tablets
  • Best of Year 2012
  • Editors' Choice

Apple iPad (Gen-4) Review

The fourth iPad is here, and is a solid contender for any consumer.

November 02, 2012
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Science Introduction

A fantastic all-around tablet, offering the best screen performance on the market so far.

Screen Performance

Fantastic screen, but fairly reflective

A screen size of 7.5625 × 5.875 inches and a resolution of 2046 × 1536 nets the Apple iPad (4th Gen.) a pixel density of 264 pixels per inch, which is enough to make it appear to those of you with 20/20 vision like the tablet isn't using a matrix of pixels to display an image—you won't be able to see where one pixel stops and the other begins.

Tablets have the tall order of not only producing a good quality image, but doing so with a high peak brightness to overpower ambient light. The Apple iPad (4th Gen.) has a decently bright screen, but its low black level of 0.39cd/m2 affords it not only a great contrast range of 940:1 (wider is better), but an increased ability to display detail in gradients. The color gamut on the newest iPad is also fantastic compared to all of its competitors, though there are some problems with oversaturated blues and reds. All said and done, though, a fantastic display with great color accuracy.

By having a screen that reflects about 9.1% of all light back at its user, the new iPad falls squarely into the "mediocre" category when discussing reflectivity. Like most other tablets with an LCD screen, the reflection pattern is also quite sharp and distracting, so avoid bright sources of light if at all possible.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Battery Performance

Decent battery, but high screen brightness destroys it.

The iPad's battery will last you about 5 hours and 31 minutes of reading eBooks, and about 5 hours and 38 minutes playing back video files. Keep in mind, though, that there's a bunch of things you can do to raise or lower the performance, as we test with the backlight maxed out, and the Wi-Fi turned off. Changing either of these settings will alter your battery's performance, as well as running multiple apps at once.

Other Tests

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Compare Prices
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

What's Your Take?

All Comments