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Apple iPad (Gen 4) Tablet Review

The fourth iPad is here, and is extremely similar to the previous version.

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.

Controls

The beautiful thing about the iPad and other tablets with capacitive touchscreens is that 99% of all your interactions with your tablet occur directly through the screen. Touching icons will open the apps, swiping your finger will change homescreens (or turn pages in eBooks). There are a bunch of gestures that you can perform to control your tablet quickly, and overall, the iPad seems to have the best stable of gestures like pinch to zoom, and multitouch support.

One thing to look out for is that the main system controls are not app-agnostic, meaning they change location/aesthetic depending on the app. Sometimes this can get confusing, but for the most part you shouldn't have any problem at all figuring out the main functions of any app.

For the media maven, the newest iPad supports AirPlay, which allows you to stream content from your tablet to an AppleTV unit hooked up to your TV. Additionally, peripherals are easily paired via bluetooth, so if you don't like using the touchscreen to type, you don't have to use it!

Connectivity

While most things are the same with the Apple iPad (4th Gen.) from the previous iteration of the iPad to this one (802.11n wireless card, GPS connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0, etc.), Apple did replace the proprietary USB port on the bottom of the tablet with their own lightning connector, which has caused much consternation among fans, given that the replacement cables are not only expensive, but made in a way that prevents reliable 3rd party knockoffs from being usable.

If you own an AppleTV device, you'll be delighted to know that you can push video, picture, or music content to your AppleTV device for playing on your HDTV if you so choose; all you have to do is tap the appropriate icon while your media is in playback, and the AppleTV unit will stream its content directly from the iPad over your local network.

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Battery Life

The Apple iPad (4th Gen.) seems to manage its power consumption about as well as the previous version of the tablet. Able to read an eBook for 5 hours, 31 minutes, and playing video back for 5 hours, 38 minutes, the iPad has middling performance in terms of battery life. All of our tests are run with the backlight cranked as high as it can go, and all wireless and extra services disabled, so you can expect using alternate settings to give you differing results.

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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.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Music & Audio
  7. Movies & Video
  8. Email & Web Browsing
  9. Internet Apps
  10. Conclusion
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.
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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.

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