The New iPad’s Biggest Surprise? Price
My wife and I have been seriously wanting to replace our aging iBook laptop – which was elderly when we bought it, but fit the bill – with an iPad or iPad 2. Apple’s teasing of the iPad 3/HD/whatever you call it was definitely interesting to me, but I didn’t plan on buying one. After all, refurbished iPad 2’s can run about $80 less from Apple’s own online store, and come with the same guarantee as new.
Besides, Apple’s stuff has a tendency to be real pricey when it first comes out. People climb over each other to get the latest iThing, so Apple could charge a fairly high price and still get consumers to buy in. There was a lot of speculation about the new iPad, and some hints that the starting price could be above $600. Out of my league.
Well at the big reveal today Apple was surprising to a lot of people, but not in ways people expected. The new iPad (that’s apparently what it’s called) does boast some improved core features, most notably the display, camera and processor. The display uses Apples “Retina” technology, that effectively makes pixels so small that they are invisible to the naked eye. The sharpness is probably over and above your 60 inch HDTV – 3.1 million pixels on a 10 inch display. But the current iPad’s display is already very good, and reviewers have said that the difference can really only be seen when viewing hi-res photos close up. Still, good thing to have.
The camera too is improved to a higher resolution 5 megapixel rear camera that also allows you to capture HD video. There were plenty of complaints about the average quality of the iPad 2’s cameras, but lots of us were just glad it had one.
The processor is a dual-core A5X processor that would have really given the iPad 2 a major boost speed-wise, but is really here to try and maintain battery life given the greater processing power needed for the display and the newest feature of the new iPad, 4G LTE data network capability. AT&T and Verizon already have LTE networks in place, and as previously mentioned, T-Mobile may get theirs up in a year or so. Battery life should be the same as the iPad 2, which is good.
Most everything else was either changed minimally or not at all. You still have the same choice of memory, cellular or wi-fi only data, and white or black for instance.
But the jaw-dropper to me was the price. The iPad 2 started at $499. The new iPad will also start at $499. Oh – and they’re dropping the retail price of the iPad 2 to $399. Given what typically gets done when new – and even revamped – tech gets rolled out, this I think is the stunner.
Sign me up!
PS: and the refurbished iPad 2’s are also included in the price drop, so they are at around $350!