iPad 3 vs iPad 4: the key differences

We thought we knew everything that was coming in today’s iPad Mini launch, there were very little surprises. However one thing we didn’t count on was the emergence of another “full sized” iPad.

Breaking their traditional annual product cycles, Apple announced its 4th iteration of the iPad series, with the new iPad 3 only hitting shelves in March of this year.

Interestingly, the 4th generation iPad has been released to completely replace the 3rd generation, and has now been named “iPad with Retina display.”

So what does the latest generation of iPad bring to the table?

iPad 3 vs iPad 4: Screen

Both the iPad 3 and the iPad 4 come with Apple’s Retina display. Although “only” packing 264ppi, unlike the iPhone 5’s 326ppi, the iPad’s still have market-leading screens.

iPad 3 vs iPad 4: Camera

Apple might not have upgraded the screen, but it did upgrade the front-facing camera. The iPad 3 came with a 0.3MP standard definition offering, whereas the iPad 4 makes full use of the Retina display for video chatting with a 1.2MP HD camera.

iPad 3 vs iPad 4: Processor

Building upon the iPad 2, the iPad 3 comes rocking a dual core A5X processor, with a quad core GPU. However, the iPad 4 packs Apple’s latest A6X processor, which Apple says “doubles the performance of CPU tasks.”

iPad 3 vs iPad 4: Battery

The iPad 4 comes with a battery that lasts up to 10 hours, but so does the iPad 3. Don’t think that this is a bad thing though, we noted in our iPad 3 review that despite the high-resolution retina display, the battery life was “more than acceptable.”

iPad 3 vs iPad 4: OS

Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 6, was recently launched alongside the iPhone 5, so unsurprisingly it’s also featured on the iPad 4. The iPad 3 launched with iOS 5.1 but is upgradeable to iOS 6.

iPad 3 vs iPad 4: Price

With the announcement of the iPad 4, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the iPad 3 would be made cheaper. Apple has different ideas, with the plan seeming to be to phase out the 3rd gen iPad.

The iPad 4 comes in at the same price of the iPad 3, with the Wi-Fi only tablets coming in at £399($US499, AU$539) £479(US$599, AU$649) and £559(US$699, AU$759) for 16GB, 32GB and 64GB respectively. The aptly named Wi-Fi + Cellular versions cost a bit more, at £499(US$629, AU$679), £579(US$729, AU$789) and £659(US$829, AU$899) for the three storage options.

iPad 3 vs iPad 4: Connectivity

The big difference between the two iPad generations lies within their connectivity options. The most obvious of these is the new 8-pin Lightning dock, first announced on the iPhone 5.

This is 80 percent smaller and more durable than Apple’s original 30-pin offering. The other major difference is that the iPad 4 (Wi-Fi + Cellular version) comes LTE enabled. The iPad 3 did come enabled with 4G, however, it couldn’t be used in the U.K. But, with the introduction of the iPad 4 Brits can also enjoy super fast mobile internet when they’re out and about.