Three weeks in .....

Got me a new iPad three weeks back and after all this time, what have I found out? Here are some personal truths and fallacies of the new iDevice

  1. The screen is resolutionary
    Uhm ... yes and no. If you're looking at just the new iPad you will not/can not really tell how different the screen is. Yes the resolution is stupidly high for such a small screen (2048×1536 pixels) which is higher than most commercial LCD screens, monitors and TVs. Place the new iPad against the first and second generation and then only you'll see the difference. The new iPad is a tad brighter and more evenly colour saturated in comparison with earlier models - this was one of the talking points on how the new iPad is good for photography and image editing.

    Bad points, non-retina iPad apps with non-vector graphics look really bad - some scaling is done by iOS but the jaggies are bad and text is a big mess. Good points, not that many apps are affected by this and actually scale quite nicely to the new resolution with minor artefacts. All this is easily resolved by app updates with the new SDKs.
  2. Battery life
    Personal findings of casual use (web browsing / facebookin / occasional gaming) and few movie sessions manage to drain the battery to around 30%. This is at center brightness and volume settings and only wi-fi always on for a total of around 6-8 hours use. At relatively heavy loads with apps like Infinity Blade II or NFS2, a one hour session runs the battery down by around 10-15% per hour. Just doing web browsing with Safari and/or Dolphin drains the battery around 2-5% every hour.
  3. Can't charge the new iPad
    Most PCs and laptops won't charge the new iPad because of its drain. There are workarounds to this which I may blog about later. The fastest way to recharge the battery is with the original iPad charger which pumps out the required 2.1amps of juice and can charge the battery to >90% in around 3 hours (in standby mode). Compatible chargers from online vendors do not charge the iPad properly.
  4. The iPad gets very hot
    Yes and no again. In comparison to all the previous generation models, the new iPad DOES get warmer at the bottom left corner (screen facing you with home button at bottom). By how much? Depends on what is running. Non-cpu intensive apps do not raise it by much. Running FPS apps like RageHD, IB2, Hockey Fight or Max Payne raises it to be noticeably warmer than the rest of the device but not enough to burn. A laptop's CPU fan output vent is much warmer than the heat generated by the new iPad.
  5. The camera does HD
    Yes, it records at 1080P for video and does waaay better at photos than the previous generation model. Photos have better saturation and clarity especially in low light situations BUT it suffers from the rolling shutter effect which affects panning and tilting shots in video. Front camera remains the same at low 640×480 resolution which is lower than most desktop webcams. The absence of a flash makes night photography impossible

    There is no way to change the resolution of recorded photos and videos with the default iPad apps ... so photos are always 5MP (around 1-2MB per photo) and videos are always 1080P. Installing other recording apps will allow for other resolutions but IMO, its stupid for the default apps to not offer this as a basic feature.
  6. Wireless connection has problems
    Haven't tested the 3G connections because everywhere I go, I get wi-fi. Additionally, can't test 4G-LTE connections because those only work in the US and Canada .... *sigh*. Users have been noticing the new iPad drops connections more frequently in comparison to earlier models. Personally, I haven't noticed much difference when comparing all three iPad generations. Same performance and number of drops were experienced on all the devices. On the new iPad, whenever the connection drops, it only does that during lulls of traffic when reading an article/PDF. The connection always comes back on (maybe after a second or two) when a browser/store/web aware app is executed.

    The only major problem I had was it did not want to associate with my access point at first. My D-link was set to using channel bonding at 40MHz 802.11n and try as I might, the iPad just would not connect/associate/handshake with the AP. Setting the AP temporarily to use only the default 20MHz channels fixed this and once it associated, resetting the AP back to 40MHz caused no further problems .... weird.
  7. The A5X processor is faster
    Speed at launching apps - not by much when compared to the iPad 2, a lot when compared with original  iPad. The processor only truly shows its power when running graphic intensive apps like FPS and video apps.  Occasionally, simple apps like Sprinkle seem to run more fluidly (pardon the pun) and this may or may not be attributed to the processor. Apple claims the GPU is more powerful and I mostly believe that is true but I believe that Apple does a better job at optimizing everything on the iOS platform towards a better performance. Compared to the Android platform (with its fragmentation issues) every aspect of the iPad - peformance wise - seems to work better. The interface flows better, everything reacts/interacts faster and feels more unified. 
Overall, the new iPad may offer a slightly better performance with its new A5X cpu assisted with the quad-core GPU, but its main selling points is only its better retina-resolution screen. Users of the iPad 2 will not notice much difference and may want to skip an upgrade until the next generation (iPad 4? the even newer iPad?) unless camera and image editing options are important to them  since all existing apps continue to work on the iPad 2 with not much difference (something which the Android platform needs to overcome)
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1 comment:

  1. Bro,

    I was going an old post of yours about the Windsurfer 2 antenna.

    The links to your templates are dead. So, it would be most appreciated if you could update the links.