Apple iPad (third generation)

Blog Aug 21, 2012

Apple iPad (third generation), from £399FEATURES ★★★★★  PERFORMANCE ★★★★★  EASE OF USE ★★★★★  VALUE FOR MONEY ★★★The most signific

Apple iPad (third generation), from £399


The most significant change between the second- and third-generation iPads is the increased resolution of the IPS screen (In-Plane Switching, which is the best type of tablet screen around at the moment). Apple calls it ‘Retina’, because you can’t see individual pixels without looking very closely.

Squeezing a resolution of 2,560 by 1,536 pixels into a 9.7in screen (which works out to 264 pixels per inch) is a technological feat that’s worth Apple’s hype, and hasn’t yet been matched by any other manufacturers.

This technology makes a real difference to the experience of using an iPad. Text and images look crisp, and more detail can be crammed onto its screen than any of the other tablets we tested. Its brightness and contrast measurements (426cd/m2 and 906:1 respectively) weren’t the absolute best, but this hardly matters.

The iPad has enough processing power to deal with the extra display. We noticed an occasional graphical stutter, but only when playing the most demanding games, and it wasn’t enough to be disruptive. The battery maintains the iPad 2’s reputation for endurance, managing to play our looping video test for 12 hours and 32 seconds, leading the pack in this test. The SunSpider test completed in 1,803ms, which makes it the second fastest.

If there’s one problem with the screen, it’s that apps have had to increase in size, particularly games that make full use of the extra detail available to them. This is starting to push the basic 16GB model to its limits, and you may find yourself regularly having to remove apps to make room for new ones. If you can afford it, we’d recommend going for the 32GB version (£479).

It’s a heavy tablet, weighing 652g. That’s 50g heavier than the iPad 2, which makes it tiring to hold if you use it for a long time.


With its stunning screen and impressive battery-life, the latest iPad is still the most stylish and desirable tablet available. The resolution of its Retina screen is unrivalled and makes a huge difference to the sharpness and detail.

However, the iPad is not cheap, and you need to add £100 to the price for 3G versions. But even at these prices, we’d say the new iPad is worth every penny. If you choose to buy it, you won’t regret it.