iPad 3rd Generation, also known as iPad 3, is the latest tablet computer from Apple. It was simultaneously launched in 10 countries on March 16, 2012. As with the previous generation iPad, it is primarily intended to be used for displaying and interacting with audio visual content, including text (e.g. electronic books, magazines, newspapers), video (including film, and TV shows), music, and multi-media (e.g. computer games, presentations, web content).
The iPad 3 screen size is 9.7 inches and has a display resolution is 2048 × 1536 pixels, equalling four times as many pixels on the screen as the iPad 2. In fact, not only does the new iPad 3 Retina Display have a pixel per inch more than twice that of iPad 2 (264 pixels per inch versus 132 ppi), but it also significantly higher than that used on the Kindle Touch and Nook Touch, with a mere 167 ppi. As might be expected, there is a very significant improvement in image quality. However, if you thought that that would put an end the boast that E Ink reader displays are the closest thing to printed paper, you would be wrong. Text on the Kindle Touch is still noticeably crisper and causes less strain on the eyes. The reason is that is somewhat unnatural to look directly at a light source as you must do with an iPad 3, and as a result it seems to be harder to focus on the displayed text. Combined with the considerable smaller weight and size, longer battery life, and possibility of reading outdoors, the dedicated E Ink readers potentially offer a closer experience to a physical book than the iPad does.
However, all these advantages of E Ink readers may not be crucial requirement to some. For example, you may know that you are comfortable reading a book for hours on a backlit laptop; that you do not want to read outdoors; that you do not require a highly portable device; and that you will never be away from a power point for more than a day.
On the other hand, the iPad 3 ideally suit a user whose eBooks have a high degree of multi-media content (e.g. interactivity and videos), or even just complex page layout (e.g. magazines text books with graphic images, of any PDF document where fonts cannot be adjusted). The large display size is ideal for such applications. Incidentally the large display is also much better for displaying kids interactive books as compared with the much smaller screen size on the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet. The larger screen also makes internet browsing much more enjoyable than on the small screens of the Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet.
There are various options available for accessing and reading electronic books and content on the iPad 3. A free app, iBooks, can display books and other ePub format content downloaded from the iBookstore. The iBookstore includes a growing number of titles from major book publishers, although much smaller than the Kindle or Nook Book stores. However, both of these bookstores can also be accessed directly from the iPad by using free apps developed by Amazon and Barnes & Noble, that turn the iPad 3 into a Kindle or Nook ereader. Other dedicated readers that are supported by free iPad apps include the Sony Reader and Kobo Reader. The ability to access all the major eBook stores from a single platform is another advantage.
The iPad 3 is a multi functional tablet, designed for a lot more purposes than just read books. The iPad 3 comes with additional apps, including Safari browser, Mail, Photos, Video, YouTube, Music, iTunes, App Store, Maps, Notes, Calendar, and Games. Via the App Store, additional app, some free, can be downloaded such as Skype and Office apps.
The iPad 3 has two basic wireless connectivity options. First is Wi-Fi only. Second is Wi-Fi and 4G. With 4G there are various network versions available in the US. It can act as a hotspot, and share its internet connection via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB. There have been generally positive comments about the 4G performance.
Outside US, the 4G networks are either in early years of development or incompatible with the iPad 3.
The iPad 3 has a minimum internal flash memory capacity of 16GB. However 32GB and 64GB options are also available. There is no option for adding and removing memory cards.
Size and weight
Externally, the iPad 3 appears like the iPad 2, however, it is slightly thicker (0.6 mm) and heavier (51 g) for the WiFi model (652 grams). The iPad 3 4G vary between 662 grams to 607 grams depending upon network connectivity provided.
The iPad 3 is available with a white or black front.
User input to the iPad 3 is through a variety of sensors, in including 4 switches, the touch screen, a 3-axis accelerometer and an ambient light sensor. The four switches, including a home button that brings up the main menu, and three switches on the sides: wake/sleep toggle, and combined volume up/down switch, and a software-controlled switch. The iPad 3 automatically adjust screen brightness based upon the light sensor. The display can be switch between two portrait and two landscape modes using input from the accelerometer. The touch screen allows direct manipulation and multi-touch gesture inputs, including rotating (resulting in switching between landscape and portrait modes), swiping (resulting in page turning or tabbing apps), tapping, pinch and reverse pinch (for adjusting zoom level).
The Apple iPad 3 has a 5 Mega pixel, camera on the rear capable of capturing 1080p video. In addition there is a VGA videophone camera on the front.
The iPad 3 has an internal rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery, and is not user-replaceable. A battery-replacement program run by Apple will replace the iPad with a refurbished iPad with a new battery for about US$100. Apple claims a iPad 2 battery life of 10 hours of video. The fastest way to recharge the iPad is by using the included 5 V 2 Amps USB power adapter. Using a standard USB connection to a computer port which supplies 5 V 0.5 Amps, it would take 4 times longer to charge, and possibly much longer if the iPad 2 was being used whilst charging.
iPad 3 covers and cases
The Apple Smart Cover was first introduced in 2011 for the iPad 2. It is magnetically attached to the iPad. The cover has three folds which allow it to convert into a stand, and provide a second function. However, the Smart Cover is essentially a screen protector, and provides a minimal level of protection. Not only are the sides and rear of the iPad exposed, but there is nothing to stop small objects sliding between the cover and the screen. Nor is there and impact absorbance built into the Smart cover, not surprising as it is such a minimal design. Other more conventional iPad covers and cases, provide a larger range of functions including all around protection, fully enclosure, and more comfortable handling options.
eBook Reader Guide Recommendation
Many reviewers have rated the iPad 3 as the best tablet ever seen. The display, the 4G performance, and the iOS in general is certainly impressive. It will ideally suit a user whose eBooks have a high degree of multi-media content (e.g. interactivity and videos), or complex page layout (e.g. magazines or text books with graphic images). The large display size is ideal for such applications. Incidentally the large display is also much better for displaying kids interactive books as compared with the much smaller screen size on the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet. If however you are more focused on reading mainly textual content, then a dedicated E Ink reader such as the Kindle Touch or Nook Simple Touch may be a better option, not only due to display that may place less strain on your eyes but also due to the lower weight (one-third of the iPad 3) and longer battery life (measured weeks rather than hours).
★ Suitable for all types of books: textual, color and interactive.
★ Largest collection of eBooks, accessed by installing free Kindle app.
★ Large display is ideal for displaying complex PDF and magazine content.
★ Easy touch interface for text entry, eg annotation.
★ Self-illuminating, do not need reading light in a dark environment.
★ Not as light as dedicated ereaders but multifunctional may replace other gadgets.
★ Difficult to read outdoors in sunlight.
★ Difficult to hold in one hand for long periods, may require a iPad cover with stand.
★ Back lit display not ideal for long duration readers.
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