New iPad 3 hands on review

We got our grubby mitts on the glorious Retina Display and tested that A5X to see what it's got

Apple iPad 3 hands on review – build

Apple knows how to build something right, and since it did it so well once, well, why change? The new iPad 3 looks just like its predecessor, the iPad 2 – despite this updated version being 9.4mm thick compared to the iPad 2's 8.8mm. But it's the screen that really sets it apart.

Apple iPad 3 hands on review – screen

This is the big sell of the tablet we thought would be called the iPad HD, which is offically named simply 'the new iPad'. When that beautiful 264ppi screen fired up, we were blown away. The 2048x1036px display makes photos look beautiful even when zoomed in – ideal for the new iPhoto app with its plethora of editing options. The only video we got to see was a home video but it looked crystal clear and ran slippery smooth on the A5X processor.

Apple iPad 3 hands on review – power and performance

No sign of the A6 core but this A5X which runs quad-core graphics certainly doesn't lag. Using processor-gorging apps like iPhoto, manipulating 19MP photos is all taken in the stride of the new iPad. Sky Gamblers – Air Supremacy, a flight sim game, runs smoothly with graphics that would look at home on a top console. It'll be interesting to see how well this all works on the A5 core of the iPad 2 by comparison.

When you've got a Retina Display and quad-core graphics it would be silly to scrimp on the camera, hence the 5MP snapper found on the new iPad 3. It has a host of interesting features like back-lit optics, IR reduction, IPS and stunning 1080p video. No sign of a flash sadly and shooting indoors wasn't an option, but the gallery pictures look great – suprise, suprise. We'd have liked to see an 8MP snapper but – for now – this will do.

Apple iPad 3 hands on review – camera

iPhoto is one powerful piece of software that really shows off that pretty, pretty Retina Display – it can handle images up to 19MP. A great feature lets you instantly transfer files to other devices, although we didn't get to see that in action. What we did see was a bevvy of editing options like saturation changing, quick colour adjustments, various brush options and a nifty quick glance that lets you compare your edit to the original image. Not bad for £3. We like.

Apple iPad 3 hands on review – iPhoto

The new iPad, or iPad 3, or iPad HD – call it what you will – isn't a massive upgrade over its predecessor, but it'll be a must-have for early adopting moths drawn to its flame-bright screen. And we suspect as more apps join the HD ranks, it'll become more and more essential for the everyman tableteer. Apple's prolific streak of downright wantable gadgets has a new member. And our first impression says we'll want one very much. Of course, we'll leave our final verdict to a full review, coming very soon.

UPDATE: And here its, read our in depth new iPad 3 review here.

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Apple iPad 3 hands on review – verdict