Reviewers say the fourth-generation iPad with Retina Display is the best tablet available, bar none. The battery lasts forever, the Retina Display inspires drooling, performance is among the best in its class, and the huge number of tablet-optimized apps can't be beat. However, it's not necessarily a must-have upgrade for third-generation iPad owners.
Silky smooth and super to look at. The powerful new A6X processor pushes performance so it's on par with the best Android tablets, delivering excellent game-playing abilities and smooth overall operation. The Retina Display sports an ultra-high resolution matched only by the flagship Google Nexus 10 (Est. $350 and up) , making everything crisp and clear. Onscreen text is sharp enough that you'd swear you're reading a book, reviewers say. In addition, the iPad's long battery life has been boosted to even more impressive lengths in this fourth-generation model.
Apps, apps and more apps. The iPad with Retina Display includes extras like dual cameras and FaceTime video chatting over cellular networks, but as with the iPad 2 (Est. $400 and up) , its biggest calling card is the number of iPad-optimized apps you can find in Apple's App Store. While expert estimates peg the number of Windows 8 and Android tablet-optimized apps at between 5,000 and 10,000 selections, a whopping 375,000-plus iPad-focused programs are available. However, some of those are still working to support the Retina Display's ultra-high resolution. Models with more storage and a cellular data radio (Est. $600 and up) are also available.
Doesn't get better. The powerful internals provide a super-speedy usage experience, even when playing the most demanding 3D gaming apps, while the iOS operating system is slick and simple to use. The tablet measures roughly one-third-inch thick and weighs about 1.5 pounds, but the 9.7-inch screen may be a bit too large to travel with comfortably. The powerful components and tremendous app selection make the fourth-generation iPad a wonderful value for a 10-inch tablet, reviewers say. However, the iPad mini and Google Nexus 7 (Est. $230 and up) also deliver great tablet experiences on smaller 7-inch screens, and for less money.
The iPad with Retina Display earns 4.5 stars out of 5, an Outstanding rating and an Editors' Choice award from CNET. "For those who care about the best screen and the greatest compatibility with cutting-edge apps, look no further," Stein says. He adds, however, that third-generation iPad owners shouldn't move up yet, and lists the iPad mini as a great alternative if portability is a concern.
Review: The Best 10-inch Tablet Gets a Little Better, Scott Stein, Oct. 30, 2012
"Continuing its reign as king," Apple's iPad 4 is described as incredibly fast with a gorgeous screen. Its app selection is outstanding, and the reviewer's conclusion is that the iPad 4 is "the best large tablet you can buy, period." It receives the only 5 out of 5 star rating that this reviewer has ever personally awarded!
Review: Apple iPad (4th Generation, Wi-Fi), Sascha Segan, Nov. 9, 2012
3. The Verge
TheVerge.com gives the new and improved fourth-generation iPad a score of 9.3 out of 10, a high watermark for tablets. However, while Pierce calls it the best tablet in the land, he says owners of the third-generation iPad shouldn't rush to trade in for the newer model. "Apple made important things better, but neither overhauled nor revolutionized anything."
Review: iPad Review (4th Generation, Late 2012), David Pierce, Oct. 30, 2012
4. Laptop Magazine
Daniel Berg is enthusiastic about the Apple iPad 4 as it "crams double the performance into the same beautiful package." He says that although the look and feel of the iPad hasn't changed, its performance blows away the previous models. In addition, its high-res display blows away all of its competitors.
Review: Apple iPad (4th Generation) Review, Daniel Berg, Nov. 7, 2012
This reviewer enthuses about the incredibly fast new A6X processor in the Apple iPad 4 as well as even better battery life. He calls this 4th generation iPad the "best large tablet going," but bemoans the fact that there is still no expandable storage. He concludes that there is no real need to upgrade from the iPad 3, as this model is neither lighter nor thinner.
Review: iPad 4 Review, Edward Chester, Aug. 5, 2013
Earning almost full marks from Beavis, the Apple iPad 4 has only a minor CPU change and a front camera change over the previous model -- and the price is too high for these minor adjustments. Beavis also suggests that users don't purchase the 16 GB model if they're going to be downloading HD movies or using a lot of apps.
Review: New iPad 4 Review, Gareth Beavis, Dec. 13, 2012
SlashGear.com's early review of the fourth-generation iPad is long and detailed, complete with results from a variety of benchmark tests. Nguyen also offers many more snapshots of the slate than other reviewers. "Tomorrow's battle is the decision between the speed and glorious graphics of the iPad with Retina Display, or the portability and convenience of the iPad mini," he says.
Review: iPad Review (4th Gen): Big Tablet, Bigger Speed, Vincent Nguyen, Oct. 30, 2012
Tim Stevens doesn't mince words at Engadget.com. "The new iPad is the best 10-inch tablet on the market," he says, adding that the iPad mini's portability and lower price make it "an incredibly compelling alternative."
Review: iPad Review (Late 2012), Tim Stevens, Oct. 30, 2012
MG Siegler spends more time reviewing the iPad mini than the fourth-generation iPad in this lengthy dual critique, but he touches on the high points of Apple's flagship slate over the course of several paragraphs. "This is primarily an under-the-hood update," he says. "It's all about taking a great product and making it better."
Review: With the New iPad, Apple Accelerates; With the iPad Mini, It's Pedal to the Metal, MG Siegler, Oct. 30, 2012
More than 800 user-reviewers at Amazon.com enthusiastically give the Apple iPad 4 a high average score, with almost 80 percent of them awarding a full 5 stars. Long-term users say that iPads in general hold up over a number of years, and they like the improved camera of the fourth-generation model.
Review: Apple iPad with Retina Display MD510LL/A, Contributors to Amazon.com, Not Dated