New iPad vs iPad 2: spot the differences

As an iPad 2 owner, I spent last night covering the 'new iPad' launch and wondering if I'd wake up this morning and feel disappointed with my purchase, especially as Apple has now cut the price of the old model.

At least I managed to get a 32GB iPad 2, as now it's only available as a 16GB version, albeit at a reduced price of £329 for the wi-fi-only version (£429 if you want 3G).

New iPad

New iPad

Anyway, I've been trawling through Apple's website comparing tech specs between the old and new models (OK, I'm a geek) and now the dust has settled on last night's hoopla, the comparison makes interesting reading.

So here's a breakdown of the key differences:

New iPad iPad 2

A5X processor, with A5 processor

quad-core graphics, 2x faster

Retina display

2048 x 1536 resolution at 1024 x 768 pixel resolution at

264 pixels per inch (ppi) 132 pixels per inch (ppi)

iSight 5MP camera with Back camera with 720p HD

HD (1080p) video recording video recording

241.2x185.7x9.4mm (HWD) 241.2x185.7x8.8mm (HWD)

Weight 652g Weight 601g

Wi-fi and 4G Wi-fi and 3G

Bluetooth 4.0 technology Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology

Voice dictation

Video stabilisation

Up to 10 hours web surfing on Up to 10 hours web surfing on

wi-fi, 9 hours on mobile data (4G) wi-fi, 9 hours on mobile (3G)

New iPad

New iPad

Now our intrepid News Ed Joe, who was at last night's launch and managed to get his hands on the new model (above), reckons that Retina display is a big improvement over the old one. And in America at least, 4G capability will make mobile browsing much faster.

But here in the UK we're stuck with 3G for now. And given that I've already been able to upgrade my iPad 2 (and Apple TV for that matter) to iOS 5.1, I reckon I'm not missing out on that much.

The new iPhoto for iPad app looks pretty cool, and I can download that for £2.99 which I may well do. Otherwise, my trusty 'old' iPad 2 does everything I want it to, streaming music over AirPlay, syncing with iTunes Match/iCloud, giving me one of the slickest interfaces around and 720p video which is good enough for me on something with a 9.7in screen.

Oh, and I can now delete images from my Photo Stream, which is handy.

So I won't be joining the queue at my local Apple store on March 16th. You'll have to wait for the official What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision verdict on the new iPad (coming soon), but for now I reckon that price cut on the iPad 2 still makes it a pretty enticing proposition.

Joe Cox writes...

Well, Andy may not be convinced by the new Apple iPad but having had the chance to get hands-on with Apple's new baby at the UK press launch on Wednesday night, I can't help thinking he's kidding himself.

I too was underwhelmed at first as we listened to the announcement. Most people were expecting more than 'just' a better screen and a faster processor.

Yet, think how crucial those two aspects are to the iPad experience. We'll of course be bringing a full review very soon but from first impressions the quality of the screen marks a big improvement.

This won't just impact on any video you watch but on viewing web pages, playing games, enjoying apps, taking and editing pictures, reading text, eBooks and newspapers... pretty much everything we love about the iPad will in time look that much better. Sounds good, no?

And of course thanks to that quad core processor, it'll all work faster, too. Again: browsing, editing, reading, flicking, scrolling, loading, all now faster. Are you sure you're happy with your existing iPad?

It's in our – and almost certainly your – tech-addicted nature to want the latest and greatest technology, whether it be a TV, pair of speakers, AV receiver or indeed a tablet. We'll be bringing you our final verdict on the new iPad very soon but my hunch is the improvements, albeit few in number, could make all the difference.

Read all about the new iPad in our extended news story.

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.