The “New iPad” event: The Good, the Bad, and the Meh - Macenstein

The “New iPad” event: The Good, the Bad, and the Meh

As with all big Apple events, I once again find people turning to me for my opinion on the announcements from Apple’s “New iPad” event. Honestly I can’t blame them, as my opinion is often the only correct one when it comes to such things. I seem to have the uncanny ability to cut through the hype with laser beam-like precision, and somehow categorize the day’s events into one of three categories: Good, Bad, and Meh. Here’s how the “New iPad” event broke down:


The new iPad: Apple surprised no one in announcing the updated iPad, and while there are not that many new features (don’t tell Apple I think updates aren’t “new features”) there’s still quite a lot to be excited about here. First, as expected, the screen got a VERY nice update. It now runs at 2048 x 1536, at 264ppi, which Apple says qualifies it for wearing the “retina display” title. Inside, the processor got a bump up as well to the A5X processor with quad-core graphics, bringing what Apple says amounts to a 4x improvement over the last version. Likewise the camera got a bump as well to match the iPhone 4S camera’s optices (albeit 5 megapixels vs the iPhone’s 8), and the iPad now supports 1080p video recording. So if you’re into shooting photos and video on such an awkwardly-shaped device, this is great news.

I suppose the big news to some is that the iPad will now support LTE speeds (in both Verizon and AT&T flavors) and can be used as a WiFi hot-spot now (for a price). This should be nice for those Washington fat-cat millionaires, but personally I can’t see spending money on a data plan for two devices, and the iPad is still not as versatile as the iPhone. So if you are buying me an iPad, get me the WiFi only model, please.

Rounding out the new features of the iPad is voice dictation, which, after playing around with Siri, I will write off as totally useless, assuming you are not handicapped and desperate to find some way to get something SORT of close to what you said onto the screen.

Price drop of the iPad 2: $100 off the ancient, now-unusable iPad 2, ideal for schools. This should be nice for all those poor inner city kids, but I certainly hope MY ids don’t get stuck with such out-dated technology.

New iPhoto: The new iPhoto app looks quite nice, and at only $4.99 seems like a steal for most people, as it should be able to handle the majority of their photo editing needs. In fact, it looks like an official version of the countless other 3rd party photo apps on the iPhone, but more tied into your iPhoto library. The new “double-tap to find similar photos” seems like a cool idea, although if 90% of your shots are of your kids at your house, it might be a bit less useful. I’m still not entirely clear on how it ties into your home iPhoto library, but if you can call up pictures on your iPad that are stored on your home computer, edit them, and then have them fly back to your main library, I am sold.

Apple TV Update: Hooray, I guess! 1080P is now supported, so if you are big into buying iTunes movies and TV shows, you’re in luck. Personally I use my Apple TV pretty much solely to listen to music and watch the photo screensaver, but it’s always nice to see Apple updating its “hobby”, since you KNOW in two years they are going to take over television.


Same Price as the original iPads: I didn’t honestly expect the price of the new iPad to drop from previous years (Apple has a hard-on for prices that end in “99”), and I suppose we should be happy with the iPad 2 price drop, but still…

iLife updates: iPhoto was the clear breakout star of the iLife world today, and with good reason – you really shouldn’t use iMovie and Grarage Band on an iPad. So this is a bit of a mixed bag depending on which, if any of these apps, you use on your iPads. Garage Band gets a small update, more or less tying it in tighter with iCloud, and iMovie has more dumbed down, “professional” templates that should make the 8-14 year old crowd feel like they’ve accomplished something.

The word “Amazing” was apparently thrown around even more than usual.
Apple may have actually broken the word through overuse, especially given that there was nothing overly unique or mind-blowing announced today. This is not to say the updates weren’t “nice”, and I would kill to see a giant Keynote slide behind Tim saying “the new iPad is nice”, but let’s maybe cut back on “amazing” by about 30% next time.


Worst name ever: Is this really being called simply, “The new iPad”? I guess Apple will give it a real name once the NEXT one comes out and they need to reference it.

No 128 GB model: Seriously? If you’re going to make a device that is meant to shoot full HD video and take high-res stills AND edit both, there is no reason not to offer a 128 GB capacity version. Same goes for the iPhone 4S by the way. Looks like we’ll have to wait for the iPhone 5 and the “NEW new iPad to see that.


So, that’s it, the Good, the Bad, and th eMeh from today’s “New iPad” event. Feel free, as always, to tell me how dead-on correct I am in the comments.

12 Responses to “The “New iPad” event: The Good, the Bad, and the Meh”
  1. facto says:

    Whatever you say, we all know you will buy one 😉

  2. Lars Beduhn says:

    Dead on. Except for the name. Get rid of the numbers!
    When a new iMac or MBP is released… they never like say ‘the new MBP 10,1’ like it is referenced in System Profiler.
    It was long overdue… to do the same with the iPad/iPhone etc….

  3. Jon says:

    GPS is still bundled with the cellular option. I might have to buy the LTE version just for the GPS. My biggest disappointment is that they haven’t upgraded the memory to 128 MB. Usually we get more memory while the price stays the same. This time, we really don’t get anything extra except for the extra resolution. I’m on the fence about this upgrade, but I might do it for the retina-like display.

  4. Rob says:

    I often find myself wondering, What Would Macenstein Do (WWMD)….then I usually do the opposite.

  5. andrew says:

    How can anyone possibly play the GarageBand guitar on an iPhone? I think it’s best used at a bar to entertain my friends who don’t have a smartphone yet to make them feel inadequate.

  6. woony says:

    good article.
    FYI: 2 typos:
    hope MY ids > hope MY kids , I guess
    and at the end
    So, that’s it, the Good, the Bad, and th eMeh > So, that’s it, the Good, the Bad, and the Meh

    but meh 🙂

  7. Doc Frost says:

    The name thing was weird, right? Why let obvious logical (‘iPad 3’) or trendy (‘iPad HD’) choices slide by?! That had me wondering too, but this morning it hit me when i thought what it reminded me of: the iPod.

    There was only ever the ‘iPod’, the succeeding versions were just numbered generations. Why is that? Well, it’s obviously because there are different variants of the device like ‘nano’, ‘touch’, ‘shuffle’. The moniker ‘iPod’ is just tying them together as a category, with each device developing in different evolutions.

    So that’s what we have here, folks: the iPad is now a category, and what was introduced yesterday will eventually be known as the iPad ‘classic’ – when the other variants come out! Come on, it’s obvious: there are already rumors of of a 7.8 inch version (welcome ‘iPad mini’ or somesuch).

  8. joe says:

    Honestly, I don’t see the big fuss over this new model upgrade. There are no killer features that give me the need to upgrade from my iPad 1. I’m a hardcore Apple fan, and regular update my iPhone every two years, but I can’t justify spending 599.99 for a new iPad!

  9. andrew says:

    Hey Doc, how about a Macenstein sponsored “New iPad” give-a-way?

  10. andrew says:

    …or even “Old iPad” give-a-way?

  11. Tim says:

    Hey I’m getting the New iPad …. I’m a first time buyer I think thought
    The new iPad or iPads should only be for home or work or coffe shop use… Then again you can take your iPhone to a coffee shop…. For mobile use I prefer my IPhone…. I’m buying the New IPad simply for home or office stationary use…. Love my gear

  12. Courtney says:

    I just bought the IPad2 a few weeks ago. I’m not a fan of Apple Products ( I’m a PC/Android/Windows girl myself). The IPad as far as I can see is the only worthwhile Apple product. I think it’s good quality and has some good functionability outside of just play. With the right app, I was able to even do a report on my IPad and I’m looking forward to using it next semester as well. I treat like a second laptop when I don’t feel like lugging mine around.

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