The New iPad -- To Buy or Not To Buy? That's The Question!

The latest addition to the Apple family debuted this month -- The new iPad (no “3” just "New").

Of all the improvements over the iPad 2, the biggest is the resolution. The new model’s retina display comes packed with four times as many pixels as the previous iPads. It’s the best display screen of any tablet ever.

But how does this really affect the user? Is it a noticeable difference worth upgrading for, or a minor step in iPad evolution?

The new iPad’s resolution is 2048 x 1536, which on a 9.7 inch screen means a pixel density of 264 points per inch. The processor was upgraded to the A5X in order to handle its 3.1 million pixels. This results in pictures that are not only clearer and brighter, but more accurate as well.

When compared to the iPad 2 it becomes clear how much color accuracy and image detail can be lost with lower resolutions. This also means that web browsing is better with less need to zoom in to read pages because fonts are cleaner.

The IPS screen also means you won’t miss any of the image quality improvements at odd angles. This makes sharing the latest viral video you’ve discovered that much easier. 1080p content is significantly improved from the iPad 2.

Video game graphics are kicked up a notch as well. When holding up the iPad 2 to the new iPad, all of these features are noticeable.

Whether it’s worth the upgrade depends on how valuable resolution and color are to your iPad use. Users who browse video and photo content and are happy with the iPad 2’s resolution may find it hard to justify upgrading. Those who edit or closely analyze such media would probably find it a smart move (especially considering the new iLife, Apple’s photo and video editing software, which they recently upgraded to harness the graphics power of the new iPad).

As for other differences between the new iPad and the iPad 2... It’s 9.4mm thick (.6mm thicker than the iPad 2) and weighs 1.4 pounds (.11 pounds more than the 2), and now has a 5-megapixel rear facing camera.

The new camera has the same five-element, f/2.4 lens and stabilization processing power found in the iPhone 4S camera. The download and upload speeds with 4G/LTE are significantly improved.