The New iPad: Is It Worth The Money?

Becky Worley

The latest iPad has just been unveiled. And the big question: Should you buy one?

Buy Or Wait?

The answer depends on whether you already own a tablet — and if so, which one?

If you've been waiting to buy an iPad
… and you have the cash? No brainer — this is a good iteration of the tablet with lots of cool features, and Apple kept the price where it was on the original iPad. Don't expect that price to come down until at least September, and the discount might be just 10%.

If you have an iPad 1…
… and you're itching for an upgrade? You will see a dramatic increase in screen quality, processing power, and a thinner device. If you can afford it, an upgrade might be worth it.

If you have the iPad 2…
…and wonder if this new model is so amazing that you should plunk down the cash? I say no. It's cool, but it's an iterative improvement; it's not loaded with ground-breaking innovations.

Do you want to use an iPad on the go…
…without needing to find a Wi-Fi connection? Do you crave fast download speeds? This is the iPad you've been waiting for.

Related: iPad 2 Drops to $399

Does The New iPad Live Up To The Rumors?

High-resolution screen: YES
Many thought the next iPad would have a high-resolution HD screen. Many even speculated that the device would be called the iPad HD. While it has no new name (not iPad HD or even iPad 3) the new ipad does have a 2048x1536 resolution that's twice the resolution of the existing iPad 2. Apple says it's higher-def than HDTV and has 3.1 million pixels, more than any other mobile device on the market. The device also boasts 44% more color saturation.

Improved Camera: YES
The new iPad has a 5 megapixel rear camera with image stabilization and all the autofocus, autoexposure bells and whistles you get in the iPhone camera. The iPhone 4s does have a higher resolution camera at 8 megapixels compared to the 5 MP in the new iPad, but most people don't take still pictures with their iPads. The camera will be capable of 1080p HD video.

Faster Processor: YES
Rumors predicted a Quadcore A6 processor, but Apple announced a dual core A5X CPU with a quad core graphics processor. No one has benchmarked the device yet, but Apple says it's twice as powerful as the processor in the iPad 2.

LTE/4G Data Access: YES
The new iPad will have access to the super-fast cellular data networks that AT&T and Verizon offer. At max theoretical speeds, these networks transmit data as fast as 70 MbPS. Boy, would that kind of transfer speed eat your data allotment in a hurry! No mention of a Sprint iPad, but Canadian carriers Telus, Bell, and Rogers will get the new models.

Related: Will the new iPad keep Apple ahead of the pack?

Pricing: As Expected
For Wi-Fi Only models:
16 GB: $499
32GB: $599
64GB: $699
For 4G models:
16 GB: $629
32GB: $729
64GB: $829

Colors: NO
Based on a patent application for a carbon fiber iPad case, some thought the new iPad might not only have a new case, but come in a rainbow of colors. Sadly, the new iPad still only comes as a choice of black or white.

Siri: Not exactly
While the new iPad does have voice dictation, it does not have the full Siri experience that's built into the iPhone 4s.

When Can You Buy One?
March 16, but you can pre-order immediately — that is, if you want one.