Why The New iPad Matters

The screen makes the difference. Really.

I’ve had the new iPad for a few weeks now, and unlike the first generation model I bought the day it came out, I’m actually using this one.

I could write a review of this new tablet, but honestly, it wouldn’t be anything you haven’t read somewhere else. Instead, I’ll tell you why I find myself using the new iPad, and why the old one became a glorified paperweight.In a nutshell, it’s the screen. It looks amazing, and it feels amazing to use. Just like I got used to the Retina Display on my iPhone instantly, every device without it feels blurry and archaic. Reading is easier on my eyes. Text is brighter. It pops. And, with the much faster processor in this newest model, it has a smoother feeling that tricks my eye into thinking it’s looking at actual ink on paper.

All the other features aren’t really game-breaking, at least when comparing the new iPad to the iPad 2. Granted this thing is lighter and more ergonomically designed than the original, but it’s actually marginally heavier and thicker that the now discounted iPad 2. The battery remains great, much better than the original, which sat around depleted most of the time.

I’ve used a few of the other features, but just a little. While I don’t see myself lugging around the iPad as a camera or as a video camera, FaceTime video chatting is more fun when it’s on a screen so much bigger than an iPhone. And the 4G is blazing fast, but most of my iPad usage is actually bedside, where I’m only on wi-fi. Just to have the options are a nice upgrade from the original.

Still, it’s that screen that makes all the difference.

Take, for example, Paper, a new app by FiftyThree – it’s the first one I’ve seen to take full advantage of the new Retina Display. A drawing, sketching and outlining tool, it’s elegant in its simplicity. Using your finger (though better with a cheap stylus, trust me), you can bring your ideas to life. Simply. Beautifully. The first tool is free, but for the entire suite of fountain pen, pencil, marker, ink pen and watercolor brush, you’re looking at $7.99, and it’s well-worth it. The app isn’t without its shortcomings, one of which is a very limited color palate, but that will be addressed in future updates.

Painting on "Paper" feels almost real.

Paper also exploits the iPad’s tiny screen lag time, which remains a flaw. That 100 milliseconds from when you touch the screen until it reacts is still noticeable, so drawing doesn’t feel as fluid as real pen to paper (a keyboard, for example, as a 8-10 millisecond lag time). But it’s close. And it’s really fun.

Do you need the new iPad? No, especially if you have the iPad 2. If you have the first iPad, you’ll probably notice the difference. And if you don’t have a tablet at all, you’ll probably love the thing.

The new iPad still doesn’t replace my desktop, my laptop or my phone, but in certain situations – like in bed, on planes at or at meetings – it’s great. And watching movies is a thrill.

I guess it depends: is $500 or $600 a deal breaker for you, for a piece of transformational, cutting-edge post-PC technology? If it is, stick with what you’ve got. If it isn’t, pick up a new iPad. It’ll be hard for even the biggest skeptics to put it down.

Andy Tarnoff (40 Posts)

Sometimes snarky, occasionally suspicious, usually funny (at least in his own mind), Andy uses his blog space mostly as a written catharsis for the numerous, unrelated topics swirling around in his mildly OCD head. Andy is the publisher and co-founder of OnMilwaukee.com, a digital media company he started in 1998.


Comments

  1. Is the new iPad so thin that you can use it to get a great iShave?

  2. Not sure if this might be too off-topic for this site…

  3. This is article completely useless and inappropriate on a shaving website.

  4. Mark H mantic59 says:

    Tim and J– I respectfully disagree. Sharpologist isn’t just about “shaving” (though that is it’s primary focus). It’s about shaving, grooming, and style (like it says on the top menu). A post about the iPad is about style as far as I’m concerned. I’m also planning posts about cigars, watches, and even robots. Shaving is the Raison d’être but there will be the occasional foray into other topics.

    • This is YOUR WEBSITE Mantic! We are free to come and go here. End of my rant, have a great day.

  5. Alain Nonyme says:

    Try to rationalize as much as you want, but this post is 100% off topic.

  6. bsmyn0708 says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the rest of the guys and Andy sounds like a pushy Apple sales person at BestBuy who wants to you buy the newest and most uber Apple product yet . Let’s go back to the basics, Mantic. I’m seriously getting bored with this site quickly. This site has become less about shaving and more about trendy and hip stuff. There’s Facebook for this crap and Apple forums…

  7. @mantic: Well, the post about the iPad falls into the style catgegory, you are right about that. And since there are posts on trousers, watches and other non-groom / non-shave topics, you could argue that an iPad-post at least does not violate the focus for this website.

    But I think we have to talk about “style”, then. When I think about the arche-type of man depictured at this site, it is the type of man who would walk into a higher class bar or club in an elegant suit, orders something like “martini dry, shaken not stirred”. All others things discussed on this website would help him there: how to be shaved properly, having good-looking clothes, a nice watch and so on. but in my had having him getting out an iPad out of nowhere and (this is purely personal feeling now) bragging around with it somehow just feels wrong.

    I know this is purely based on my personal feelings, but having an iPad is more about being “hip” than about having my own style. So yes, you are right, an iPad is about style. But then there is the question: what types of style is this website focussed on?

    • Mark H mantic59 says:

      Tim– You make an interesting point: there’s “classic” style and there’s “modern” style. I’m not sure I’d classify an iPad as “hip” or trendy. When they first came out, yes, I think they were trendy. But now they’re much more pervasive and accepted. I need to ask the author of this post, Andy, to discuss it with a follow-up post. Personally, I think an occasional (once a month?) post about something that isn’t strictly about shaving or grooming, but still interesting to the people who read the site, is not a bad thing.

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