Sunday, May 13, 2012. That was quite a significant day for me. On that day, almost a year ago, all the excitement and impatience that had raced through me through the previous months was paid off by the event that took place for me that day. As I type this review on the very device I purchased that fateful day, I remind myself repeatedly about what a great decision I made that day, the day I purchased my favorite electronic device - the iPad. Walking out of the store with my newfound prized possession, the third generation black WiFi 64GB iPad, I was tingling with excitement, to such an extent that I found it hard to keep my brand new, pristine $700 from shattering on the pavement. I had purchased my second Apple product, the first being my 160GB iPod Classic. I was finally going to be able to use apps and a touchscreen and smart device, all of which I had only read about. As I tested out iPads in the store, I couldn't imagine having access to such a device in my home. I set up my iPad with ease (except for the fact that hands shaking with excitement tend to misspell their email address. Five times). I have been using my iPad happily ever since, and so I am pleased to present you with this review.
Display: I was stunned by the gorgeous 9.7" retina display. I failed to notice the pixels, even with the screen right in my face. One thing I learned is once you use a device with a retina display, you can never, ever go back to the lower quality displays of, say, the iPad 2. When I tried using an iPad 2 after having my 3 for a while, I seriously thought the screen was broken, that's how bad it was in comparison.
Thickness: OK, I know we all heard the dramatic stories on various technology blogs about how the iPad 3 was .8 mm thicker than it's predecessor, because of the battery. Give me a break, who is going to care about such a minuscule difference in thickness? Certainly not me. My iPad still seems as thin and light as ever, even after reading reviews about the iPad mini, which call the full-sized iPads "too heavy and bulky."
App Store: There are 300,000 native iPad apps at your disposal, which can be downloaded from the easy to use App Store. Of course, the 475,000 iPhone apps will also work relatively well on the iPad, however (many) only in portrait mode and at a lower resolution.
Capacity: I have the 64 gigabyte version of the iPad. My iPad contains photos, videos, movies, music, and apps, lots of apps. As my available storage space dwindles into the red zone, I desperately delete old photos and apps. If the 128 gigabyte model was available at my time of purchase, I would totally have gotten that one, as it is a steal at only an additional $100 cost for double the storage space.
Battery: Apple claims the iPad gets up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. I find those claims to be quite reasonable, as I get great battery life. The iPad 3 does take notably longer to charge than its predecessors because of its retina display, which requires more energy to power.
Camera: In the iPad 3, Apple gave the rear facing camera an upgrade. While it's not nearly as good as that of the iPhone, it's still pretty decent. However, they left the front facing camera untouched, which, because of its low quality, is barely sufficient for FaceTime calls, much less worthwhile photography.
Sound: The iPad's speaker is OK for playing games or listening to a little music. However, don't count on the dinky little speaker to pound out music for a party. Also, the single speaker (a downgrade from the 2 speakers on the original iPad) is not able to produce sound that is as high quality as some music aficionados may desire. The speaker tends to make audio sound a little tinny.
Value: The iPad was certainly far from a cheap purchase. Whether it is worth the hefty price or not is up to you to decide, but it really comes down to the question: "What are you going to use it for, and how often are you going to use it?" If you're just going to browse the web and check email, maybe a cheap Android tablet would be enough to tide you over. If you plan on doing more, the iPad may be for you.
Overall: I am pleased with my purchase of the third generation iPad. Although it has a few flaws, these are minuscule compared to its superb functionality and high quality. You will not be disappointed with this gorgeous device, I assure you. If you are considering splurging on an iPad, don't just sit there, go get one and validate all I have said for yourself.