My iPad 3 arrived Friday afternoon. I’ve been using the iPad 1 for the past year and a half or so for all of my technical reading.
Mirroring My Old iPad
After synching my iPad 1 with my Macbook Air, when I plugged in the iPad 3 for the first time, it gave me the option of just mirroring what I had on the old iPad. Yes, please. It worked like a charm. A guy could get spoiled with this kind of treatment. (On the other hand, I still feel like configuring an iPad is making a deal with the Borg; see my previous post, Resistance is futile — I’ve been assimilated by Apple.)
The Retina display on the iPad 3 is breathtaking. It’s a qualitatively different experience for reading text.
The iPad 1 was good, but it still looked like reading text on a computer. The iPad 3 feels more like reading a magazine or a journal article. The text is that sharp. Even on tiny subscripts in formulas, there’s no aliasing. The following link is to Apple’s demo, which, if anything, understates the perceivable difference:
The jump in quality from iPad 1 to iPad 3 seems much more noticeable than the jump from standard def video (480 vertical lines) to full 1080p high def (1080 vertical lines). In fact, HD video on the iPad 3 is just stunning (I’m running out of adjectives here). The speaker also sounds surprisingly clear for such a little device.
It’s heavier and fatter than the iPad 1. It’s just enough heavier that it’s much more uncomfortable to hold with one hand while reading, which is what I’m often trying to do on the subway. The iPad 2 is the thinnest and lightest of the three, but it’s hardly a Kindle.
The iPad 3 runs considerably hotter than the iPad 1. It doesn’t get as hot as my Macbook Air when running statistical simulations. But hot enough to notice. Nothing to worry about, but it adds to the unpleasantness of holding it.
I don’t notice any speed difference in the things I do, which is a bummer. It still takes GoodReader a dog’s age to load an old scanned PDF and flip the pages. It’s just that they’re much sharper when they come up.
It seems to take longer to recharge, but I’m not 100% sure.
For my use case, which is mainly for reading technical papers at home, on the subway, and at work, and secondarily for board games (Carcassone, Neuroshima Hex, Ticket to Ride) and for video (Vimeo and YouTube HD look awfully nice), it’s a no brainer. The iPad 3 blows away anything else I’ve ever seen, no contest.