And Now, Finally, We'll Get The Truth About The New iPad--What Do Normal Folks Think?

new ipadThe new iPad. Click for larger…

Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider

The new iPad went on sale on Friday.As usual, Apple zealots waited in lines at Apple Stores for days to get one, even though Apple now distributes gadgets through lots of other retailers (some of which had no lines at all for the iPad).

And, as usual, Apple carefully and wisely sent free iPads in advance of Friday to a handful of friendly gadget reviewers, all of whom were presumably eager to preserve their royalty status with Apple.

(In a strange inversion of journalistic principles, this sort of bribe is not just tolerated in the gadget-review industry–it bestows status points on the bribe-recipient. So we certainly don’t blame Apple for spreading around bribes.)

But all this means that the world has now been treated to a raft of iPad reviews from a contingent of folks who have a strong incentive to view the iPad in a favourable light.

(If you had waited in line for 7 hours for an object you could walk into a store and buy today in 7 minutes, wouldn’t you want to persuade yourself that your time hadn’t been wasted?)

But now, finally, we’ll get more objective views of the new iPad.

For example, on Friday, our gadget guru, Steve Kovach, held two iPads in front of me–the iPad 2 and the new iPad–to show off the new “retina screen” that Apple-approved iPad reviewers are hyperventilating about.

I glanced at the two iPads for a second or two, and, frankly, I couldn’t tell the difference. They both looked great. Maybe there is, in fact, a mind-blowing difference that will eventually cause me, too, to hyperventilate, but I couldn’t see it a glance. (Of course, I’m still happy with my iPhone 3GS).

The “dictation” feature on the new iPad certainly looks cool, but the downfall of speech-recognition software like this is usually long, complex paragraphs, not simple sentences. So the jury’s still out on that.

In a side-by-side comparison of videos shot with the iPad 2 and new iPad, I couldn’t tell the difference between the two, at least on a small screen.

So, at least at first glance, some of the most ballyhooed features of the new iPad seemed pretty ho-hum in reality.

Now, if I were in the market for an iPad, I’d certainly spend the extra $100 to get these features. But I’m not in the market for a new iPad, because we already have one (an iPad 1, which still does everything we ask it to do very well).

So, anyway, what do normal folks think of the new iPad?

SEE ALSO: In Case We Needed More Evidence That Apple Zealots Aren’t The Sharpest Tools In The Shed

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