I went and molested the new iPad (3) this morning.
Apple is now so far ahead of everyone else, it’s not even a contest anymore.
I don’t care if you’ve already seen a Retina Display on the iPhone 4 or 4s.
Seeing it on the iPad is an entirely different experience.
One that will ruin your eyes for every other tablet and device screen.
I really thought that Samsung had excellent screens. After the iPad 3, every single one of them look like crap. Colorful and vibrant, but still crap. I looked at the 10.1 and 8.9 and 7 Plus tablets and they no longer impressed me.
I looked at the Blackberry Playbook and laughed. I looked at the Kindle Fire, considered its limited functionality, and wanted to set it on fire.
Surprisingly, the only screen that still holds up is eInk! I guess that’s because the grey background tends to fool the eye and it’s mainly text. No, it’s not Retina, but it’s not an offense to the eye — yet.
But for every other tablet out there with a color screen? Their value has just plummeted!
They all look blurry now.
1) Even at $399, I wouldn’t buy an iPad 2. I don’t care if that’s all you can afford. Keep saving. The $100 difference is more than worth it. I couldn’t stand looking at the nearby iPad 2 screen after the 3.
2) I don’t see how Apple can do a smaller 7.85″ iPad unless they match this display resolution. Really, I could not stand looking at the iPad 2 screen after using the 3. That screen just seemed so primitive now! People will not want to settle for lower resolution even for the sake of portability. Who wants to carry around a smaller iPad only to have to tell people, “But you really must see this photo on the bigger iPad. It’s so much sharper!”?
iPhoto is the first thing that I’d really call magical. There were a bunch of sample photos in it. I randomly picked one of a woman near some water. There was a small pool of black water off to the side. I chose to Lighten it and was amazed. iPhoto knew not to go beyond the borders of the pool of water as my finger rubbed over that area. When I was done, I could see large rocks that’d been previously hidden! Magic!
I did my PDF tests. I had about thirty-two screensnaps that I mailed to myself. They never escaped the Outbox. The iPad kept complaining about an invalid password for iCloud (which the Store had to furnish). It kept whirring to retrieve mail, kept failing, and misled me into believing it was actually dispatching my emails. They still haven’t arrived. They probably never will (I think Apple resets the demo iPads at night).
1) The Internet Archive version of Processed World took near ten seconds to display a page. And that was just its initial appearance. It would then take more seconds to deliver a startlingly-crisp image. I had hoped the quad-core GPU would overcome the JPEG2000 image compression but — at least in iBooks — no such luck.
2) The modified PDF of Processed World I did was a frikkin speed demon! The bottom row of thumbnails generated surprisingly fast and I could move from page to page smoothly and quickly. It’s too bad the PDF had to be ballooned to 14MBs for that speed! But here’s another thing: Even though I changed the images from JPEG2000 to JPEG and also reduced the DPI of the JPEGs to 100 dpi (from 300), the pages at display size looked fantastically crisp and clear. Until, of course, pinching out. But the text is readable at actual size — which is what I want — still looking like the original print, and it’d be rare for me to want to pinch out to enlarge.
3) Success: A Novel from Google Books was odd. It’d take a second to render a crisp page — but the way it did it was screwy and inconsistent from page to page. For example, some pages smoothed out from top to bottom. Others smoothed out in regions. I don’t know why. The one-second delay is irritating to me. Remember, I want to read. I don’t want to move to the next page and have to wait for the top sentence to unblur first (yeah, I know you’ll say eInk flashes for a second, but that can be undone these days). I don’t know what’s going on here. Again, this was iBooks. It’d probably work fine in a dedicated PDF program like GoodReader. But I couldn’t try that. Still, I wish Apple could work this out. Most people will have only iBooks to try for PDFs in-store and it needs to impress the hell out of them. The iPad — especially the 3 — is the first device to make Google Books practical for reading.
I couldn’t get my demo model to auto-rotate, no matter what I did. And yes, I went into Settings and saw nothing there that was locking rotation (the side button was being used for Mute). Eh, shit happens. The Apple Store was a madhouse overrun by the Chinese and I was using a demo model near the entrance. And I was so into it, I didn’t want to move to another iPad. Since I never got my screensnaps, I might visit again and — after being certain sending email works — duplicate these PDF tests.
As others have noted, the iPad gets warm in the lower left corner. Not hot, but you’ll notice it. That must be some monster battery in there.
The camera is crazy. I couldn’t believe how close-in I could get to things without having to invoke a special Macro mode! I don’t care what people say — blah blah blah, people will look like dicks using a tablet to take pictures — people will, if they have their iPad with them and in hand. The camera is bloody amazing. I wish they’d put in the iPod Touch too (of course they can’t; the Touch is too thin).
The weight of it bothered me. OK, so maybe I haven’t held an iPad for so long a time that I’ve gotten unused to it. Still, I’d probably prop it on my tented legs while lying on my back. Or keep it on my lap while reading.
Afterwards, I went to Best Buy, where I encountered the Samsung tablets. I’ve already said what I thought at the beginning of this post.
I made a special trip to J&R, though, because I wanted to hold and see the screen of the Archos 80 G9 Turbo. It has an 8″ 1024 x 768 screen — at 4:3 too! — and I wanted some idea of what a 1024 x 768 7.85″ iPad screen might be like. But I was thwarted. J&R no longer had the 80 out as a demo model. And I couldn’t ask them to unbox one of the 250GB HD models for a ten-second look (yes, I do have limits). I’ll have to wait until they get in the next model. If I still have any curiosity left.
And I might not. Because, dahyum, that iPad 3 screen just wipes the floor with everything else. Once you see it, you won’t want anything else. You won’t be able to tolerate anything else.
Apple wins again.