The iPad 4's release came as somewhat of a surprise. Apple was expected to make some minor revisions to the iPad 3, but the addition of a new processor alongside dual-band Wi-Fi and extended 4G LTE coverage alongside the "4th generation" name was not expected. But what does this mean? Should you upgrade to the iPad 4?
Key New Features: The iPad 4 includes the A6X dual-core processor with a quad-core graphics processor estimated to be twice as fast as the A5X processor in the iPad 3. It also includes an upgrade front-facing camera capable of 720p video, support for dual-band Wi-Fi and extended 4G LTE coverage for more international support. The iPad 3 vs the iPad 4
Should you upgrade if you have an original iPad...
The iPad 4 is the perfect upgrade choice for owners of the original iPad. Computers tend to have a lifespan of 3-5 years, with tablets and smartphones tending to be changed out every 2-4 years. While only two-and-a-half years since the original iPad's release, the iPad 4 represents three generations of iPad between it and the original.
The iPad 4 has superior processing power, more internal memory dedicated to running applications, a Retina Display that represents one of the best displays in a tablet and the ability to sign on to 4G LTE networks. It also has dual cameras, videoconferencing software built in, access to Siri and the ability to do voice dictation.
And with iOS 6.0, Apple has decided to move on from the original iPad. The latest operating system doesn't support the first iPad, and as time goes on, some apps may also drop support for it.
Should you upgrade if you have an iPad 2...
For those with an iPad 2, the choice is a little more difficult. The iPad 4 is definitely a great upgrade. It is much faster, has better front-facing and back-facing cameras and it has the Retina Display, so graphics are much more crisp and clear than on the iPad 2. It also supports Siri and voice dictation, which is a great addition.
But bear in mind that the graphics and processing power of the iPad 2 are the same as that which is found in the iPad Mini. This means Apple expects the iPad 2 to be quite a capable tablet for at least 2 more years. So while it is a good upgrade, you should have no fears that your iPad 2 is soon to be extinct. In fact, Apple plans to continue selling the iPad 2.
Should you upgrade if you have an iPad 3...
The iPad 4 has twice the performance of the iPad 3 and the support for dual-band Wi-Fi is nice for those who have routers that support the technology, but neither of these represent a good reason to upgrade. The iPad 3 is plenty fast and has all of the same basic features of the iPad 4.
There is really only one good reason to upgrade for iPad 3 owners: if you feel like you bought the wrong model iPad. If you are feeling cramped because you bought a 16 GB model and really need more storage or if you bought a Wi-Fi version but want data connectivity, upgrading to an iPad 4 could be a smart move. And it doesn't have to be that expensive. You can always sell your iPad 3 to help cover the costs.
Should you upgrade if you have a non-Apple tablet...
If you have an Android or some other type of non-Apple tablet and want to move over to the iPad, now is a great time. You may want to consider an iPad Mini along with the iPad 4. The iPad Mini has the same basic features as the iPad 4, but it won't be quite as fast and it doesn't have the Retina Display. It is also (obviously) smaller than an iPad 4.
But before you decide, consider exactly why you are unhappy with your current tablet. Is it because your tablet isn't an iPad? Or is it because you just don't find yourself using it that much? If you don't find much use for your current tablet, you may not find much use for the iPad. The Best Uses for the iPad