iPad 4, the upgrade decision is surely simple

Apple surprised everyone at its big event on Tuesday by announcing the iPad 4 (fourth-generation) as well as the iPad mini that everyone was expecting to hear about. This has caused real murmurings among experts and consumers alike, as it seems a pretty odd decision by Apple to release another iPad only 7 months after the iPad 3 (new iPad). Today we want to look at the iPad 4 and whether it’s worth upgrading to it and when you think about it the decision is surely simple.

Yesterday we discussed the iPad 4 and wondered if bringing it out so soon after the iPad 3 was a big own goal on Apple’s part and faintly ridiculous. Rather than announce it just as a minor update to the iPad 3 (third generation) it was touted as the iPad fourth generation and this has really caused many owners of the iPad 3 to question whether they should have purchased it in the first place with a follow up so soon afterwards. Readers who commented on this story were pretty hacked off by the iPad 4 arrival so soon, some had just purchased the iPad 3 while others had already had to make the decision to upgrade from the iPad 2 to the iPad 3 when it was launched.

Now customers have to decide once again whether to upgrade to the iPad 4, only a few months later. So is it worth you upgrading from your current iPad? This will really depend on which iPad you have at the moment. The key difference between the iPad 3 and 4 is that the latter has the new A6X processor that is billed as having twice the performance of the A5X processor of the iPad 3. As Gizmodo points out the A6X chip is a definite improvement from that in the iPad 3 and is based on the A6 in the iPhone 5 which gives better performance as well as using less power. However you would then imagine that this would give a much better battery life but the iPad 4 battery will last you around 10 hours and that’s the same as for the iPad 3.

The iPad 4 also has the new Lightning connector that first appeared on the iPhone 5 but apart from that the changes are pretty minor, such as a step up to a 720p FaceTime camera. It also looks exactly the same and prices have not increased from the iPad 3 so really if you’re wondering whether to upgrade to the iPad 4 from the iPad 3 then we’d say it’s really not worth it, unless of course you can get a free upgrade.

If you currently use an iPad 2 though then this is a more difficult dilemma. The iPad 2 uses the A5 processor and so the difference in performance here will be more noticeable. However we should consider the fact that the iPad mini that Apple also announced at the event, also uses as shrunken version of the A5 chip and so Apple must consider this perfectly adequate. It makes no odds either that the iPad mini is smaller as Gizmodo explains that the workload is still the same because the iPad 2 and iPad mini have the same resolution of 1024 x 768 and same 512MB of RAM. Unless you really desire a new iPad right now then the iPad 2 should keep you going for a while longer.

For those of you with the original iPad you have far less of a dilemma as there have been many improvements from the first iPad through to this latest iteration so if you don’t want to wait any longer then the upgrade may be worthwhile. However there’s one more thing that current owners of any iPad should consider and that’s the fact that an iPad 5 could be only months away if this latest example is anything to go by. If you think we’re joking then partially we are but only partially, so read on for further explanation.

The trend for Apple products is to get lighter and thinner as with the MacBook Pro, iPhone 5 and iPad mini. One of the focuses with all other Apple products at the moment has been to make them slimmer and lighter and yet the iPad seems to be the exception to this. The iPad 3 was bigger and heavier than its predecessor and the iPad 4 has the same dimensions but is ever so slightly heavier again. It’s about time then that the iPad becomes subject to the same new assembly procedures being used and it seems very likely to assume that the next iPad (iPad 5?) will appear in a lighter and thinner form factor.

It makes sense that as the iPad 4 seems to be a slight specs bump over the iPad 3, than an iPad 5 might be well worth waiting for as surely the differences will be more significant. Of course at this point this is speculation but it’s something to consider if you’re making a decision over whether to upgrade your current iPad now and we’d like to hear from readers about this.

What do you feel about the iPad 4 arriving so soon after the iPad 3? Are you thinking of upgrading from your current iPad? If so we’re really interested to hear your final decision on this and what current iPad you have? Ultimately, do you think it’s worth buying the iPad 4? Let us have your comments on this.


6 thoughts on “iPad 4, the upgrade decision is surely simple”

  1. Duran says:

    I’m going to upgrade from my iPad 1 to this newest version mainly for the added processor speed. I’m then seriously considering upgrading every time they bring a new one out.

    This is due to the fact that Apple products generally have such good resale value. I would hope to make about £200 from selling my iPad 1. If for instance I had an iPad 3 I’d make considerably more and the gap between the selling price and price for a new one is fairly small.

    By the way, I’m no Apple fanboy – I use Windows and Linux for work, but the iPad works very well for me for other things.

  2. Glenn says:

    The Ipad 4 could well be just a prototype to test the arena for the upcoming ipad 5 (of that is what they call it) as the did with iphone 4s had minor changes from the 4 as they were testing some features to be perfected in the iphone 5…

    Just a thought 🙂

  3. slayda says:

    I have an iPad 2 & will probably upgrade to the iPad 4 & pass the older one to my daughter. I read a lot on my iPad & the newer resolution will help my old eyes.

    As to there being a twice a year upgrade, I personally don’t think so. More likely they will shift their upgrade time to the Fall in order to have new releases ready for Christmas time. That said, I may wait until early March 2013 to upgrade, so if the do release an iPad 5 in the Spring, maybe I can get a free upgrade to the newer tablet.

    In addition, I would speculate that the iPad 3 was always meant to be an interim product. The development was just to slow to release the iPad 4 last Spring & everyone was expecting a release so Apple released one. Maybe it should be thought of as the iPad 2.5 and the current model as the real iPad 3.

  4. Taylor says:

    If the progressively updated iOS software hand’t slowed my iPad to a crawl and cause apps to regularly crash – I’d never upgrade. Its this that maddens me so much about Apple. Its plain wrong. With google maps and youtube gone as dedicated apps in iOS6, it makes the upgrade to iPad 4(?) more sour for me.

  5. Wzup95 says:

    I have just bought an iPad today. Should I have Waited a few days for the new one? They said I could still exchange it but this one would be cheaper because I got $150 off for getting the mobile hotspot from Verizon with it.

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