Apple’s new iPad fourth generation will ship to users on Friday, November 2, which means reviews for the new tablet are online. The new iPad has the same shell and display as the iPad third generation, but has two major differences: the faster A6X processor and the inclusion of the Lightning port.
Because the device is so similar to the last iteration many reviews say the same thing about the new device: it’s just like an iPad third generation, but it’s much faster. Some publications have full reviews of the device, while others were able to include the review as a paragraph at the bottom of an iPad mini review or a tweet.
Here’s a collection of early iPad 4th generation reviews.
John Gruber of Daring Fireball didn’t post a full review of the iPad fourth generation on his site, because he was able to fit his review in a tweet. His full review of the new device is “It’s exactly like an iPad 3 but twice as fast.” From Gruber, that’s a compliment. He loved the iPad third generation.
David Pierce at The Verge also praised the new iPad while mentioning that it’s essentially the same tablet with a few changes. He says:
The fourth-generation iPad is the very definition of an iterative change: Apple made important things better, but neither overhauled nor revolutionized anything. If the iPad’s history is any indication, the fourth-generation iPad’s advantages over the third-gen model will be most apparent two years from now, when apps are designed for the better processor and the Lightning connector has spawned a much larger universe of accessories. Then you’ll want the extra power and the adapter-free lifestyle.
Tim Stevens noted that while the iPad fourth generation is an iterative device, it’s still one of the best tablets available. He says:
Twice as fast, better battery life, same cost. What more do we need to say? The new iPad is a hit on all fronts — but it of course won’t be received that way by all. Those who just made the investment in an old, new iPad are likely going to feel a bit burned, and we feel for you. Meanwhile, those still voicing their dissatisfaction with the Lightning connector will surely lament its presence here, but to you folks we say the world is moving on and now is as good a time as any to jump on board.
Like Jon Gruber, Jim Dalrymple didn’t feel the need to give the iPad fourth generation a full review. Instead, he added it as a separate paragraph in his iPad Mini review. He says:
There’s not really much to say about the iPad 4. It’s really fast in both processor speed and graphics, but we knew that. For me, the iPad 4 gives developers more headroom to continue pushing the envelope of what they can produce. That in turn, gives us better products to buy for the iPad. It’s good anytime that happens.
The third-generation iPad arguably didn’t need refreshing; in fact, if Apple hadn’t opted to change to Lightning, it could realistically have held off changing its largest tablet until early 2013, as per its typical yearly refresh cycle. That makes for a reasonably straightforward upgrade decision if you’re a 3rd-gen iPad owner. Unless you’re desperate for Lightning – perhaps you’ve also got an iPhone 5, and want to use all the same accessories rather than buy the adapter dongle – then we’re yet to see apps that really demand the potent A6X chipset.