New iPad vs. iPad 2 vs. iPad: Features, Specs & Size

The new iPad comes with a high resolution Retina Display and a collection of new features, but if you are planing to upgrade from the iPad or iPad 2, I’m sure you want to know how the iPad compares to the previous models.

This is the third iPad, but Apple is not calling it the iPad 3.

Below you can see how the iPad 1 and iPad 2 stack up to the new iPad. From specs to size and most importantly features, we have a complete rundown of how the iPads compare.

If you are thinking about buying an iPad, and want to know how they are different, we’ll show you the key differences between the 3 iPads. If you don’t need everything the iPad offers, you can pick up an iPad 2 for $399 starting today.

New iPad vs. iPad 2 vs. iPad Specs

Apple decided to focus on key improvements to the iPad. The third generation iPad offers a higher resolution Retina Display, faster processor and a vastly improved camera, but there are also less noticeable internal spec bumps, like 4G LTE connectivity for a better Bluetooth experience and up to 10X faster uploads and downloads.

 Original iPad 1

iPad 1


iPad 2

New iPad

New iPad

Price $499 $499 $499
Display 9.7 inches – 1024 x 768 9.7 inches – 1024 x 768 9.7 inches – 2048 x 1536
Battery Life 10 Hours general and video 10 hours general and video 10 hours general and video
Internal Storage 16GB / 32GB / 64GB 16GB / 32GB / 64GB 16GB / 32GB / 64GB
Processor 1GHz Apple A4 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 unknown speed  dual-core Apple A5X
Cameras None Front:VGA Rear: 720P Front:VGA Rear: 5MP
Cellular EDGE + Triband HSPA Edge + Quadband HSPA / CDMA + EV-DO Rev A World Ready 3G, HSPA+, 4G LTE
Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR 2.1+ EDR Bluetooth 4.0
Accelerometer 3-axis 3-axis 3-axis
Gyroscope None 3-axis 3-axis
Size H x W X D 9.56″ × 7.47″ × 0.5″ 9.5″ x 7.31″ x .34″ 9.5″ x 7.31″ x .37″
Weight 1.50 pounds 1.33 pounds 1.44 pounds

iPad 1 vs. iPad 2 vs. New iPad Size & Weight

In addition to adding to the processing power and increasing the screen resolution of the iPad 3, Apple has slightly changed the look of the iPad 3 with a new thicker case. You can get a closer look at how the new iPad measures up to the iPad 2 and the iPad 1 in the sizing illustration provided below.

New iPad vs iPad vs iPad 2

For most users, the biggest thing to take note of is the weight of the iPad, because this will impact how long you can hold it in one hand while reading and how often you will take it outside. The iPad is slightly thicker than the iPad 2, and a little heavier.

If you are upgrading from the original iPad, you’ll notice the biggest difference.

iPad 1 vs. iPad 2 vs. New iPad Features

All of the iPad models available will run iOS 5.1, which is available for iDevices right now. The new iPad does offer a few perks you can’t find on the older iPad models.

The most impressive feature is the new Retina Display, which offers crisper text and images and adds up to a nicer looking experience. If you’ve seen an iPhone 4 next to an iPhone 3GS, you’ll know what kind of difference we are talking about. You can see a sample of what a Retina Display would look like in the image below, but the best bet will be to go look at one in store on March 16th when the iPad release date rolls around.

New iPad

Another defining feature of the iPad is the improved camera, which is on par with the iPhone 4S. The new sensor and lens will allow you to take beautiful pictures with your iPad. With apps like iMovie and Photoshop Touch, you can edit your movies and create beautiful photographs on your iPad, without the need for a camera connection kit and a separate camera.

New iPad Sample Photos Show Off Improved Camera

Finally, if you need a fast connection for uploading videos to YouTube, accessing work documents and files or just to watch Hulu Plus and Netflix, you may want to spend the extra $130 to invest in the 4G LTE iPad model, which can connect to 4G LTE on Verizon or AT&T. There is no contract for this model, so you can turn data on and off depending when you need it.

New iPad retina Display

Which iPad feature pushes you over the edge? Or were you left wanting more?



  1. gaggan says

    The new iPad’s video capability is vastly superior and seen nowhere better than with the app EyeDispense HD. Basically this uses “4UP” videos which are used by opticians to help people choose new tablet pcs. They can’t see them yet because they haven’t got their lenses in them….pre-manufacture. Any, it seems other people are using EyeDispense too and the difference in detail and resolution is stunning since only the rear 1080p video camera is used. Obvious really….an App dedicated to video best shows off the new iPads capability.

  2. DaMunky89 says

    It’s heavier and bigger than the iPad 2. It’s got “TBA” speed and processing improvements which will probably be minor, won’t be used by any third party apps because developers don’t want to lose iPad 1/2 customers.

    Sounds like the only reason you would want this is for photos / videos, and as someone who’s tried recording videos with the iPad 2, I can say it’s shakycam as shit unless you’re standing still. You’re better off buying a (much, much cheaper) camcorder or digital camera. Stupid iPad3 is stupid.

    • Robbie says

      I got an iPad2 with what money I didn’t have to pay bills with, left over from my income tax return. I’m a 23 year old student who works in retail, so I don’t have a -whole- lot of money at my disposal. I really wanted the “New” iPad, but I only had enough to spring for the iPad 2, so it actually is pretty cool to hear someone say they prefer the 2 over the “New”. I do notice the lower-res screen, as I got a Samsung Galaxy Note with my AT&T upgrade about 2 months before I got my iPad 2, and the Note has a super excellent 1280×800 display, but, honestly, the 2’s 1024×768 still looks great, especially with the GPU in the A5 running newer games, like The Dark Knight Rises(which has gorgeous, near console-quality graphics). If you’re (mildly)strapped for cash, but absolutely NEED an awesome tablet, iPad 2 all the way =D

    • David says

      i expect they use it to turn the screen so that you can use it which ever way you are holding it

  3. whitemountain2008 says

    I’ve just had my ipad2 stolen (& forgot to activate the feature to allow remote deletion of the data! big mistake). Tomorrow I get a replacement but have opted for an ipad3. I’m hopeful it will be as good or better but I hear Google maps has been deleted & much of the UK & Romania won’t be as well mapped as it is tomtom’s map inside, which clearly cannot touch Google maps for detail

    Heres hoping!

  4. Lynn says

    I had to replace my LCD & digitizer, I did this myself and I found out that there is a camera but for some reason Apple chose not to write the software for the support instead you had to buy a $30 camera connection kit. I even asked “Two” separate people, one from Micro Center, and the other from a Apple store both said basically the same thing. Apple should change their name to “We F#@% You”!

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