simple. I called 611, asked fora rep and added the iPad to my share everything plan. I have full LTE service sharing my same data pool for a $10 monthly access fee.
Use of the iPad is as you’d expect. It takes some getting used to however. With so much more screen real estate you’ll find the screen split up. Application output might happen on the upper right with the upper left having controls as an example. The keyboard is larger and appears / disappears.
One suggestion is to lock the screen orientation. The iPad flips from portrait mode to landscape very easily. Locking the orientation makes everyday use easier in my opinion.
Speed is very very good. You can have lots of applications open with out a noticeable decrease in performance. Flipping between applications is very quick. Voice Over responsiveness is also very snappy.
Network performance is quite good. In UMTS / GSM 4G mode I have reached approximately 12 megabits / second. On LTE as much as 45 but 15 – 20 reliably.
Is it useful? Yes, I think so. I had an iPad 1 but wasn’t blown away. With the new levels of performance, SiRi and the great network speeds I have to say it does feel like a smart piece of glass. Using services like Netflix or Hulu on the cellular network felt just about the same as on fast WiFi or your home network. Becareful because it’s easy to use up your limit in your plan but mobile wireless connectivity is really getting very good.
Over all, you’ll find it different and it will take time to get used to the touch interface but it’s worth it. The improved performance and amazing battery life really make the iPad worth the money. Battery life is north of 10 hours continuous when connected to WiFi or LTE. Stand by is days and days. Average use for me is I charge the device every 3 – 4 days. It’s not inexpensive, cellular models start at 629 and the version I have cost $829 with almost 900 by the time you added a case and cover. Can you do everything with an iPad on a phone, yes but if you have the means the iPad is worth while. I give it 4.75 out of 5 and think it’s a great tablet. Let me know if you have any questions.