The history of the iPad and which model does what

11 04 2013

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Image via Flickr creative commons from Yutaka Tsunato

Over the past few years, tablet computers have become increasingly popular pieces of gadgetry that more and more people are now turning to when they want to watch films, access the internet, read their emails or play games on the go.

Although there are many different types of tablets, with the world’s technology giants all vying for dominance in the market, many people consider the iPad to be the market leader. After all, this is the one everybody wants, it’s probably the coolest tablet around and, like the iPhone, the iPad is instantly recognisable.

But how has the tablet developed over the years and which model does what?

iPad (1st generation)

The very first iPad was launched on April 3rd 2010 and was an instant hit. Although the model has now been discontinued, no doubt many people around the world are still getting a great deal of joy and entertainment from their original model.

With an impressive spec and positive reviews from critics and magazines, it is easy to see why the iPad was the first tablet on the scene actually worth owning. At the time, the Apple A4 chip was very powerful and it had a sharp 1,024 x 768 pixels at 132 ppi display. The only thing missing was a camera.

iPad 2

The absence of a camera was rectified with the launch of the iPad 2, on March 11th 2011. Once again, reviews were positive and according to TechRadar, the iPad 2 offers a “user experience, high-end finish and cult-like popularity that is the envy of all other manufacturers”.

The chip was upgraded to an A5, the memory was increased to 512 MB and it ran on the new iOS 6.1 operating system. Already, the iPad 2 had become a game-changer and was offering a glimpse of the powerful tablet technology that was still to come from Apple. The fact it’s still available is perhaps testament to this.

iPad (3rd generation)

Next, came the iPad 3rd generation, which was launched on March 16th 2012. The main difference was the screen and, more specifically, the number of pixels it contained. The 3rd generation iPad boasted 3.1 million pixels, making 264 pixels per inch, which was nearly four times as many as the iPad 2.

Although in terms of new features the 3rd gen iPad didn’t have much to offer, a new A5X chip, a better camera and improved battery life were enough to keep people happy. As Pocket-Lint explained, it was the screen that really made this device.

iPad (4th generation)

On November 2nd 2012, Apple launched the iPad 4th generation, while a 128 GB version of the same product was released on February 5th 2013. The incredible retina display, the Apple A6X chip and the 1.4 CHz dual-core Apple Swift processor blew previous models out of the water and suddenly, this became the iPad everyone wanted.

The advanced technology and crystal-clear screen mean theSnugg UK ipad 4 cases and other protective covers are becoming essential purchases for many tablet owners.

iPad Mini

And then came the iPad Mini. Just when people thought Apple was perhaps beginning to run out of ideas, it reinvented the tablet and created a gadget for those looking for the ultimate in space-saving technology.

The display measures 7.9 inches instead of 9.7 and it is (obviously) smaller than its predecessors, meaning it fits neatly into any handbag or briefcase without the carrier even knowing it’s there.

As you can see, the development of the iPad is clear and there will undoubtedly be many more changes over the next few years as technology becomes increasingly advanced. But for now, the iPad 4th generation and the iPad Mini are both pretty impressive.

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One response

11 04 2013
Alex Gosling

A nice run down of the iPads. Recently, I purchased an iPad 2 and after doing the usual stuff (email, internet, facebook and Angry Birds), I thought I could be more creative and make music with it. More specifically – backing tracks for me to play along with.
I believe the iPad is a great creative tool that has just not been fully utilised yet…

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