The 8in Apple iPad Mini was eagerly anticipated, but the new 10in iPad 4 (or iPad with Retina Display as Apple insists on calling it) is a surprise as it arrives only nine months after its predecessor the iPad 3.
Externally, the iPad 4 looks and feels identical to its predecessor. Although it is sturdy and slim, it's still the same weight at around 650g. I had hoped for a reduction in weight since the iPad 3 was around 50g heavier than the iPad 2. The battery lasted 12 hours when I was playing videos matching the time achieved by the smaller iPad Mini.
The 10in screen still has the same 2,048x1,536 pixel resolution. It's very sharp and bright with exceptional image quality, especially when compared to lower resolution tablets like the iPad Mini. Only the upcoming Samsung Nexus 10 Android tablet will have a display potentially capable of matching it.
All the changes are on the inside rather than the outside. The A6X dual-core processor is twice as fast as the iPad 3's A5X chip, but this will make little real difference until apps are designed to take advantage of it. Apple will doubtless release features in future versions of iOS that will only run on the A6X, but that has yet to happen.The iPad 4 is thankfully compatible with the recently launched EE LTE network.
HD Facetime I was pleased with Video chatting and that the front-facing camera now records in 720p resolution which gave better, more accurate-looking video although the speed of my broadband connection did also affect image quality.
The iPad 4 may be a modest upgrade over its predecessor but it's still the best 10in tablet so far, which says just as much about the competition as it does about Apple's tablet. It's still relatively heavy though, so lighter tablets such as the iPad Mini will be a better buy for some.
Here are the Tech Specs for those who don't know----