Feature set summary for Apple iPad 4 review by 4G.co.uk
The Apple iPad 4 is compatible with 4G, excellent for super fast downloads ensuring stutter free video streaming and quick web browsing. You’ll get images as crisp as those on the iPad 3 from the 5-megapixel camera. The improved FaceTime camera means video calls are less grainy. Existing iPad accessories will need an adapter to fit the new Lightening connector.
Style and handling summary for Apple iPad 4 review
Since it came out only a short time after the third-generation iPad, this fourth-generation tablet looks the same. The iPad mini is more portable, as are rivals, but the iPad 4 still packs a punch. It's a 4G enabled tablet of course.
Battery power summary for Apple iPad 4 review
Apple claims 10 hours between charges with typical use of emails, apps and games, and that’s what we got. Using the 4G to stream video in full brightness will give you a respectable seven hours.
Performance summary for Apple iPad 4 review
Driven by a dual-core A6X processor the iPad 4 has twice the power of the iPad third generation’s A5X. Which is what you want in a 4G tablet for getting the most out of your media.
User friendliness summary for Apple iPad 4 review
Apple’s iOS is, as always, a doddle to use even with the odd hiccup like Maps. There’s been a bit of an update for Siri, and the 9.7-inch screen is a good size for web browsing and media streaming.
|Style & Handling|
Pros : 4G support; superb Retina display; respectable battery performance; impressive range of apps; improved film quality from the FaceTime camera.
Cons : not as portable as its predecessor; lacks a memory card slot
Verdict : Apple has improved on the iPad for this fourth generation. There’s a beefier processor to go nicely with the 4G support, and sharper images from the FaceTime camera. Still needs to be easier to carry around.
It was a bit of a surprise when Apple released the 4G compatible fourth generation iPad, having waited only six months since launching the third generation iPad. Shown to the world at the same time as the Apple iPad Mini, its debut was met with a bit of anger from third generation iPad owners finding themselves outdated so quickly.
To be fair, the fourth generation iPad doesn’t really do anything the third generation tablet doesn't. It is more of a tweaked improvement than anything else. Both the iPad 3 and the iPad 4 will be able to handle anything that comes along for some years to come yet. In the Apple store you’ll only find the iPad 4 indicating that it is more of an upgrade to the iPad 3 rather than a whole new device entirely.
4G media on the go
There is a Wi-Fi only version. But what has us excited is a feature that has been updated from the iPad3. The fourth generation iPad is compatible with 4G LTE. It really niggled us that the iPad third generation offered 4G support – but for our American cousins only. It didn’t work with 4G here. Well that’s all been fixed now. So for streaming media when you’re out and about, with its super fast processor and excellent screen, the iPad fourth generation is an excellent choice.
On the outside
The design of the fourth generation iPad is identical to the iPad 3. Put both generations together on a desk and you won’t be able to tell them apart. A little like looking at the HTC One X and the HTC One X+. We tested the version of this tablet in white. This is glossy on the front, brushed metal on the rear, and looks fabulous. Look underneath though and you’ll immediately spot one change. The new Lightning port, which is narrower than the old port for charging and data. New users won’t care, but it isn’t great news if you’re looking to replace an old iPad and want to use your existing accessories. We prefer this new, slimmer cable head.
We do have a problem with the size and weight of the iPad. Compare it to competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and it immediately feels bulky, and heavy. To carry a tablet on the daily commute we’d go for the iPad mini or Google Nexus 7. For more wider computing use though, this a great device for web browsing, playing with apps, and watching video.
The trade off for the iPad 4’ portability is the seriously crisp 9.7-inch Retina display, also found on previous iPad models. And thank goodness Apple hasn’t changed it - we haven’t seen a sharper screen on a tablet. The HD images produced by the Retina display are amazingly life-like. Perfect for photos and media, which with 4G support you’ll be using a lot. The viewing angles are also good. Glare will never be a problem as this is also one of the most seriously bright screens we’ve seen.
It’s got the power
Not everything is the same. Under the hood Apple has beefed up the power on the fourth generation iPad, going from the A5X to the latest A6X processor. Apple says that this processor will give it twice the power of the iPad 3. It stretches the limits of our testing to make a direct comparison, given the excellent performance found on the iPad 3. Everything, from streamed media via 4G to apps, ran smoothly with no lags.
If you’re worried that all that power will suck up battery life, then don’t be. Typical use involving checking emails, playing with apps and editing photos got us 10 hours between charges, exactly as promised by Apple. Our media test, which involves streaming video over Wi-Fi with maximum brightness on the screen, actually managed to give us seven hours of battery life. This is better than most other tablets manage.
No change when it comes to the 5-megapixel camera found on the back of the iPad 4. Apple used the same one in the iPad 3, and won’t disappoint taking, as it does, vivid, rich photos. However, tablets aren’t best designed for use as a camera, although it is always good to have that choice. Most of the time you’ll use a camera on an iPad for video calls. We had a gripe with the FaceTime camera on the iPad 3. The front-facing lens produced rather grainy video. Not so now. The VGA offering is sharper, at 1.2-megapixels. A much better experience for the person you’re chatting to online.
It isn’t a big leap up from the third generation iPad to the fourth generation tablet. Current owners don’t need to upgrade unless you are after the built-in 4G LTE support. If your older iPad is looking a bit creaky, or you’re looking to buy a tablet for the first time, the iPad 4 offers an excellent range of features from stylish design, to the superb screen, and its 4G support. On the downside, it isn’t as portable as the iPad Mini.
|Type of device||Tablet|
|Operating System||Apple iOS 6|
|Dimensions||241 x 186 x 9.4mm|
|CPU||Apple A6 processor|
|Screen size||9.7 inches|
|Display type||Retina Display|
|Internal storage||16GB - 64GB|
|Memory card slot|
|Secondary camera||1.2 megapixels|
|Special camera features|
|Music player||AAC, HE-AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, AAX and AAX+, Apple Lossless, AIFF and WAV|
|FM Radio description|
|Video player||H.264, .mp4, .mov, M-JPEG, .avi|
|Colours (Standard)||Black, White|
|Handsfree speaker phone|
|What's in the box||Charger|
|Battery life multimedia||7 hours|