WEB MASTER TUCKER HOTTES weighs in on the new ipad
I’ll be honest with you guys — I get tired of writing about every little fart Apple makes. But every time I think I’ll skip a product announcement, I get people asking when I’m going to write about it.
Last week, I even spent a few minutes with DiRienzo and Prospector on the Rock 107 morning show to give a quick overview (Prospector pre-ordered his the day it was announced, DiRienzo questioned whether anyone needs one). So, in a column born of this frustration, I’ll tell you exactly what I think — and at least this week I can trust Steve Jobs to not go dying on me and making me look like a huge jerk.
The last time I went toe-to-toe with a similarly underwhelming Apple press event was the release of the iPhone 4S back in the fall. It was basically identical to the existing iPhone 4 with a few spec bumps.
People were not happy, but fervor eventually quieted down and the thing sold like crazy. Here we are a few months later with the most recent update to the iPad, and we’re facing a very similar situation.
In a move clearly designed to do nothing but frustrate old people, Apple decided not to follow its existing convention and call the device the iPad 3. Instead, the official name is “new iPad.” This hearkens back to the days when Apple just made computers and iPods (remember those things?). While we may have internally referred to things as a “fourth-generation iPod” or a “MacBook circa 2008,” the product names never had any official iteration. I see no problem with going back to that kind of naming scheme, but it’s awfully confusing when you’ve got the iPad 2 (price dropped by $100 across all models) coexisting with the “new iPad.” God help you if you’re looking for one on eBay — you’ll have to make sure your “new iPad’is, in fact, a “new new iPad” and not just a “new, old, iPad 2.”
My brain hurts, and I’m actually supposed to understand this crap.
Getting back to the device itself, you’d never know the difference between iPads with the screen off. With the screen on, the massive 2048×1536 resolution should stand out right away on the new iPad.
Under the hood, there’s a new, quicker processor, the acclaimed camera from the iPhone 4S, available 4G on certain models, and a bigger battery. Don’t get too excited about that battery — even though it makes the new iPad slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad 2, the battery life will be about equal due to the aforementioned super high-res screen.
So, is the new product exciting? Not at all, in my opinion. Granted, as a high-def junkie I’m glad there’s another HD device on the market — hopefully people will start giving a damn about quality again — but as far as I’m concerned, the ‘“new iPad” is just the same-old iPad. In my iPhone 4S column, I said something along the lines of “welcome to the world of iterative updates, Apple fans,” and it looks like last fall’s announcement was just a taste. There’s nothing wrong with incremental improvements — everyone else does it all the time, and Apple even does it often. Hell, the initial pre-orders have already been filled and new orders are shipping after the March 16 release date, so this thing will sell like crazy just as its predecessors did. It’s just that without Steve Jobs to convince everyone how “truly magical” those tiny spec bumps are, it makes for much quieter press conferences.