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The new iPad's A5X Processor
Techland.com, the tech page for Time Magazine, notes that Apple claimed at its launch event that the new A5X processor would deliver four times the graphics performance of the quad-core chip used in Android tablets.
"Others are using chips like this Nvidia Tegra 3," Apple marketing guru Phil Schiller said at the event in San Francisco. "The Apple A5 was already twice as fast. And the new A5X brings four times the performance. It is a graphics powerhouse."
Did Apple trick us all?
But Techland writes that Apple's claim is "misleading." The site notes that the web sites Gizmodo and Laptop tested the speed on the new iPad and a Tegra 3-powered Asus Transformer Prime and found they are similar.
"Sorry to disappoint you, but there was no clear winner here," Gizmodo wrote. "Results seem to indicate that for blasting through graphics, the GPU (graphics processing unit) in the iPad's A5X is faster. But for your average day-to-day usage, the CPU on Transformer Prime takes it. I'd love to see a good, cross-platform CPU test emerge, but until then, we'll just have to listen to nerds screaming at each other."
While I haven't come across a test yet for how the new iPad's graphics speed fares against the iPad 2, it seems that the tech web sites believe that Apple stretched the truth when it promoted the new processor.
"It's also a reminder not to take product marketing at face value," Techland writes.
The 4G LTE Network
The new Apple iPad permits you to use a 4G LTE network from AT&T or Verizon. The plans start at $14.99 a month for AT&T (for 250MB data) and $30 a month for Verizon (2GB).
There's no doubting that 4G is faster than the 3G available in the iPad 2, but at what cost? Several publications have noted that streaming video, music and online games will gobble up your data plan like a Pacman, causing you to upgrade to a more expensive plan or pay heavy overages. The danger here is so great that CNET recommends that you should "think of (4G) LTE as your lifeline when you're out and about, so use it sparingly."
The site adds: "If you expect to stream movies, music, and video 24-7 over 4G, then save yourself the $130 extra for the device (the 4G version costs $130 more than the Wi-Fi version), the monthly data charge, and the potential overage fees and stick to Wi-Fi- -- or drastically adjust your expectations. Even with Verizon's 10GB plan for $80, wanton data use will have you busting through your limit in just a couple of days."
So, to sum up: The Retina, high-resolution display is nice for text and still images, but won't make your movies look much better. The new processor might be faster, but not faster than what you'll find in similar products. And you might lose your shirt if you use 4G.
What's going on here? What is Apple selling us? And why are so many of us running to the store to buy it?
Is this the high-tech, commercial equivalent of a Jonestown?
If you've got an answer, let me know below in our comments section.
What do you think? Offer your comments below!