iPad 4 vs iPad 3: Key Differences Explained

By Sumit Passary | Dec 03, 2012 08:45 AM EST

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Apple's highly-touted iPad 3 made its appearance in March this year. Surprisingly, the company announced its successor, the iPad 4 (Retina iPad), in October this year, just seven months after the release of the iPad 3.

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Here are some key differences between the third-generation and the fourth-generation iPads.

Processor
Apple's own A5X processor powers the iPad 3. At the launch event of iPad 4, Apple confirmed that the latest iteration will have A6X processor which the company claims gives twice the CPU and graphics performance when compared to the A5X processor.

With the faster processor, apps launch instantly and run smoothly. Games with high graphics requirements give a lifelike experience on the Retina display. With the improved image signal processing built into the latest A6X chip, photos and videos taken with the 5-megapixel iSight camera look sharper on the Retina display.

Lightning Connector
The 30-pin lightning connector which served Apple's portable iDevices for around a decade gave way to the smaller 8-pin lightning connector, which was first introduced in the iPhone 5 in September this year. The lightning connector features an all-digital eight-signal design, which the company claims is more durable.

Unlike the 30-pin connector the new lightning connector is reversible, which means that there is no wrong way to plug the cable in the tablet.

4G LTE and Wi-Fi
Another difference is that the iPad 4 (Wi-Fi + Cellular version) is LTE enabled. The iPad 3 is 4G enabled; however, it cannot be used in the UK. However, with the introduction of the iPad 4 consumers in Britain can also enjoy super-fast mobile Internet when they're out and about.

Apple claims that the iPad 4 has advanced Wi-Fi technology with connectivity that is twice as fast when compared to any previous-generation iPad. The company also says that the iPad 4 has support for channel bonding, which allows speeds up to 150Mbps.

Camera
The iPad 3 came with a 0.3-megapixel standard definition front-facing camera, whereas the iPad 4 makes full use of the Retina display with a 1.2-megapixel HD front-facing FaceTime camera. The front camera will give better video experience to Skype users.

The fourth-generation iPad also gets face recognition in videos which was absent in iPad 3.

Operating System
The iPad 4 comes pre-loaded with iOS 6, whereas the iPad 3 packed in iOS 5; however, users can upgrade the software to the latest version.

Have you used the iPad 3 and the iPad 4? Do you find any other major differences between the two iterations of the tablet?

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