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Apple iPad 3 review

9.2/10 AVG.
RATING



9.2/10
Informr score
The Apple iPad 3 currently has an Informr score of 9.2 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 42 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

If the tablet market of 2012 were a monarchy, then the iPad 3 Wi-Fi would be the one you'd find sitting comfortably atop the throne. The kingdom's crown jewel? You guessed it: a sweet, sweet apple with a little bite in it. With the iPad 3, Apple has taken everything good about the iPad 2 and injected improvements all around. Design-wise, its undeniably as beautiful as any contraption made of glass, metal, and plastic can be. And as with many of today's available Apple products, in terms of technical specs, it does not disappoint.

Although it came out heavier and wee bit thicker than the previous iPad, the Apple iPad 3 brings features that do more than compensate for these minor inconveniences. The biggest highlights from the spec sheet include the dual-core Apple A5X System-on-a-chip which handles all the complex computing tasks on the device, the 9.7-inch Retina display that features a native resolution of 2048x1536 pixels, and the 42 WHr built-in battery that can give up to 10 hours of video playback or up to 30 days of standby time.

Just like every other iDevice before it, this product comes pre-packaged with the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system called iOS. It ships with iOS 5.1 which brings in plenty of new software features that will allow users to make the most out of the hardware. Speaking of which, the iPad 3 comes with a whole host of useful hardware features such as built-in sensors for motion and ambient light, wireless antennas for Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi, built-in cameras for image capture, video recording, and video conferencing, and built-in storage that starts at 16GB and can go all the way up to 64GB.

For all of its positives, however, Apple's 3rd iPad is still not quite a perfect product. For many people, a 10-inch screen can be too big to comfortably hold. Others find Apple's closed eco-system, one that only lets you install Apple-approved apps, to be too restrictive. Still, with its huge app catalog, delectable screen and polished user experience, most reviewers agree that this is the best tablet on the market today.

Need to know: Apple iPad 3 Wi-Fi

1. Complex computing and graphics processing duties are handled very well by the proprietary Apple A5X SoC under the hood. (The Good)

2. The 9.7-inch 2048x1536 pixel Retina display is unparalleled in the world of IPS LCD technology. (The Good)

3. It no longer holds the record for the longest battery life out of all 10-inch tablets. (The Bad)

4. The whole iOS App Store experience and required iTunes system integration for device management can be quite troublesome at times and needs improvement. (The Bad)


Operating system
iOS
Processor
1 GHz
Screen Size
9.7"
Camera
5+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Pocket Gamer

Sleep Attack TD is a challenging tower defense title that manages to add a couple of new layers to tower defense games in general. Just don't expect to be able to beat it in your sleep.

- Nadia Oxford, Pocket Gamer
Mobile88

The iPad 3 still lays down the benchmark of what a tablet should be, and improves on a proven design with an upgraded processor, Retina Display, and a better camera. But with the iPad 3, we would reiterate something you may have heard before. If you own the iPad 2, then the iPad 3 is not that much o...

- Mobile88 Team, Mobile88
GottaBeMobile

I don’t have many complaints and the experience will only get better as time goes on. App developers will optimize their software for the new iPad and the web experience will improve – low resolution photos look terrible. The new iPad offers a far superior experience over the iPad 2 and so far, I th...

- Adam Mills, GottaBeMobile
Mobile Syrup

Yes, the Retina display is absolutely ridiculously stunning. Whether you love, hate or are ambivalent about Apple products, no other company has yet to mass produce a device with such an unmatched, and for a while, unmatchable, display.Yes, the iPad is thicker and heavier. It also runs quite hot on...

- Daniel Bader, Mobile Syrup
HotHardware

The third generation Apple iPad is a great tablet device. While I feel that the Retina Display, and its power requirements, might be overkill, there's no denying that it looks fantastic. The iPad's LTE performance on Verizon's network was equally filled with overkill, but in a way that I think is mo...

- Michael Oryl, HotHardware


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Quick view

Screen Size
9.7"

The Apple iPad 3's screen size is 9.7 inches with 2048 x 1536 pixels resolution.

Processor
1 GHz

There is a Dual-core Apple A5X 1 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the iOS 5.1 (Update Available: 9) operating system (OS).

Camera
5+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the tablet's onboard 5+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with VGA (640 x 480) resolution.
Storage
16/32/64 GB

Internal memory is 16/32/64 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
11560mAh

The tablet is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 11560 mAh battery. Apple's performance ratings are 30 days standby time, 10 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

iPad 3 Specs

Overview
Release date March 16, 2012
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kindom, India
Networks
No cellular data
variations
SIM card No
Dual SIM No
Operating System iOS 5.1 (Update Available: 9)

Compare iOS Tablets

Secondary OS No
Processor Dual-core Apple A5X 1 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 16/32/64 GB
RAM 1 GB
ROM No
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Manual, USB Power Adapter
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 11560 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 6 hours
Video Playback Time Up to: 10 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 10 hours
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time No
Standby Time Up to: 30 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Aluminium
Colors Black, White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 24.1 x 18.6 x 0.9 cm (9.5 x 7.3 x 0.4 in)
Weight 652 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 2048 x 1536 pixels
Pixel density 264 pixels
Size 9.7 inches
3D No
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating Yes
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key Yes
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP
Additional Email Features -
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB No
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
Expansion Slot Info No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Main Camera Info
Auto focus, Face detection
Video Recording Formats
H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
VGA (640 x 480)
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
Geotagging
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, eAAC, AAC+, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert No
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm No
Stop Watch No
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types DOC, DOCX, GIF, HTML, JPG, PDF, PPT, PPTX, RTF, TIFF, TXT, XLS
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): The new iPad Wi-Fi, iPad 3rd Generation Wi-Fi, iPad 3 Wi-Fi

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Apple iPad 3 Reviews
Where to buy Apple iPad 3
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Critic Reviews


Pocket Gamer

Stage-spinning gameplay adds a dash of originality

from Pocket Gamer

Sleep Attack TD is a challenging tower defense title that manages to add a couple of new layers to tower defense games in general. Just don't expect to be able to beat it in your sleep.

Read full review

Sleep Attack TD is a challenging tower defense title that manages to add a couple of new layers to tower defense games in general. Just don't expect to be able to beat it in your sleep.

Read full review

Less

Mobile88

Retina Display, good camera, 4G LTE

from Mobile88

The iPad 3 still lays down the benchmark of what a tablet should be, and improves on a proven design with an upgraded processor, Retina Display, and a better camera. But with the iPad 3, we would reiterate something you may have heard before. If you own the iPad 2, then the iPad 3 is not that muc...More

The iPad 3 still lays down the benchmark of what a tablet should be, and improves on a proven design with an upgraded processor, Retina Display, and a better camera. But with the iPad 3, we would reiterate something you may have heard before. If you own the iPad 2, then the iPad 3 is not that much of an upgrade. This is especially true if you do not mind sticking to the iPad 2’s already impressive screen, and will not need a 5-megapixel shooter. At this point, we sound like a broken record, but if you are in the market for a new tablet or jumping from another platform, then the iPad 3 is for you. One new thing we will say about the iPad 3 is how Apple managed to make the iPad 3 more attractive than last year’s model and its display alone should win you over.

Read full review

Less

GottaBeMobile

Retina Display, quad-core graphics

from GottaBeMobile

I don’t have many complaints and the experience will only get better as time goes on. App developers will optimize their software for the new iPad and the web experience will improve – low resolution photos look terrible. The new iPad offers a far superior experience over the iPad 2 and so far, I think it’s money well spent.

Read full review

I don’t have many complaints and the experience will only get better as time goes on. App developers will optimize their software for the new iPad and the web experience will improve – low resolution photos look terrible. The new iPad offers a far superior experience over the iPad 2 and so far, I think it’s money well spent.

Read full review

Less

Mobile Syrup

Excellent overall performance, excellent camera for a tablet, decent battery life

from Mobile Syrup

Yes, the Retina display is absolutely ridiculously stunning. Whether you love, hate or are ambivalent about Apple products, no other company has yet to mass produce a device with such an unmatched, and for a while, unmatchable, display.

Yes, the iPad is thicker and heavier. It also runs quite hot on the right side when under load. This is unfortunate, but not a disaster, and to many will probably go unnoticed....

More

Yes, the Retina display is absolutely ridiculously stunning. Whether you love, hate or are ambivalent about Apple products, no other company has yet to mass produce a device with such an unmatched, and for a while, unmatchable, display.

Yes, the iPad is thicker and heavier. It also runs quite hot on the right side when under load. This is unfortunate, but not a disaster, and to many will probably go unnoticed.

Yes, the iPad is not a huge speed improvement over the previous version. In fact, in some cases it may be slower in some cases due to the GPU having to process four times the number of pixels. There were times I noticed the type of stuttering when scrolling through a web page or playing a game that I never saw on the iPad 2.

Yes, LTE is blazing fast, but it is not totally necessary on an iPad unless you mean to use it, at least part of the time, as a laptop replacement.

Yes, the battery takes much longer to charge, and battery life is a concern, especially since it’s much more difficult to “top up” than the iPad 2.

Finally, the camera is a fantastic improvement over the iPad 2, but the use case for a high quality camera sensor on a tablet is still debatable. For the occasional time you’ll need to snap a photo or quick video, the new iPad is great.

Read full review

Less

HotHardware

Beautiful industrial design, gorgeous Retina display, fast 4G LTE data, solid camera, good battery life

from HotHardware

The third generation Apple iPad is a great tablet device. While I feel that the Retina Display, and its power requirements, might be overkill, there's no denying that it looks fantastic. The iPad's LTE performance on Verizon's network was equally filled with overkill, but in a way that I think is more practical. As for the new iSight camera and the quad-core graphics coprocessor, I don't know that they add much to the real world application of the iPad. But they certainly don't hurt....

More

The third generation Apple iPad is a great tablet device. While I feel that the Retina Display, and its power requirements, might be overkill, there's no denying that it looks fantastic. The iPad's LTE performance on Verizon's network was equally filled with overkill, but in a way that I think is more practical. As for the new iSight camera and the quad-core graphics coprocessor, I don't know that they add much to the real world application of the iPad. But they certainly don't hurt.

All added up, this device becomes the new leader of the pack in the tablet market. If you already own an iPad 2, I wouldn't recommend upgrading, but if you are using just about anything else, the new iPad will leave you grinning.

You'll find a gallery of photos shot with the Apple iPad's 5 megapixel camera, as well as a sample 1080p HD video, on the following page.

Read full review

Less

GSMArena

The latest Apple tablet is a great step forward

To sum everything up - the third-gen iPad has a standard-setting screen, and is a solid upgrade in terms of connectivity and imaging. That's enough to justify an upgrade even from the iPad 2, but we are yet to see what the quad-core droids have to say in the next few months. Windows 8 tablets wil...More

To sum everything up - the third-gen iPad has a standard-setting screen, and is a solid upgrade in terms of connectivity and imaging. That's enough to justify an upgrade even from the iPad 2, but we are yet to see what the quad-core droids have to say in the next few months. Windows 8 tablets will be next. One thing we know we shouldn't expect from Apple is a next iPad. Yes, you guessed it right - it will be a new iPad. Something smaller and slimmer perhaps? Oh, well.

Read full review

Less

DigitalVersus

Retina display, rich iOS ecosystem, memory can't be expanded

from DigitalVersus

The new-generation iPad comes with enhanced graphics processing power, more brightness and a headline-grabbing screen. Apple has hit the mark by focusing on display resolution and image fidelity, and the impact on the overall product goes further than just papering over cracks. Users averse to Ap...More

The new-generation iPad comes with enhanced graphics processing power, more brightness and a headline-grabbing screen. Apple has hit the mark by focusing on display resolution and image fidelity, and the impact on the overall product goes further than just papering over cracks. Users averse to Apple's walled-garden iOS aren't likely to change their minds with this new iPad, but it will no doubt win over plenty of new tablet users to whom it'll appeal as a great (semi-)portable web surfing device.

Read full review

Less

Expert Reviews

The retina display alone makes this new model worth having

from Expert Reviews

LTE is unlikely to take off soon, but the retina display alone makes this new model worth having and the fact that neither battery life or price has changed makes it all the more impressive

Read full review

LTE is unlikely to take off soon, but the retina display alone makes this new model worth having and the fact that neither battery life or price has changed makes it all the more impressive

Read full review

Less

TabletPCReview

It's beautiful to look at, easy to use, and offers all the features most people are looking for in a tablet

from TabletPCReview

Apple has the lion's share of the world tablet market because it makes computers that offer the features that millions of people want without being weighed down with extraneous bells and whistles. The new iPad is a fine example of this. The previous models were good, but the Latest one sports som...More

Apple has the lion's share of the world tablet market because it makes computers that offer the features that millions of people want without being weighed down with extraneous bells and whistles. The new iPad is a fine example of this. The previous models were good, but the Latest one sports some great enhancements, including a touchscreen that sets a new bar for what a display ought to look like. The addition of 4G LTE and more RAM are welcome as well. There are downsides however, such as a back panel that gets warm after extended use. The third-generation iPad starts at $500, which means it isn't the cheapest tablet on the market. But this is a situation where paying a bit more will result in you getting a better device.

Read full review

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PhoneArena

The iPad has the distinctive advantage in capturing our attention

from PhoneArena

Frankly, the Motorola DROID XYBOARD 10.1 is a respectable tablet within the Android sphere, even more when it packs additional goodies such as an IR blaster and stylus, but when it’s pitted against the newly available iPad, its cost is by far its kryptonite. Consider this, that the iPad rocks a...More

Frankly, the Motorola DROID XYBOARD 10.1 is a respectable tablet within the Android sphere, even more when it packs additional goodies such as an IR blaster and stylus, but when it’s pitted against the newly available iPad, its cost is by far its kryptonite. Consider this, that the iPad rocks a starting price point of $630 for the base 16GB LTE model, which is less than the full $700 outright cost of the comparable 16GB LTE version of the XYBOARD 10.1. The more we think about it, they both have their standout features, but when first impressions make all the difference, the iPad has the distinctive advantage in capturing our attention from afar.

Read full review

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