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Apple iPad 4 vs iPad 3, is it worth the upgrade?

on January 15, 2013 – 4:40 pmNo Comment

Earlier this month, we unboxed the Apple iPad 4 and have been testing it out in our labs for our upcoming review. At the same time, we have also been pondering why Apple released an iPad so soon, over the iPad 3. It was widely believed that the iPad 3 lacked in performance due to the burden that the retina display that brought with it. So, yes, we are comparing the two on video, so lets take a look at that first.

As we know, the iPad 4 was peculiarly released very soon after the iPad 3, in just six months, we are about to see why and what the major differences are between them.

The only visual change is the lightning port which is now a standard for all Apple iPhones and iPads.

The front facing camera has been improved too, it is a 1.2 MP unit on the iPad 4. But the main difference , even the reason for the upgrade is the new A6x chip with a dual core A15 specification custom Apple designed processor, running at 1.4 GHz and a Quad core Power VR GPU, which is the same as the one on the A5X, which runs an older generation dual core ARM cortex A9 1.2 GHz processor. Since the new A6x processor is faster, it loads games a little faster and smoother, while the in game GPU performance remains fairly the same, but at the same time, as pointed out by a commenter below, the Quad core GPU itself is different in A5X and A6X but we didn’t notice any performance benefits in intensive games. 

The sun spider test throws a way better score thanks to the A6x, and of course, the Geek bench score is better too, on the iPad 4 that is. That aside, we also noted that the display on the iPad 4 is slightly warmer than the iPad 3, but it may be just our unit.

In the end, does it warrant an upgrade? No, not yet. While you might be pleased with the speed bump, you might want to hold on till the next one comes along, probably in six months from now. With that said, look forward to the complete review of the iPad 4 very soon. Stay tuned! 

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Bharadwaj is obsessed with technology and is a self taught designer who covers news, writes features, reviews, loves to take photos and produces videos. He is currently using a review unit.
You can follow him on Twitter @bharadc23 and on Google+