This is my personal opinion. I'm posting this for the sake of discussion. I'm not a native English speaker, I apologize upfront for any grammatical errors. Wednesday Apple announced the successor of the iPad 2: the third generation iPad ("The new iPad", from here on: "iPad 3"). The iPad 3 is a solid and decent upgrade. The biggest new feature is the retina display. Not only is the text extremely crisp and look images crystal clear, Apple also claims that the iPad 3 offers 44% greater colour saturation. In combination with an amazing pixel density of 264 pixels per inch, the iPad 3 will show us the best tablet display so far. Apple also gave us a newer, faster A5X chip, LTE, a 5 megapixel rear camera with the lenses of the iPhone 4S and 1080p video recording and voice dictation. This sounds like a great upgrade, doesn't it? It isn't. It is a solid, decent upgrade. That's it. And I'm going to tell you why. Retina display Let's dissect the iPad 3, starting with the retina display. The retina display is the real upgrade here. It's extremely sharp and gives us great colour saturation. The iPad 2 didn't have a terrible display, but ever since Apple showed us the retina display, we all knew we wanted one in the iPad as well. So far, so good, so great. iSight camera Let's take a look at the cameras. Apple gave us, what they call, an iSight camera. "On the back we have a camera, and when that camera gets of such quality and capability that you're proud to use it as your everyday camera for photographs, we call it an iSight camera. And the new iPad has a great iSight camera." And it's true from what I've seen. The iPad 3 appears to have a great camera and thus we can all it an iSight camera. According to Apple it's got similar optics like the iPhone 4S, and the iPhone 4S takes beautiful pictures for a mobile phone. You could argue that it is 'only five megapixels', but that doesn't really matter. The iPhone 4's got 5 megapixels and the iPhone 4's camera isn't bad. It's the perfect compromise between costs and image quality: the same great optics from the iPhone 4S, with a decent amount of megapixels. So, at first glance everything seems perfect. What's the catch? The catch is the front facing camera. Apple seems to have forgotten that people are more likely to use the front facing camera than the rear camera: primarily because the iPad is ideal for video calling. Apple did not upgrade the front facing camera. What is wrong with them? I expected at least a 2,1 megapixel camera for HD video calling. Apple could have given us FaceTime HD, like on the Mac. And perhaps, Skype would have thrown in support for Full HD video calls. Instead, Apple choose to give us the exact same, terrible, front facing camera. It might be just me, but I would rather have had a full HD front facing camera and the same 720p rear facing camera like found on the iPad 2, than the same crappy camera at the front and a 5 megapixel camera at the rear. Voice Dictation To be honest, I love it. This feature is rather basic: you simply talk and text appears on the screen - we've seen similar technology for years now, even in Apple's own App Store. The best thing is that this works in every app. So, again, what's the catch? Well, first of all, it's Siri but than without the personal assistant. The iPad is a different device than the iPhone, so it's understandable you can't bring over all of Siri's functionality but they could have at least given a part of Siri to us. I somewhere read a theory that Apple might have decided not to implement Siri because it requires an internet connection - and WiFi only iPads do not always have an internet connection which brings me to issue number two. Voice Dictation also requires an internet connection. Voice Dictation should happen locally, on the device itself. It's unlikely I want to use Voice Dictation if I'm not going to do something internet-related (sending e-mail, twitter, Facebook, etc.), but it could still happen. The third, and last, issue is that it only supports a number of languages. Now I do realize this doesn't matter to anyone living in an area where English is the number one language, but there are also a lot of countries on Earth where English isn't the main language! So, voice dictation might appear to be great, but it isn't: it's Siri... without the personal assistent, it requires an internet connection and it only supports four languages so far (English, Japanse, French and German). iOS 5.1 iOS 5.1 was really disappointing as well. iOS 3.2 gave us the first iOS-version for iPad. iOS 4.2 gave us multitasking and some great new apps. iOS 5.1 gives us... a camera button at the lockscreen?! Scott Forstall usually comes up to stage to show us some great new iOS software. This year he didn't. iOS 5.1 is a stable version of iOS, but it doesn't offer us anything new. LTE Finally Apple has added true 4G LTE. It gives us amazingly fast data speeds, sometimes even faster than your own Wi-Fi network. This is the thing everybody wants. So, what is the catch? Well, first of all: there are two versions. One for Verizon and one for AT&T. This doesn't really make it a world tablet, does it? Even more notable is that, with the Verizon 4G version, you can roam on both GSM and CDMA networks abroad. You can't roam on CDMA networks when you own the AT&T version. Oh, and you can't connect to Verizon LTE with your AT&T LTE tablet or vice versa. Than there's the second catch. Apple completely ignored Europe. The iPad 3 can't connect to LTE networks in Europe. There are some very decent LTE networks in Europe, even more reliable and faster than those in the United States. Apple, unfortunately, has decided not to build in any support for LTE networks in Europe. Third is the actual data speed: it's disappointing. In the United States, both AT&T and Verizon have average data speeds of about 25 Mbps. AT&T appears to be a little bit faster and can reach up to 40 Mbps or more. The iPad 3 supports up to 72 Mbps. The disappointing thing here, is that, in Europe, there are already LTE networks that offer 100 Mbps in real-world usage. Now, as mentioned before, the iPad 3 doesn't support LTE in Europe, but these European speeds will definitely expand to the United States as well. What if LTE speeds in the United States are going to cross 72 Mbps this year or next year? Than your iPad 3 is actually a limiting factor. A5X chip The A5X chip is build for the retina display. The A5 chip would not give us the same, graphical performance we know from the iPad 2... so that's why the A5X chip was invented. The amount of cores were doubled (from 2 to 4) for a smooth graphical user interface. That's it. And that's the problem. The A5X solely and alone exists purely because otherwise the graphical user interface would stutter. And that's just it. It doesn't do anymore than that. It doesn't give us any additional performance. It's most likely the same GPU as utilized in the iPad 2 (except for the amount of cores). I at least expected Apple to give us some sort of an improvement. I think they could have done two things for the A5X chip: - Switching from architecture (from Cortex A9 to Cortex A15) - Increasing clock speeds Both would be great options to give the iPad 3 a better performance over the iPad 2, especially when it comes to simple tasks like browsing or opening an app. The Cortex A15 architecture gives us huge performance gains at lower clockspeeds. To give you an example: a dual-core 800 MHz Cortex A15 processor blows away a quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex A9 processor (like the Nvidia Tegra 3). An increase in clock speed would also have been an option. It wouldn't give us quite the performance gain like with a Cortex A15 processor, but it would definitely make everything even smoother. It's really disappointing they didn't do anything else with the chip. I wasn't expecting a quad-core chip, but some kind of an improvement would have been welcomed by everybody. Conclusion The iPad 3 is a solid upgrade missing out on some features. The performance of the iPad 3 shouldn't be on par with the iPad 2, it should exceed it. FaceTime video calls shouldn't be the same on the iPad 3 as it is on the iPad 2, FaceTime calls must be in HD - make use of this beautiful retina display. The iPad 3 seems to do everything just fine. And that's just it: it does everything just fine.