The New iPad 3: What Makes It Different, and Should You Buy It?

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Last week, Apple announced the release of the next iPad, and immediately the internet was buzzing about its new features and people were sharing their reviews. But wading through this wealth of information isn’t easy, so what do the differences really boil down to?

The Good:

Faster Surfing
The new iPad is equipped with a faster processor, and you can now use 4G LTE networks, which means that you can download, stream, and browse at better speeds. What if there’s no 4G LTE network available? No problem, you can still connect to 3G networks.

Personal Hotspot
If you need a high-speed connection on your other devices, you can now connect up to 5 devices to your iPad. Be aware that only Verizon will be supporting this service at the launch, so keep this in mind when choosing carriers.

Better Display
Just how much better? With a screen resolution of 2048×1536 and 3.1 million pixels, the new iPad has four times as many as the iPad 2. But perhaps even more impressive, it has one million more pixels than an HDTV!

The Bad:

Overheating
New iPad users, and even Consumer Reports studies, have found that it runs significantly hotter than the previous iPad, making it uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time when the issue occurred.

Difficult Battery Replacement
Opening the device to replace the battery can cause busted glass and a bricked slate in even the most experienced hands. This may be why Apple doubled the price of battery replacement services for the new iPad – up from $50 for the original iPad to $100.

Hard to Tell the Difference from the iPad 2
Although the new features – particularly that impressive screen – sound great, only the most tech-savvy users can tell the difference between the two models. So if you’re not a features-focused early adopter like many of iPad’s users, and the cost difference is the biggest thing that sticks out to you, it may be smarter to stick to the previous model.

The Verdict
Like the iPads before it, this iteration is still impressive – but not head and shoulders above its predecessor. For professionals, it may not make sense to make the upgrade unless the high-resolution display will make a difference in your work, such as showing creative material to clients, or if you’re a frequent traveler that will put the 4G networks and personal hotspot to good use regularly.