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The new iPad vs iPad 2 – Specification Showdown

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The tech world has gone tablet crazy since Apple unveiled the third generation iPad yesterday evening. The Cupertino Company has decided to continue selling the similar iPad 2, but with a discount of around £70 it’s now seen as a more viable option for many people.

The new iPad is priced the same for each model as the iPad 2 was until now, despite having much improved tech specs in almost every area. With the two tablets looking almost identical on the outside, and one now costing a fair wedge less, why should you go for Apple’s newest iPad? Let’s take a look at how the two weigh up.


The new iPad – 9.7-inch, 4:3 aspect, 2048 x 1536 resolution, 264 pixels per inch.

iPad 2 – 9.7-inch, 4:3 aspect, 1024 x 768 resolution, 132 pixels per inch.

The new iPad’s big selling point is the upgraded Retina Display, and it’s no surprise to see from the figures that it outstrips the iPad 2’s display with ease. It’s got twice the pixel density and twice the resolution, with 3.1-million pixels crammed into a 9.7-inch screen. The Retina Display is brighter, much sharper and has 44% better colour saturation. The new iPad is the clear winner.

Processing Power

The new iPad – A5X Dual-Core processor, Quad-Core graphics, low power usage.

iPad 2 – A5 Dual-Core processor, Dual-Core graphics

Apple has developed a new system-on-a-chip, the A5X, to provide more power to the new iPad. The chip provides the extra grunt while also being power-efficient and not draining the battery any more so than the iPad 2’s A5 processor. The graphics chip has been upgraded to a Quad-Core system, giving an even more impressive performance in gaming and movie playback. In short, the new iPad will be faster and boast even better graphics, while not sacrificing any battery life.


The new iPad – 5-Megapixel, Backside Illuminated, 1080p Full HD Video Recording, f/2.4 aperture, touch focus, face recognition, geotagging

iPad 2 – 0.7-Megapixel, 720p HD Video Recording, tap to control exposure

The camera department is probably the area that has received the biggest overhaul in the new iPad. Its rear camera is now of a similar grade to the iPhone 4S, with a five-piece wider angle lens, lower aperture and backside illumination to allow more light to hit the sensor. You can now touch an area of the screen to select the focus point, and the software will automatically detect and focus on faces too.

Video recording is also stepped up a notch to 1080p, which is Full HD quality. The new iPad takes gold in this category by a country mile.

Battery Life

The new iPad – 10 hours, 9 hours using 4G

iPad 2 – 10 hours, 9 hours using 3G

Despite a faster processor, higher resolution screen and improved camera, the new iPad retains the fantastic 10 hour battery life that debuted in the iPad 2. It’s quite a feat that’s been achieved by Apple, although this has been done by doubling the battery’s capacity, which has resulted in a slightly thicker casing. Technically the battery in the new iPad is much better than the iPad 2’s cell, but performance evens out due to the new processor and screen.


The new iPad – 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4mm, 652g

iPad 2 – 241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8mm, 601g

Unfortunately Apple has been forced to sacrifice some of the iPad 2’s super slim body and weight to fit in the new parts, which means the new iPad is 0.6mm thicker and 51g heavier. However, those who have been fortunate enough to gain hands-on time with Apple’s new tablet have said that the difference is barely noticeable.


The new iPad – Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Optional HSDPA/4G

iPad 2 – Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, Optional HDSPA

With the new iPad, Apple unveiled its first 4G LTE tablet device. Although it may not work everywhere on 4G, in countries such as the U.S and Canada it will be capable of speeds up to 72Mbps when connected to a 4G network. Apple has also upgraded the Bluetooth to a 4.0 chip, which primarily offers lower battery consumption when connected to a Bluetooth device. The new iPad is the winner here.


16GB Wi-Fi only new iPad – £399

16GB Wi-Fi only iPad 2 – £329

With the addition of the new iPad comes a price cut to make the iPad 2 a more affordable option. While it may have been superseded, the iPad 2 is still a brilliant tablet that offers a gorgeous slim and light design with access to hundreds of thousands of apps and the Apple ecosystem. However, if you’re looking to buy a tablet and want to boast about its features, the new iPad is for you. We can’t see a huge number of people wanting to buy one for the upgraded camera alone – who doesn’t feel silly holding up a tablet to take a picture? – but that gorgeous Retina Display and the promise of even better next-gen mobile gaming is sure to be too much of a pull for many to resist.

Which iPad will you choose? Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.