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Review: Apple's fourth-generation iPad

Arguably the biggest surprise product debut from Apple in 2012 is the new fourth-generation iPad, a tablet that replaces its predecessor and doubles its performance after less than a year on the market.

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iPad review


The new new iPad retains almost everything from the old new iPad, including its price points: $499 for 16 gigabytes, $599 for 32 gigabytes, and $699 for 64 gigabytes. Cellular data options with 4G LTE connectivity are available for $130 more at each capacity, and for the first time ever Apple is offering an iPad model compatible with the Sprint network in the U.S.

Our test model for this review is the entry-level, Wi-Fi-only, 16-gigabyte model. It features the same design, A6X processor and Retina display as all of the other configurations available.

iPad review

Once it's out of the box, it's hard to tell the fourth-generation iPad from the third-generation model. Aside from the new Lightning port at the bottom of the device, the only change we found is the capacity of the device is no longer advertised on the back panel below the iPad logo.

Apple didn't do much to distinguish the latest iPad from the model it released in March. Even the box looks the same.

iPad review

But the most important change to the new iPad is found on the inside, in the form of its speedy A6X chip that is advertised to double the performance of the last iPad. But is this enough to justify this upgrade?