Still, with a smartphone in my pocket, I rarely reach for the iPad to take a photo. It's nice to finally have a quality camera on an iPad, but my smartphone still has the camera I use most.
Maltais: I agree. The camera is a huge improvement from what's on the iPad 2, which reminded me of my grainy flip-phone camera of old.
It was obvious, even with bad shooting technique, that the colors were more vibrant -- bananas look much more yellow and inviting in a photo taken with the new iPad than in one taken with the iPad 2 camera. And the shift in shutter location with the iOS 5.1 upgrade helps with the unwieldy nature of having to hold this device with two hands to frame a shot.
That said, I haven't really figured out in what scenario I'd actually use an iPad as a primary camera.
Weight and thickness
Olivarez-Giles: The new iPad is heavier and thicker than the iPad 2, but the difference wasn't too noticeable. I had a colleague hand me the new iPad and the iPad 2 with my eyes closed, and I incorrectly thought the iPad 2 was the newer, heavier model. Of course, thinner and lighter is where we'd like our gadgets to go, but the difference here isn't a problem for me. The added weight is worthwhile, considering that the new model packs an improved display, camera and internal hardware.
The Wi-Fi-only version of the new iPad is 0.37 of an inch thick and weighs 1.44 pounds. The Wi-Fi-only version of the iPad 2 is 0.34 of an inch thick and weighs 1.33 pounds.
The 4G LTE new iPad weighs 1.46 pounds; the 3G iPad 2 weighs 1.35 pounds.
Maltais: I actually noticed the weight difference immediately when Nate brought the iPad to my desk. Then again, I'm acutely attuned to the tiny fluctuations when my infant eats. As someone who deals with wrists that throb from repetitive stress injury, this gave me a little pause -- not enough to not get or use the new iPad, but enough to think about how to adjust iPad usage. It's a small sacrifice of wrist strength for the sake of improvements.
Also, I insist on using a case as insurance against my own terminal clumsiness. The additional 0.11 of a pound will make a difference.
Should current iPad owners upgrade?
Olivarez-Giles: If you have an iPad 2, no, don't spend the extra dough on a third-generation iPad. For one thing, who wants to get into the habit of shilling out $499 to $829 on a slightly better tablet each year? And as good as the new iPad is (best tablet ever so far), the iPad 2 is still a helluva machine.
If you have a first-generation iPad, the upgrade makes more sense if you use your iPad a lot, as the performance differences are more significant, and eventually, Apple and app developers will start rolling out features (such as voice dictation currently exclusive to the new iPad) that the first iPad won't receive.
If you've never owned a tablet but want one, I recommend the new iPad, if you are comfortable with the cost.
Maltais: You know, I’ve stood in line for the next great thing from Apple, several times now. Although the new iPad is an impressive machine, I don’t hate my iPad 2. And the rule of thumb for upgrades with iDevices is every other generation.
Along those lines, first-generation iPad owners would be fully justified upgrading to the newest iPad -- if you've got the cash, of course. Just having cameras (for video chat) would be worth an upgrade.
Frankly, the smart consumer would probably pick up the iPad 2 at the new discounted price and not feel the least bit cheated.
Original source: Third-generation Apple iPad review [Video]