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Terrier Tech: Apple’s New iPad

Third time’s a charm

| From BU Today | By Alan Wong and Joe Chan

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In the video above, “Terrier Tech” cohosts Warren Towers and Courtney Bogard review the new Apple iPad, otherwise known as the iPad 3. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

This week “Terrier Tech” reviews the brand-new Apple iPad (known on the street as the iPad 3), the third generation of the world’s best-selling tablet. While on the surface it appears that little has been done to improve the design, Apple has been busy replacing the innards of the tablet—most notably introducing 4G LTE service, Apple’s high-resolution Retina Display, and a faster processor with a dedicated quad-core chipset just for graphics.

With no new major groundbreaking functions to report in the tablet, iPad 2 users have nothing to fear from the update. Tabbed browsing is now available, but Siri (despite rumors to the contrary) is not. That said, users who prefer talking to themselves will be happy to note that Apple has added a dictation function to the latest iteration.

What’s most notable about the new iPad are the improvements Apple has made to the cameras and display resolution. Although the five-megapixel camera sounds lackluster on paper and still doesn’t come with an LED flash, images pop with crystal-clear clarity on the new Retina Display, which touts more pixels than any high-definition TV currently on the market. Just like the Apple iPhone 4, individual pixels are virtually imperceptible on the new iPad. Combined with the new 4G LTE service, the iPad 3 is a beast of a media machine. We found that the 4G service blew the iPad 2 out of the water, with speeds doubling or nearly tripling what we could download before.

Pricing for the new iPad remains largely unchanged. The base model (16GB Wi-Fi only) still starts at $499, and the top-of-the-line version (the 64GB, 4G-enabled tablet) retails for $829. If those prices sound familiar, it’s because the iPad 2 initially retailed for the same prices (Apple has just dropped the price of the iPad 2 by $100).

Consumer Reports recently reported that the latest iPad can reach temperatures of 116 degrees Fahrenheit while playing certain action games. In our own tests, we also noticed that the tablet gets somewhat hot at times, particularly when running FaceTime and graphic-intensive games (which, by the way, look amazing on the new iPad). This issue shouldn’t be a big problem for everyday tasks.

The new tablet is certainly the next logical refinement in the series, albeit slightly thicker and noticeably heavier than the iPad 2, which could easily be held in one hand to use. But having both hands on the new iPad feels safer. The additional weight is the result of the larger battery needed to power the improved processing and data speeds.

Our overall recommendation? “This girl is a little bit heavy, but she sure is worth it,” says “Terrier Tech” host Warren Towers. “Steve Jobs would be proud.”

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