So Apple has just announced the ‘new iPad’, which packs some jaw-dropping specs. The hardware specs of the ‘new iPad’ single-handedly proof why it is dominating the tablet market. No Android tablet on the market currently even comes close to the hardware, rest aside the software experience which the iPad offers.
On the apps and software side, the iPad has more than 200,000 applications and games specifically optimized for it, while the number of tablet optimized apps for Android is not even in four-digits. The quality of games, both graphically and gameplay wise, still remains un-matched by Android tablets and OS. One of the main reasons behind this is the sub-par hardware used in these tablets. While Nvidia’s Tegra 2 SoC may look good on paper, it is probably the biggest reason why Honeycomb was such a failure.
The successor of Tegra 2, Tegra 3, looks impressive and performs excellently as well, but will again struggle to power any of the latest gen Android tablets with a Full HD (1920×1080) screen.
Here is a small run down of how the ‘new iPad’ trumps all the Android tablets available in the Market today -:
At Mobile World Congress this year, we saw Asus and other companies’ release Android tablets with an impressive resolution of 1920×1080 (Full HD). However, the new iPad comes with a whopping resolution of 2560×1536, which equates to 3.1 million pixels, about a million pixels more than any of the Full HD equipped Android tablets and HDTVs!
The best Android tablet right now, the Asus Transformer Prime, has a screen resolution of only 1280×800, while its higher-end variant, the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, comes with a Full HD (1920×1080) screen resolution.
Majority of the Android tablets released in 2011 came with a Tegra 2 Soc, while the ones announced in 2012 sport a Tegra 3 SoC. While Tegra 3 is no slow-couch, the A5 chip on the iPad 2 absolutely smokes it. Notice I am talking about the A5 chip here, and not the A5X that the ‘new iPad’ uses. The A5X chip uses a ‘quad-core graphics’, which in all probability is a four-core version of the PowerVR SGX 543 GPU used in the iPad 2.
Again, it may be possible that the 12-core GPU of the Tegra 3 might beat the quad-core GPU on the A5X in some benchmarks, but that will be only due to the difference in resolution. Benchmarks usually run at a tablet’s native resolution and since most of the Tegra 3 tablets come with a Full HD resolution, they will have an upper hand in benchmarks since they have to push less pixels around.
My final say would be that the A5X chip inside the ‘new iPad’ would trump the Tegra 3 SoC in any benchmark, irrespective of the difference in resolution.
If you are buying a tablet for its camera, well then you are…weird! The only use of a camera on a tablet is for video calling and for some augmented reality apps to blow our mind. The ‘iSight’ camera on the ‘new iPad’ may not beat the 8MP camera found on the Asus Transformer Prime or other Android tablets, but is still good enough if you ever need to click a picture using your iPad.
If any manufacturer has actually managed to release a decent Android tablet in the last year or so, they have always got the price of the device wrong. What makes the iPad so popular is its price point of $499. Some Android tablets costs around $600-$700, and yet come with a 2-year contract.
The ‘new iPad’ comes with a Retina Display, a quad-core graphics, a 5MP camera, and yet the 16GB Wi-Fi version costs only $499.
Even if the ‘new iPad’ did not have any of the above new features or advantages over its competitors, it would have still sold like hot cakes. Reason? The eco-system, the apps! iLife, iPhone, Infinity Blade, AirPlay mirroring and some other stellar apps are only enough for quite a few people to buy the ‘new iPad’.
Until and unless Google takes some serious steps, there is no way we will see some quality apps for Android tablets coming up anytime soon.
Only a combination of proper hardware, price and the ecosystem will lure consumers as well as developers towards Android tablets. Sadly, looking at how things are going right now, that certainly looks tough.
The ‘new iPad’ smokes its competition by a huge margin. With the iPad 3, Apple has made sure that it kills whatever competition the iPad had. If the new iPad is not enough, the new revised price point of $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad 2 is definitely enough to hit the final nail in the coffin of Android tablets.
Oh! And Windows 8 tablets? From what things look like now, you are DOA!
Update: Since so many people were arguing that the 12 core GPU inside the Tegra 3 is better than the A5X, I would highly recommend them to read this analysis of the iPad 3 by the folks over at AnandTech. The A5 chip inside the iPad 2 is alone capable of beating the hell out of Tegra 3 in benchmarks. Expect the GPU inside the A5X to totally pwn it!