final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Features It's the iOS device we all know and love. Features haven't changed, except for the camera and the screen which are both brilliant. good
  • Display Absolutely stunning. Literally perfect. great!
  • Battery life Having the WiFi model (i.e. not burning down battery with 4G) has left me -10% after a day of moderate use, which, to me, is amazing. great!
  • Ease of use It's a set it and forget it product. You can pick it up and become immediately enthralled. There is next to no learning curve. great!
  • Storage capacity 16GB is frankly too low as the base model. Retina apps are simply too large. 32GB should have been the low-end model going up to 64GB and 128GB on the high end. good
  • Design and form factor Brilliant design (thanks Jony Ive!). I've never used a tablet that I enjoyed just picking up and holding as much as this white one. It's truly a work of art. great!
  • Portability (size / weight) Would have been nice if they could have doubled the battery rating and added 4G while making it thinner and lighter, but that's just not the case. good
  • Durability As with the iPad 2, the new iPad feels extremely well put together. No creaking, nothing bad to say about its durability. great!
Detailed review
As most critic reviews have stated, this is basically an iPad 2 with 4G, a bigger battery, quad-core graphics, a new camera and an absolutely brilliant display. It is negligibly thicker and barely perceptibly heavier (something you only notice directly after picking up an iPad 2).

Outside of those changes, the iPad 3rd-gen is a new beast in the shame shell. The screen is absolutely amazing - I've never seen text that looks so crisp. The graphics chip handles everything I throw at it with ease, and pictures taken with the device are markedly improved over those from the iPad 2. While I can't touch on the 4G capabilities (I've heard they're amazing), I can say that the battery life is incredible. As I noted in the battery life criterion above, I'm down 8% after a day of moderate use which blows my iPad 2 out of the water.

I was a little worried that I would miss the cellular network functionality, but I just stuck an NFC sticker on the front of the smart cover that turns on my phone's portable hotspot with a simple touch - easy enough for the few times I'm going to use it outside of WiFi coverage.

All in all an absolutely amazing tech purchase for me. For those on a budget, it might not be worth upgrading your iPad 2, but if you're crazy for gadgets the screen alone makes it worthwhile.
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Thanks for mentioning the NFC sticker to trigger hotspot on your phone - it is a great idea!