After patiently waiting for more than a week, the new iPads have arrived! Packaging for the new version of the iPad is quite similar to the old one. Unless you look closely, the box is almost indistinguishable from the previous version. The one thing I did notice is an iCloud emblem on one of the sides of the box. The box contained the iPad, USB cable, charger block and instruction book.
In the wild, it will take a trained eye to determine whether you are carrying an iPad 2 or the new version. The new version is a bit heavier and just a smidge thicker than the previous version. The new version has a SIM slot as indicated by the red circle below. In addition, the camera opening is just slightly larger. In the pictures below, the iPad2 is on the left and the New iPad is on the right.
On to the features… So far, I have only spent about an hour actually using the device. It took almost two hours to synchronize 64 GB from my previous device. I haven’t actually restored from a backup in a while. I was happy to see that Apple forced you to re-enter the passwords for your email accounts after the restore. It would probably be considered a pretty severe security risk if the email accounts were immediately active upon restore. To my knowledge, the fact that you restored a device isn’t tracked anywhere within iTunes.
The screen is gorgeous. I have not had the opportunity to try any real HD content on it yet. That will be a task for this weekend. So far, I have noticed that text is much more crisp and clean. This should make reading, web browsing and email (my main three tasks on this device), much more enjoyable.
During my time with the device so far, I have noticed that it gets warmer than the iPad 2 does. I don’t believe it will be an overheating issue, it is just a bit warmer. With the more power hungry components like the screen, processor and 4G electronics, this should probably be expected. I have also noticed that the device charges much more slowly than the previous version. This falls in line since the device has a larger battery and essentially the same battery charging system as the previous version.
I am looking forward to using the cameras on this device. Both the front-facing and rear-facing cameras have been upgraded. They are not perfect, but for a portable device, I believe they are quite good.
I did run into one issue when attempting to sign up for Verizon 4G LTE service. I had used my primary email address to sign up with Verizon for the data on my iPad 2. When I attempted to use the same address for the data plan on the new iPad, I received the message “That email address is already taken, please choose another.”
Fortunately, I have several email addresses I could choose from. Since I still wanted my primary email address to be used on my new device, I modified the email address associated with the data plan on the iPad 2, changing it from my primary email to another. I was then immediately able to use my primary email address to sign up for the data service on the new device. As soon as I am comfortable with the installation on the new device, I will disable the service on the previous device anyway. No harm, no foul. I do think that Verizon could have handled this better though. It seems like they never planned for someone to have two device in service at the same time.
For those who have accessories, I have found that all of the ones I have from the iPad 2 still work, including the Apple folding vinyl magnetic cover and the Apple keyboard dock. I believe the only accessories that will have problems will be those that were designed to fit tightly on the iPad 2. Although the connectors are the same, your mileage may vary with accessories from the original iPad.
Another issue with the data plan is that I should have probably looked at when it was set to renew on the old device. As it stands, it just renewed for another billing cycle a few days ago. As I am transitioning this device off to another person, I will be disabling the service. Verizon, at least send me a Christmas card for the extra $35 I just gave you…