How does the new iPad stack up to the iPad 2? Here are all the details

Daniel Bader

March 7, 2012 4:40pm


The new iPad was just announced, and while many of the improvements are minor, there are a couple features like the Retina display and quad-core graphics that make it stand out. While the processor is a higher-clocked version of the A5 chip in the iPad 2, there are now four graphics cores instead of two, theoretically able to push 133 million polygons per second (assuming the core is running at the standard 200Mhz). This is theoretically more than the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360, but the fill rate is still limited by RAM speed.

We’re assuming the amount of system RAM has doubled to 1GB, but we have to wait until retail copies are released to verify. The 5MP autofocus camera is a nice, if not superfluous addition, since it’s always going to be awkward taking pictures with a tablet no matter how common the practice may be (and, alas, it is becoming more commonplace).

The crown jewels in the new iPad are the 4x resolution display, 2048×1536 as opposed to the previous model’s 1024×768, doubling the pixel density from 132ppi to 264. And Apple has also crammed in a 4G LTE chip with fallback HSPA+ capabilities up to 42Mbps (on TELUS and Bell only — Rogers will fall back to 21Mbps). Rogers, TELUS and Bell are confirmed as launch partners.

In terms of battery life, the two models seem identical, but the new iPad is sporting a new LTE-capable chipset (likely the Qualcomm MDM9615) which uses a 28nm manufacturing process, making it significantly more battery-efficient than previous LTE chips. But, as a result of the new camera, display and internals the new iPad is 60g heavier and just under 1mm thicker than the iPad 2.

Check out all the specs below.

What do you think of the upgrade? Is it good enough for you to throw away/burn/sell your previous model(s) and pick up a new one? What are you disappointed with? Let us know in the comments!

  • Henning

    I was hoping for something that was a surprise, but the retina display will be mighty nice.

    • Ballsac Tehbagger

      Is RIM dead yet?

    • Yoyoma

      RIM?

    • RIM REMINDERER

      RIM?

  • Manbo

    Good for those that don’t have an ipad/tablet… but still (IMO) not worth upgrading from ipad 2, maybe even ipad. But we all know people will still drop $700 for one…

  • Fry

    SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY

  • Marc-Olivier Hétu

    It took less time than I thought for Apple to be completly unable to come out with industry leading products without Steve Jobs.

    • bummy

      The NEW iPad is actually THICKER and HEAVIER than iPad 2!

      Thats 6% more iPad in thickness,
      and 8.5% more iPad in weight than iPad 2!

      More iPad, now that’s a game changer.

    • Scott Palmer

      Name an Android tablet that will be available this month that has a better display and better 3D performance?

      Tegra 3 is catching up to iPad 2 performance. iPad 2 beats it easily in 3D performance though.

      Android tablet app offering << iOS tablet app offering

  • Gus83

    So the most used camera is still VGA… does this mean that imagery will show up grainy?

  • CellGuy

    Same boring old Apple… so I suppose this is the iPad 2s? Why not take a year off and actually come out with something ground breaking !

    • Rio

      Compare that display to ANY other tablet and you will see the difference.

      People need to steep back once in awhile and realize how much better Quality is from Quantity

    • b

      @Rio There have been plenty of products coming out within the next few months that have a comparable display (the new Transformer, for example), and aren’t made using an absolutely retarded aspect ratio. Why anyone would want a 4:3 display is beyond me.

      With the display being the only *real* improvement they made, I would kind of hope it is better than what currently exists.

    • sp

      so to you it is valid to pay 600-800 dollars for a display that you cant even differentiate? or your eyes can really tell the difference?

      sorry but i think for the regular person dropping that kind of money for a screen that my eye cant tell has retina graphics from the last model or something else……i think that is just crazy.

      but if you would like to do so be Apple’s guest. keep drinking that Apple Kool Aid they feed to you.

      in all your posts you only point out the screen. is it really worth it?

    • Rio

      @b I personally doubt any tablet in the conning months will beat the kind of screen the iPad has.
      The transformer prime has 1280×800, not even close.
      The only thing it has on it is the quad core, which it needs for the OS.
      @sp I can’t imagine how dull you are. I am really blown away by the stupidity of your post.
      What they are saying is you can’t differentiate between the pixels on the screen.
      Don’t make up s**t to bash apple, it makes you look like an i***t. Goes to show
      How many die hard android fans bash other without even the knowledge.

  • loloo

    doesn’t matter what the specs area. Apple has everyone brain washed anyways. IZombies

    • skullan

      iBrains…. iBrains!

  • Tom

    The LTE, and good battery life while using it, are pretty impressive features.

    On the other hand, I would never get the cellular version of a tablet. The extra $130 on the price tag of the iPad is just the beginning – it’s the extra cellular bill that kills you.

    Tethering is awesome – it saves me tons of money – so what I really want is an LTE phone with a Wi-Fi tablet.

  • iSheep2.0

    Display is.better than HD Improved prosser Runs LTE(Big boost for LTE) Would have been nice to se more storage,All in all I like it.

    • Faber

      Asus pad transformer infinity:
      Around same resolution,
      Better super ips plus display
      Faster quad core processor
      Better 8 mp camera
      Thinner
      Transformer keyboard dock
      Not apple!!!!

  • Big Daddy Data

    What about Siri? I heard no indication that Siri will be an included feature with this new iPAD. I’ve read one other posting on another site that says SIRI is included but it give no information that confirms it. So tell me… What up wit’ SIRI yo?

  • EddieWinslow

    I still don’t see the need for a tablet in my daily life. My smartphone and a fully functional laptop is fine for me. Does everything a tablet can do and more.

  • howitzer

    Its not too expensive

  • Kyle

    Doesn’t look any different than the 1st or 2nd, man Apple have no innovation, they keep releasing the same s**t every year. Take a bite out of my sh@t Apple.

  • boojay

    OMG! This changes everything again just like the last time, except it’s the same!

  • CoPWNicus

    Hey let’s have a huge conference about how we updated our specs! omg everyone will love us anyways no big woop.

    Apple didn’t innovate, they updated there specs as to where the market is or the very near future. They didn’t add anything new to the market.

    I liked it when an Apple product would come out and it would blow my mind. This hasnt happened with there last two major announcements.

    This is still a good contender in the tablet market, but I have a hard time seeing the excitement behind this announcement. I’m sure Apple will still sell millions of these anyways.

  • Ryan

    I’m not an iPad fan in general so ultimately I don’t care too much either way. But I agree that most of it – other than the resolution really – is not all the impressive. I may still check in on Kijiji for any fanboy/girl who is rushing to get the new iPad and will sell the 2 cheap but otherwise I won’t be getting any variation of the iPad any time soon.

  • roy

    Display is great but hey not even close to tempting to sell to upgrade! Much like the iphone 4s. I am really convinced if your into apple wait till next time.

  • Nib

    A high resolution iPad was LONG overdue. Releasing iPad 2 with 1024×768 was frankly a little embarrassing.

  • Chris

    so they put a nice screen, awesome, but when will apple figure out to put in a digital front facing camera instead of that shitty VGA one, if your gonna have an HD screen, have an HD camera.

    would have being nice if rear facing camera was 8 MP and like any android fan boy im bitching about that possessor and its 2 cores.

  • GENERAL WONG

    they could have at least give a new name like Ipad 3 or HD.

  • leobg

    So it has 2x more gpu power, but 4x more pixels to move around.

    And “Retina”? What happened to “must be 300+ dpi to be called ‘retina'”? So my 2 year old Moto Milestone/Droid has retina display too (at 275 PPI)..

    Overall – nice upgrade over old model, but certainly not worth upgrading.

    • ry29

      They are attempting to get away with the term ‘Retina’ because Apple feels that people hold their ipad 15 inches away (instead of the standard 10 inches with an iphone), therefore, your eyes can’t see the individual pixels.
      It’s dirty marketing

  • Colin Chan

    so double the Gpu power ,
    quad triple the resolution,
    =half the performance?

    I am keeping my Ipad2

    by the way, yes the vga front cam is grainy in ipad2

    • alex evian

      Quad triple the resolution!?!?! Whoa!!

  • SlimJim

    POS vs POS

  • msruknar

    i have an ipad2 and a cheap playbook. playbook can show hd video same as ipad3 (1080p).rear cameras are the same.
    play book does quite well most of my needs since I have to share ipad with kids (games) Extreme high resolution may be important to games but requires good sound system which most tablets donot have. i pass on new ipad.

    • alex evian

      Just because it can show a video that has native resolution of 1080p doesn’t meant it would be in 1080p. Seeing as the resolution of a Playbook is 1024X600, you’re not actually seeing a video in 1080p. I can hook up a bluray player to a TV with 720p resolution, the output is still 720p.

  • AndroidForLife

    This is the same old boring stuff. Some nice upgrades, but it’s just an upgrade. How boring. Apple needs to change the world the way Samsung is doing with their Tabs and Notes. Now those are exciting! And don’t get me started on the Asus. Creamed myself when I held one.

  • Goodkid

    Glad to see I can stick to my iPad 2 for another year! No sense in changing yet.

  • Mathew

    OMG! I love this new iPad! The quad core processor is an added bonus to IOS 4! Can’t wait to buy it!

  • Brandon

    Don’t forget they got a new wallpaper!

  • WhoCares

    Why no quad core

  • mytheory

    more GPU power on higher resolution screen means less battery ? Right?

  • android fan

    does not matter how good the ipad 3 is I’m not part of the apple cult so I’m not buying it

  • Fail?

    Um A5X is in the new iPad ONLY. A5 is in the iPad 2.

  • shaggyskunk

    No matter what you might think of Apple…. the world takes pause… in anticipation!

  • Jr67

    They’ll probably sell more the first week of launch than Sammy, Moto and asus combined for the year. Certainly for the quarter. Android tablets are the bomb, but I wonder why no is buying them. Like at all. Not even adroid fan are buying them. If android fans put their money where their mouths are then you’d think someone would be one. Lots of talk here but it seems like its just talk.

    • stickwithmobilicity

      @Jr67,

      I think most of us just don’t see the point of having a tablet just yet. What does tablets do that I can’t do on my Nexus S/Desktop PC/Laptop?

      A few things I’m sure, but none that I really need to spend that amount of money on. I’m never even touching my laptop anyway.

      I’m gonna see what that $200 Asus/google tablet will look like. Not that I’m cheap, I just don’t see the value when I can get a PC that’s light-years better for just a little more than the price of a tablet.

  • Nobka1

    Haters are gonna be hatin’

  • clue-in

    people dont buy android 1. shitty marketing compared to apple 2. apple is the easiet to use, weather it be ipad, ipod, iphone, its basic and clear. what most people want… yes there are people ( most people on MS) that want to be able to customize and do whatever else, but all that means nothing to certain people, and if you ever go into Futureshop or Best buy, or even rogers, telus bell, virgin, koodo, fido, they will tell you that iphone is the easiest to use, all models of the phone get updated at the same time and not individually

    • OMG APPLE WOW

      That becasue their also ifarts

    • Sonicbuzz

      Agreed, the main problem with Andriod as I see it beyond what was mentioned in the prvious thread is that you can never know when you will be able to upgrade to the latest Android OS. You buy a Samsung, Asus, etc and depends on the device and various other factors. With Apple at least the upgrades come out for everyone. Don’t get me wrong I have an Android tablet and smart phone, I just hate the fact that unless I want to do a custom ROM I am always waiting to catch up to the latest Android OS

  • vn33

    People will line up hours to be among the first to own, Apple will sell millions of these new iPad, fanboys/girls every where will try to rid of their still-new iPad2 to drop good money on an “improved” tablet.

    Am I among the few who’s not surprised to read about how the personal debt load in Canada is increasing ? Serious Apple, do we need a ‘new’ iPad with a nicer display and faster processor barely 12 months after the previous model ?

  • chall2k5

    LTE 700 and 2100? (RoBelLus use AWS) it wont even work here on LTE yet. Why would you buy a device that cant run on LTE here?

  • Jon_d0e

    Asus prime still beats it in quadrant scores lol iPad sucks

  • rider8

    Wooo, awesome news!! What the heck happened to innovation??
    Yes the screen is awesome, and LTE battery life is impressive, but really that’s it?? It literally looks exactly the same, and it’s even thicker.

    I’m even thinking some Apple fans that typically rush out might be discouraged, because this one looks too similar to the ipad2 – not worth getting because no one will know they have the new one by glancing at it. At least they could pop on Siri on the 4S to make it obvious its the 4S.

    In all seriousness though, I hope this year some other tablets will make some strong performances in the tablet market. I dislike Apple and some of their crazy fans but can’t help but feel sorry for them that their company is releasing such a minorly changed product for the 2nd time…

  • Mark

    YAY the hardware and software look exactly the same… Way to be original Apple… -.- I love how iZombies think they’re “creative” even though every iOS device is not any different than the last except for some hardware upgrades and additional software features.. And they wonder why Android is taking so much of the market share now a days…

    • Tminus

      Because theres a billion different models released each month confusing the hell out of people trying to impress people like you with the specs of their quad core phone? Viruses run so fast through my phone! Haha

  • uranus

    Not a game changer. I’m disappointed. Here’s rim’s chance to break in. maybe in a few years rim will have something interesting.

  • Peter

    Why didn’t they just call it iPad 2 HD!? Because really, that’s all it is, an iPad 2 with an HD screen. All other upgrades were so minimal. There are better Android tablets coming to market in the next few months that are more power, lighter and thinner. Shame on Apple.

  • montrealer

    Tablets are overrated

  • Rio

    @b I personally doubt any tablet in the conning months will beat the kind of screen the iPad has.
    The transformer prime has 1280×800, not even close.
    The only thing it has on it is the quad core, which it needs for the OS.

    @sp I can’t imagine how dull you are. I am really blown away by the stupidity of your post.
    What they are saying is you can’t differentiate between the pixels on the screen.

    Don’t make up s**t to bash apple, it makes you look like an i***t. Goes to show
    How many die hard android fans bash other without even the knowledge.

  • AndroidForLife

    Once again I am embarrassed by my fellow Android owners. How much of a douche does it take to say “it got significant functional upgrades but it looks the same so it is a fail”? How F’n superficial are you that the looks determine the worth of the upgrade?

    Personally, I think it looks like a*s, but to say that it is a minor upgrade just because the look didn’t change is just retarded. You guys make me want to move to WebOS or BB. No one wants to be associated with douches like you.

    • chall2k5

      come to the playbook…..OS2 made it finally useable

  • Tom Gray

    I use to love Apple products, was a huge fanboy, but I have to admit they’ve been slipping a bit in my mind.
    I have since switched to Android, but still own a iPad1

    Comparing this to other Android tablets, I’m left scratching my head. Android has the Asus Transformer prime since December of 2011 which is quad core and comes with 32GB storage, expandable MicroSD for $499
    It just seems Apple was beat before they got out the gate in price vs quality.

    A real shame, because I still hold a lot of respect for Apple despite my jump to Android.

  • Tom Gray

    @Clue-in

    Apple products are in fact the easiest to use, I can give you that.
    But they also lack the most customization (unless jailbroken of course)
    Apple cut nearly all customization ability which made iPhone/pad/pod the most simple platform, but if your looking for total control and more options than you can shake a stick at, Android is for you.

    Not saying one is better than the other, just saying for the person who likes to tinker, Android is a clear winner. I see iPhone as the pickup and go phone.

  • CommonSense

    ^The Prime also is limited to a screen 1280×800 pixels and a pixel density of 149ppi. The screen is usually the most expensive part of the tablet. No wonder the Prime is priced the way it is, given it is a cheap, inferior display.

    Bang for your buck? Squinting at fuzzy text and graphics is not much bang.

  • Nobka1

    mobilesyrup please rename yourself to androidsyrup. It fits you better. It doesn’t matter that apple introduced the market segment, hate-droids gonna keep hatin.

    Hate-droids gonna keep hatin’ even though their droid is a response to iOS so if it wasnt for iOS hate-droids wouldn’t even exist.

    What else did u expect apple to bring to the table? New screen, faster processor than tegra 3, better camera, 4g is not enough?

    Go buy a transformer prime if you don’t like it. No need to call apple fans brainwashed, i****s, isheep, stupid, g*y, etc. Stop hatin’ so much.

  • Slype

    I find it quite interesting that the iDiots are clinging to the only two features where they are currently king (and will probably fall off the within the next 6 months) Screen and Processor.

    Why are they not trying to boast about being the first with LTE? Why are they not trying to boast about being the lightest and best looking tablet? Why are they not trying to promote the battery life? The ability to do HDMI out? The stellar back and front cameras? The innovative new look?

    What you are seeing is the apple Zealots waking up and realizing that they are being given incremental changes every year and being told that it is revolutionary. They are starting to realize that they have been taken for a ride and now they feel shamed. They are so embarrassed by being taken in that they feel the need to defend their purchases by lashing out and clinging to the two single aspects where the “new iPad” shines.

    What will they say once those are washed away by the competition over the next 12 months? Personally, I think they will go back to their homes, watch netflix and then venture out onto the web next year to tout how cool they because they bought “the new iPad” again. As I’ve said before, these people are not technology driver people. They are image based. They like starbucks because of the cool factor. They like lululemon for the same reason. Sure they are decent quality products but the markup is in the 300-400% range but they don’t care. They are above everyone else. I dare you to find iPad users who are not into Starbucks, Lululemon and the next prestitgious brand.

  • Fred

    the screen definition is nice… but overkill. in screen that small, someting like 1920 X 1400 ( even a little lower) would have been a lot, and excellent. But that would not make as much ‘hype’,and it is a excuse to overprice it. it is a nice product, and the chipset would a good one. But i wish that LCD maker would use those kind of high definition panel in real Screen for computer, not for gadget.

  • ice_cold

    if it looks the same.. how would people know I upgraded?

  • KCB

    Troll Xing!

    I don’t work on cars. So if a car salesman tried to sell my on how much I could customize a car, I wouldn’t be interested. Give me the one that has everything in it and is built well.

    I don’t work on computers. Give me the tablet that’s easy to use.