What makes the new iPad different?

The launch of Apple’s latest third generation iPad, the interestingly named ‘The new iPad’, sees more revolutionary technological developments, as Apple updates its iconic tablet. In this article I am going to explore some of the exciting and innovative new features, which make the new iPad stand out from the crowd.

Retina Display

One enhancement that is currently getting a lot of attention is the innovation that is the new ‘Retina display’ technology.

The Retina display focuses on the increased clarity of large format display visuals. The new iPad features a sharply improved image capability which now has a 2048×1536 resolution screen and 44% improved colour saturation, with a superior 3.1 million pixels, within in its 9.7 (24.6com) display. Pretty impressive for a tablet PC.

The third generation of the iPadThis technology means that from normal viewing distance, the naked human eye cannot detect any pixelation, as the screen produced images with outstanding sharpness, colour detail and quality.

The improved display really enhances the viewing experience, and I think that it has set Apple ahead of its competitors, in terms of the quality of screen, at least for the time being.

The tablet is designed to show HD media, and with its new awesome screen quality, the viewing of text, photo and video is to the next level!

5MP iSight Camera

Aside from the Retina update, another key improvement is the 5-megapixel iSight camera – Apple are very creative with their names! The new camera features enhanced optics, auto white balance and a face detection features, turning your tablet into an outstanding digital camera. These updates have significantly improved the  picture and video capture performance. Match that with the new Retina display, and it means that you can capture and play media in outstanding quality.

Wi-Fi and 4G

In the latest model of the iPad, Apple have inbuilt Wif-Fi + 4G technology. This technology helps ensure the tablet is able to get a fast network connection, so you can get a seamless uninterrupted stream. Streaming online video is smoother than ever, and VoIP becomes a more viable method of communication.

Battery Life

Despite the outstanding screen display, the high quality camera, and the improved connectivity, something which many critics believe has let the new iPad down is its battery life. Like its predecessors, the new iPad can only handle 10 hours of media before it runs out of juice. The new features have been designed to be more efficient, however the battery life remains pretty much the same as before. Disappointing, or to be expected?

This latest release of the iPad has given techies a lot to be excited about, which is probably why many people queued for hours to get their hands on one, as soon as they were released.

How and why has the tablet industry grown so rapidly?

In 2011, it is estimated that 65 million tablet computers were sold globally. The population of the United Kingdom is currently around 62/63 million strong, meaning that last year alone, more tablets were sold than there are people in the UK. That is a pretty big figure!

Incredible growth

The tablet industry is a technology phenomenon, with regard to its growth rate. The concept for tablet PC’s has been around for a while now, however they have only been seriously released on the market, in force, in the last two years. Apple’s iPad launched in early 2010 (April in the USA, and May internationally) and since then the market has quite literally exploded.

Okay, there were tablets before the iPad, and concepts have been around since the 1950’s, however the tablet industry really ignited two years ago tomorrow, (the 3rd of April 2010) and it is a technology that already has over 60 million users! To put those numbers into perspective, it took Radio 38 years to get 50 million users, television 13 years, and the internet 4. Tablets reached 50 million users in just over a year. See what I mean about rapid growth?

After the initial launch of major tablets, hundreds of firms started to produce their own tablet, submitting their creation to the global market. Why? Well, future trends predict that we are likely to move away from our desktops and laptops and use evermore our tablets and smartphones.


The technology research firm Gartner Inc., predict industry sales to grow to more than 300 million by 2015. 300 million tablets means huge amounts of money being spent by consumers on tablet, and for big firms like Sony, Microsoft, Apple and Samsung, that means huge profits. The industry is now so big, and with such immense growth forecasts, that it is a no-brainer for most tech firms, to enter this lucrative market.

Why tablets?

But why do people prefer tablets to desktops? Well there are a number of reasons. I like bullet points, so here we go ;-)One of the many tablets on the market

  • Tablets are very portable – you can take them almost anywhere, and with the likes of Wi-Fi, cloud computing and advances in wireless charging, there will soon be no need to have a permanent workstation
  • Tablets can do so much! – Most tablets have the ability to do what most PCs can do, so why do we need our PCs any more?
  • Apps – one thing tablets have that your regular computer doesn’t is apps. Apps are revolutionary and are changing the way we live our lives, as there does seem to be an app for just about everything!
  • Price – for what they can do, and the speed they can do it at, tablets are extremely competitively priced, especially compared to their PC counterparts, and with tablets, their is no monitor, mouse, keyboard etc. it is all built in
  • Convenience – tablets often run faster than computers, and can be accessed almost anywhere, making them one of the most convenient devices around, probably why they are becoming a massive hit with businesses around the world
  • Choice – there are so many firms with a tablet released, you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing!
  • Social media on the go – tablets and smartphones can provide you with access to social media when you are out and about, and given that most of us use social media, this is a huge positive

The future

Personally, in the future, I believe the device most of us will move to is the phablet. Phablet, what is that? Phone-Tablet. Smartphones revolutionised the way we communicate when out and about, as did tablets. In the future I think we are more likely to see the two come together. Basically tablets getting a little smaller, and smartphones getting a little more advanced.

Why do I think this? Well the smartphone industry and the tablet industry are two tech which are seeing major growth. Everyone wants a tablet, everyone wants a smartphone. In essence, most tablets and smartphones do very similar things, just in different ways. In the future I believe that the two will come together, share their features, and create the phablet!

Your thoughts

What about you though? What do you think about the tablet industry and its growth? Is is sustainable, or just a fad? Will we move away from our high tech craze, or does the future lie with phablets?

Which tablet works best for you?

With the holidays fast approaching, tech companies are readying new products to woo people looking for the latest hot item in the tech industry. Games consoles, flat screens, and smartphones have had their time in the sun as popular holiday purchases, but this year belongs to the tablet.

Apple dominated the tablet market last holiday season with the introduction of their revolutionary iPad, a wild success with consumers. Since then competitors have tried to emulate the magic of the iPad in an effort to cash in on the new tablet market, but to little avail: HP’s tablet failed to impress consumers, while Motorola’s Xoom tablet has struggled to establish a solid consumer base since its release in January.

But Apple now has two serious contenders to face in the tablet arena: Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet. Amazon and Barnes & Noble, are both wildly successful companies in their own right, are looking to transform the popularity of their digital reading devices into sleek, user-friendly tablets. Now that there are at least three viable tablets to choose from, it’s time to determine which would be the best buy for the holiday season.

Price

We can separate the tablets from each other right from the beginning by looking at their price ranges. The Apple iPad 2 starts at $499, while the Kindle Fire Starts at $199 and the Nook Tablet is priced at $249. Now the disparate prices may be enough to determine a consumer’s purchase; the $300 price gap between the Kindle Fire and iPad 2, for instance, will likely drive many consumers to choose the cheaper tablet.

An iPad 2

An iPad 2 showing off how ‘amazingly thin’ it is

But of course these tablets are priced according to their features. The Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are much closer in price, and analysts expect that consumers will transfer their digital reader loyalties to the tablets — Kindle users will go to the Kindle Fire and Nook users will likely follow suit with the Nook Tablet. Both tablets will be optimal for digital reading, web browsing, and multimedia functions.

Part of Nook’s more expensive price tag can be attributed to the better hardware: the Nook Tablet has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, compared to the 512MB of RAM and 8GB of storage on the Kindle Fire.

While the iPad 2 stands as the most expensive tablet on the market, it also boasts more attractive components than either other tablet. With a larger screen (9.7 inch), built-in 3G, and access to hundreds of thousands of apps from the Apple store, the iPad 2 certainly offers a host of features that would make any tablet competitor blush. Is it expensive? Yes. Do you get what you pay for? Yes.

Stand-Out Features

There are certainly stand-out features to consider with every tablet. The Kindle Fire may not have the hardware on par with the other two tablets, it will have optimized internet usage through Amazon’s cloud service based browser, Silk. In theory Silk will allow the user to perform multiple functions online at once without overburdening the tablet because part of the computing power will be done via Amazon’s cloud system. The Kindle Fire also has the Amazon name in its favor, one of the most trusted names in online retail.

The Nook Tablet has the distinct advantage of being sold at brick and mortar Barnes & Noble stores. A consumer can walk into a store and purchase a Nook Tablet on a whim, something that the Kindle Fire simply can’t compare to.

Barnes & Noble have also hinted at creating spaces similar to Apple’s genius bar, built solely for the maintaining and assistance for all things Nook related. If there’s any credence to that rumor, it could help jettison the Nook Tablet to the top of the market.

As for the iPad 2, its standout feature is simple: it’s an Apple product. The brand loyalty alone has driven millions to purchase the tablet, regardless of the high price tag. But it remains to be seen if Apple will continue to charm potential tablet users in the face of these newly minted tablets from its competitors.