A vaguely intelligent overview of the new iPad
OK, big bro. You know the drill. Tell me some techo stuff and make me sound intelligent.
It’ll take more than a few technical pointers to make you sound half smart, donkey breath.
Yeah yeah, and your football team sucks more than mine. Look, just tell me about the new iPad. It’s the third one. So why isn’t it called iPad3?
Why does Apple do anything? It’s a company with a history of slight weird. I mean, “Think Different”. What was that about?
The blurb says the new iPad features a stunning new Retina™ display. Should I be excited?
It basically just means it has a really, really good screen with more pixels per inch.
Were Apple being stingy with the pixels last time or have they found a way to pack more in?
Screens are not made individually. They are made in bloody big sheets which are then cut up into individual units. It takes a while for factories to get ready to do that stuff. My guess is that Apple has almost certainly been having super secret talks with major display manufacturers. They may well have chucked a coupla hundred million bucks at Sharp or Samsung or Toshiba or someone to come up with a better screen.
As you do
Well this is what Apple does to give itself a market edge. It finds people with an innovation they are close to getting to market, then gives them a big leg up to get them to market. This was detailed in the Steve Jobs bio, where Jobs threw money at a type of Crown Corning glass called Gorilla Glass. That’s the really tough glass now found on the front of most smart phones.
The new iPad has, and I quote, “Apple’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics”. Should I be excited?
Sure. About 10 years ago, the world of chips had a fight…
Like when Red Rock deli hit the market and everyone started making fancy chip flavours.
No, not like that at all, dork features. See, in one corner you had people saying said we can make chips go insanely fast. In the other camp you had a buncha people saying “sure, make fast chips but it’ll be almost impossible to get that speed with small size and low power consumption, and without making the things really really hot.
So who won?
Well, then some people said that the way to get more performance is by baking several chips into one lump of silicone and getting them to work in harness. This is what Apple has done. Each of those chips is called a core. A “quad-core” chip is four chips in one. It’s like if Holden said “Stuff V8s, we can do better with four lawnmower engines”.
Then they’d be making Mazdas
Yeah, well that’s basically what happened. Long story short, the new chip is faster without using more petrol.
The new iPad claims to be “amazingly thin and light”. Is it?
Actually it’s a tiny bit fatter than the old one. But the thing with iPads and smart phones in general is that any complaint about weight or thickness is just churlishness that pays no heed to the extraordinary miracles packed into these tiny things. People should think back to the first mobiles in the 90s which only did voice and text and “snake”. Think how far we’ve come in 15 years. If anyone complains about the new iPad being slightly heavier they are being “ungrateful”.
Does the new iPad download stuff faster?
Not in Australia because our 4G networks aren’t the same us America’s 4G networks. The good news is all Australian telcos have been building extra speed into their 3G networks for a while now and the new iPad has 3G. But a lot of people don’t bother with 3G on their iPads. Most people still only use it at home or in the office where there is wifi.
I don’t have an iPad2, or any iPad, but if I did, should I throw it out?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with an iPad2. It a beautiful machine and at $429, it is now cheaper than most tablet devices from top tier manufacturers. Sure, you can spend $199 or $299 on a cheap Android tablet from Neville Nobody, but Apple has really put the cat among pigeons by making the iPad2 $429.
So are you gonna get a new iPad?
No, my iPad 1 still works beautifully. An iPad is an entirely discretionary item. It is not yet a great replacement for a PC. Not many people use it as primary work tool, even though its email app is very good and there’s some great software for it. When it’s time to do work, people still seem to want a larger keyboard and a larger screen experience, even though it is a truly lovely machine.
Don’t go too Bruce MacAvaney on me
Well it is a lovely machine, but nobody needs an iPad. It’s a lot of fun to have, but I really don’t see that it’s essential.
I think we’ll let the readers decide that…
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