What the world is waiting for ?

6/1/2012 6:00:29 PM

It’s the biggest technology announcement of the year, and Ian McGurren gives it the Mobile Mart once over.

Ian is a professional IT analyst, a semi-professional writer and a pretty amateur electronic musician. He likes gadgetry and loves making gadgets do things they were never designed to do.

Description: Mobile – what the world is waiting for?

Mobile – what the world is waiting for?

There have been rumours, so many rumours, more rumours than there have been about that whatshisname with her off of the telly, you know, the one from that programme. Yes, even salacious gossips haven’t been able to deafen the whispers about this, and finally the announcement millions have been waiting for is here: the next Angry Birds is going to be called Angry Birds Space! Oh, and some Californian tech upstart has released the follow-up to its Newton PDA thingy, but nobody cares about that.

Well, while the Angry Birds Space announcement was pretty seismic for the app world, pigs and avian anger management therapists, it was clear overshadowed by Apple’s announcement of the new iPad, cleverly named ‘the new iPad’ (possibly named due to and unclear email to Apple’s brand consultants).

Yes, now that Apple is bigger than Amazon, Microsoft and Jesus combined, it has even seen fit to begat us mortals with this latest of holy devices, The new iPad. So what have we been blessed with? There’s a bump in processing with a quad-core GPU, and a fancier 8MP camera with a backlight for low-light shooting.

There’s the matter of the screen, though, and it’s the long anticipated change to a Retina display that really seals the deal on this being a genuine leap forward for the device. Uncovered last year buried in code, the 2048 x 1536 screen is immensely impressive, beating out even full 1080p HD easily and thoroughly impressing any that witness full-resolution still images on the display.

It’s with a display such as this that the device becomes as clear as the printed word, bringing a whole new level of clarity to people who don’t feel at home with computer screens. Like the change from standard definition TV to HDTV, or from the 320x480 screen of the iPhone 3GS to the 960x640 Retina display, the jump is a marked one and an exciting one.

For our American cousins the device also adds LTE 4G mobile data connections – something 99% of us will not see in the UK until late 2013, after the release of the new, new iPad. Crucially, unlike other LTE devices, 4G use doesn’t kill the battery, only decreasing it from ten hours to nine.

Description: The new iPad

The new iPad

Beyond the improved GPU, screen, camera and mobile data use, Apple has kept the iPad a steady ship, even selling the iPad 2 side-by-side with it as a cheaper version (though how long this will continue is unclear). There are no big changes to wrestle with.

So is it worth getting? Well, at $600, it’s still arguably one of the best value for money tablets, as long as you’re prepared to buy into Apple’s ecosystem. iOS still has the best games and apps, and the iPad itself has many of the greatest titles on the App Store. Forthcoming apps such as Infinity Blade: Dungeons or iPhoto show off the capabilities of the tablet very well. If you’re after a first tablet and you’re not so tech savvy, it’s great and this is a superb revision.

Android fans, however, will rightly point to the CPU being still dual core, and there are many forthcoming quad-core devices running Ice Cream Sandwich on the horizon. But with the likes of Samsung even professing to not doing as well as they’d like in the tablet arena, it seems that Apple has another winner on its hands with one of three best mobile devices on the planet today.

The new iPad will be released in the UK on 16th March and be sold out 30 minutes later. Sadly, you’ll have to wait until 22nd March for Angry Birds Space, though…

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