This article was written by Parts2PCs Owner Fred Varano and originally appeared in the Wakefield Daily Item on November 15th, 2012.
It’s March, 2012 and the “New iPad”, also known as the iPad 3 has just been released. People jump at the chance to get Apple’s latest tablet that features the new Retina display for the crispest images ever seen on an iPad. Most buyers thought that like past iPads, they would have about a year before the next model was announced. Fast forward to the iPad Mini announcement on October 23rd. Most people were expecting the announcement of the Mini, but what caught almost everyone by surprise was the unveiling of another new full sized iPad, simply known as iPad with Retina display. Since the iPad 3 also had a Retina display and to avoid confusion, I will refer to the newest iPad as the iPad 4 in this column.
The iPad 4 has a few improvements over the previous version with the biggest being a faster processor which Apple describes as up to twice as fast as its predecessor. The other major improvement is the faster wireless receiver built in. The iPad is now capable of taking advantage of Wireless-N routers which is the fastest Wi-Fi available. The cellular models also feature 4G LTE, which is a vast improvement over previous models. Apple changed the charging port to the Lightning adapter that is currently on the iPhone 5 and the new iPod Touch. Apple kept the pricing the same for the 4th Generation iPads as they did for the iPad 3. The Wi-Fi models are available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB sizes and are priced at $499, $599 and $699 respectively. Wi-Fi + Cellular models are available at slightly higher prices.
The star of the show during the iPad event was the announcement of the iPad Mini. Like its name implies, the Mini is a smaller iPad that has a 7.9” screen opposed to the 9.7” screen on the full sized version. Apple has compared the thickness of the Mini to the thickness of a pencil, and it has a weight of just over a half of a pound. The Mini has most of the same features found on a full size iPad including front and rear facing cameras, however it does not have the high definition Retina display of the larger versions. During the announcement, Apple described the ability to hold and use the Mini with one hand as one of the reasons it introduced the smaller line. The mini is also more affordable with memory sizes that match the iPad 4 and prices are $329, $429 and $529. The Mini is also available in Wi-Fi + Cellular models.