iPad 4 vs iPad 3 – what’s new and is it worth upgrading?
What is the iPad 4?
As well as announcing a smaller iPad Mini, Apple also updated its latest version of the iPad at its last event. This came just 6 months after the launch of the iPad 3, which has now been discontinued, leaving some buyers of the iPad 3 disappointed.
For more information about the iPad 4 read our iPad 4 features, price and release date post, but to see how it compares with the iPad 3 carry on reading. Also don’t miss all the latest on the iPad mini and how it compares to rival 7-inch tablets.
iPad 4 vs iPad 3 – is it worth upgrading?
Which has the best screen?
The iPad 4 replaces the iPad 3 as the ‘iPad with retina display’ on Apple’s website. It has exactly the same screen as the previous version so images, text and video should look exactly the same on both tablets.
Is the iPad 4 faster?
Yes – one of the big changes between the models is an upgrade of the processor in the iPad 4. It has an Apple A6X chip, which according to Apple doubles the speed of the tablet, for general performance and when dealing with graphics.
Which accesses the internet quickest?
Unlike the iPad 3 – which was initially sold as 4G even though it would never be compatible with the networks in the UK – the iPad 4 will be 4G enabled, but only on one network, EE. If you’re interested in getting 4G on your iPad or smartphone, see our guide to EE 4G prices.
This means you should be able to access the internet up to five times faster than on 3G as long as you have signal, although you will have to pay extra for 4G functionality.
Apple also claims the wi-if on the iPad 4 is twice as fast as on the iPad 3, or any previous tablet, something we’ll be putting to the test in our lab.
Which takes the best photos?
While they both have the same 5Mp camera, Apple claims that the new A6X chip improves the image processing and produces better quality photos. We’ll wait until we put this to the test in our labs before we make a full judgement on this.
Apple has also upgraded the front-facing camera to HD, so video calling – or Facetime as Apple insists on calling it – should be better quality. The same HD camera on the iPhone 5 looks noticeably better than the VGA ones on previous iPhones, and bound to be true of the iPad 4, too.
Are there any other differences?
The only other difference between the tablets is Apple’s new lightning connector. This means you won’t be able to use the new iPad 4 with any of your existing accessories (e.g. docks and keyboards) and cables without buying an adaptor, which costs a rather substantial £25.
Which is cheaper?
The iPad 4 will go on sale for the same price as the iPad 3 before it was withdrawn from sale. Although, it may be possible to buy a refurbished or second-hand iPad 3 for a knockdown price now the new tablet has been announced.
Is it worth upgrading?
No way. If you already own an iPad 3, there’s no good reason to upgrade besides the support for 4G. The iPad 3 is still a very fast tablet with a great screen. Moreover, as the iPad 4 only supports one network on 4G and 4G is such poor value at the moment, you’re better off waiting for the next version that will likely support other networks.
And for the same reasons we’d recommend any iPad 2 owners wait for the next version before considering an upgrade.
- Apple iPad 4 price, release date and features – get the full rundown
- Apple iPad Mini features, release date and price – what’s new in the mini tablet?
- Is the iPad Mini really as light as a pad of paper? – we compare it to other objects
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