By Jim Karpen on Tue, 03/20/2012
Apple reported late yesterday that they had sold 3 million iPads the first weekend — a record for the iPad, and nearly equal to the 4 million iPhone's sold last October with the launch of the iPhone 4S. By way of comparison, Apple sold 300,000 iPads on the first day of sales of the original iPad back in 2010. According to CNET, the figure of 3 million doesn't include preorders. In the press release, Apple's Phil Schiller said, “The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold―the strongest iPad launch yet. Customers are loving the incredible new features of iPad, including the stunning Retina display, and we can't wait to get it into the hands of even more customers around the world this Friday.”
And indeed the new display has been a focus of the first reviews. DisplayMate has taken an in-depth look at the screen, comparing it to that of the iPad 2 and Android tablets. Performing a systematic analysis based on test photos, test images, and test patterns, the article concludes that the new iPad "blows away" all the other tablets they've tested. The new iPad, they say, has dramatically improved two of the major weak points of the iPad 2: sharpness and color saturation. And they have awarded to iPad their Best Mobile Display Award.
DisplayMate says that the degree of picture quality and accuracy beats every other laptop, tablet, and mobile projector that they've looked at, and that the iPad is now suited for professional applications. For professional photographers, they say that the iPad will show their pictures more accurately than any other display, with the exception of calibrated professional displays. This sort of quality is also suited to medical imaging and those who work with detailed documents.
This website, though, has high standards, and says that Apple and every other maker of mobile displays needs to improve a range of areas, such as screen reflectance, ambient light sensor, automatic brightness, and RGB LED backlights. And the author of the article argues that the new iPad's display isn't really a retina display. DisplayMate specializes in display calibration, and after they present their conclusions in the article, they give all the details of their testing of the displays.
Possibly related to the demands of the retina display is the finding that the new iPad runs 10 degrees warmer than the iPad 2. A Dutch website used thermal imaging to make the comparison. You can read more on AppleInsider. Not long after this information began circulating on blogs, Apple made an official statement to The Loop, saying that the new iPad operates "well within our thermal specifications. If customers have any concerns they should contact AppleCare.” Most users are saying that it's only moderately noticeable and that it's localized to one corner of the device, where the logic board resides. So how warm is it? Consumer Reports said today that the iPad can hit temperatures as high as 116 Fahrenheit on the front and back of the device when playing Infinity Blade II. When the same test was run with the device unplugged, the temperature hit 113. Again, they say it feels warm but not uncomfortably hot.
Also, iMore ran some tests of the speaker, comparing it with the iPad 2. They found that in terms of volume, there's little, if any, difference.
So far the consensus seems to be that the new iPad is a winner.