Macworld - The release of the fourth-generation iPad so soon after the third-generation iPad may have come as a surprise to even diehard Apple watchers, but the device itself won't. By now, we all know what an iPad looks like, and the fourth-generation iPad looks nearly identical to a third-generation iPad--which itself looked more or less like the second-generation iPad.
That's not to say that the fourth-generation iPad isn't an impressive beast; it's just that those changes are almost entirely on the device's interior. This is unquestionably Apple's most powerful iPad to date, and it handles pretty much anything you can throw at it with aplomb. If the new iPad mini is a MacBook Air, as my colleague Dan Frakes alleges, then the fourth-generation iPad is the big iron of a MacBook Pro.
Meet the new new iPad, same as the new iPad
Put a fourth-generation iPad down next to a third-generation iPad, and good luck telling them apart. In fact, the only difference between the two is what kind of cable you plug into them. The fourth-generation iPad joins the iPhone 5, iPad mini, iPod touch, and iPod nano in sporting Apple's new Lightning connector. It's a lot smaller than the veritably ancient (by technology standards, anyway) 30-pin dock-connector it replaces; there are other advantages too, which I'll touch upon later.
Otherwise, though, the fourth-generation iPad has the same controls you've found on every iPad since the original: Home button, Sleep/Wake button, volume controls, a side switch that can mute the volume or lock the display's orientation, and a headphone jack. It also supports the same Smart Cover that's worked with the iPad 2 or later.
The fourth-generation new model features the same 2048-by-1536 pixel Retina display as its predecessor. It's the same dimensions in height and width, and much as I'd like to be able to claim I could detect a slight difference in thickness or weight compared to the third-generation iPad, the new model has the exact same 9.4mm depth and 652g weight. (The addition of an LTE-capable cellular radio adds the same 10 grams as on the third-generation iPad, but we weren't able to test one, since they don't go on sale until later this month.)
All things considered, you'd be excused for calling this less of an "iPad 4" and more of an "iPad 3S." Nomenclature, to be fair, is one place where Apple's improved over the last iteration: Though the company markets the new model under the same "iPad with Retina Display" as the previous model, the company's also not shied away from referring to this latest version as the "fourth-generation iPad," eschewing the third-generation's occasionally confusing official moniker "the new iPad."
- iPad sales skew even more toward Mini
- Apple's Mac ends up in tablet cannibal pot, too
- The case for an iPad Pro
- Is Apple's 13-in. iPad a desktop for kids?
- Balky browsers tick off tablet owners
- The PC's fate hinges on tablets, but it's 2014 or bust
- iPhone, iPad dwarf mobile rivals in small- and mid-sized firms
- iPad grabs top spot in tablet purchase poll
- Tablets remain tops in American gift-buying plans
- iOS 7 now powers 3 out of 4 Apple devices
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- 4 Customers who never have to refresh their PCs again This paper illustrates a common theme: the combination of desktop virtualization and thin client computing helps organizations deliver an up-to-date user experience more...
- Mobile Devices: The New Thin Clients Get essential guidance for understanding the role thin clients plus virtual desktops play in the enterprise today.
- Taking Windows Mobile on Any Device Taking Windows applications mobile has many advantages, but the process of identifying a solution is complex. Learn how to solve this complex problem...
- PaaS - Powering a New Era of Business IT Why PaaS has suddenly become relevant and irresistible to many organizations. Dive into the opportunities and considerations associated with using PaaS from an...
- Redefine Your IT Operations: Remote Office IT Has Never Been Simpler Join us to see why PC Pro named Dell PowerEdge VRTX the "2013 Server of the Year." PowerEdge VRTX may be just what...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Hardware White Papers | Webcasts