Mobile

Three iPads later, Apple finally has a tablet that excites me

I can’t stop looking at my new iPad. Its high-resolution Retina Display screen had me intrigued since it was first announced, but now, seeing it in person, I can’t help but be entranced.

Text looks crisp, games are even more immersive, and I can’t stop browsing high-def movie trailers. Overall, the new iPad has won me over after only a few hours — and that’s a major accomplishment for any tablet.

First, some background: Even though I lead mobile coverage here at VentureBeat, I’ve yet to truly fall in love with a tablet, or the tablet category in general. Maybe you can attribute it to tablet fatigue. Aside from Apple’s tablets, I’ve been mostly disappointed with every other slate I’ve come across (I’m looking at you, every Android tablet maker in existence).

The iPad 2 has been my favorite tablet so far, but it still never found a way into my daily workflow. When I want to read something on the go, I use my iPhone 4S or Kindle. And if I want to browse the web, check e-mail, or do pretty much anything productive, I reach for my MacBook Air. The iPad 2 did many things well, but it unfortunately didn’t do anything better than my existing collection of devices, so it was mostly left on the sidelines.

But thanks to the new iPad’s Retina Display, which is the sharpest 9.7-inch screen we’ve ever seen, I’m already finding myself using it more, even though I’ve only had it a few hours. The difference between the iPad 2 and new iPad’s screen is like the jump between DVD and Blu-ray. Indeed, the new iPad’s value proposition is entirely centered on a huge resolution bump.

Here’s what’s really important about the new Retina Display: it finally gives the iPad a feature that you can’t find anywhere else. Few consumer computer monitors reach near the new iPad’s 2048 by 1536 resolution (Apple’s 27-inch Thunderbolt display is one of the few, as the commenter below points out, but it’s still not as dense as the iPad). The screen is also far beyond the 1920 by 1080 resolution of HDTVs.

Because of its high resolution, the Retina Display makes practically everything look better, even merely browsing the web. That alone is enough to make me reach for it — and it’s something every other tablet maker should take note of.

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