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Apple's iPad: First-day impressions

March 17, 2012|By Nathan Olivarez-Giles
  • Apple's third-generation iPad on top of its box.
Apple's third-generation iPad on top of its box. (Armand Emamdjomeh/Los…)

After spending about a day with the new iPad, it's clear that Apple's third-generation tablet is an improvement over its two stellar predecessors. 

Apps launch faster, websites load quicker and the camera actually takes good-looking pictures this time around thanks to a 5-megapixel rear shooter.

But there is no question that the best feature found in the new iPad is its display. With a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, and 3.1 million pixels in total spread across the screen, the new iPad's screen has a higher resolution screen than today's 1080p high definition TVs.

The device offers the sharpest, most impressive screen I've seen on any tablet, ever.

Looking at the display, I wasn't able to identify individual pixels until I placed a drop of water on the screen to magnify what sits below the iPad's glass face. If you've seen Apple's iPhone4 or iPhone 4S, you know what to expect, but seeing this quality of a screen on a tablet feels like a game changer.

It looks like a backlit magazine page, a glowing book.

And yet, after one day of using the third-generation iPad and comparing it to the iPad 2 that came before it, it's not as if I can't stand looking at the iPad 2 anymore.

The iPad 2 had a great display and it still does.

Taking a photo with a tablet, even when the photo produced has a level of detail found on many smartphone cameras, is still a bit awkward given how large the new iPad is in the hand. While the new iPad is faster, it didn't produce speed increases that made me suddenly think of the iPad 2 as slow.

So, if you own an iPad 2, should you upgrade to the new iPad given the differences between the two tablets? I'm not ready to definitively make that call just yet but I'll offer up my answer in a full review in about a week right here on the Technology blog.

Stay tuned.

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