Hands on with the new Apple iPad: High-res screen is the real change

Apple’s latest version of the iPad has the same body, feels as light as the old one and is priced the same, too. The real changes are in the high-resolution screen and that it is now much more easy to take on the go.

With no new name (can we agree to call it the tablet formerly known as the iPad2?), Apple created a screen with a crisper and clearer quality than many televisions. That means when I played with the iPhoto app, I could see the individual strands of hair of a young girl flying in the air. When I browsed on Web pages, the text of CNN’s site popped out. Text in Chinese and Japanese will no longer be blurred.

Where the better screen and faster chip really come into play is when playing video games and watching movies. The downloads are super fast for movies and games are very responsive to commands. Watching movies on the device rivals that of the best television screens.

There’s no Siri on the iPad, as hoped, but there is voice dictation in English, French, German and Japanese. When sending an e-mail, a key with a microphone icon allows you to dictate correspondence. The demo worked fairly well and helps people like me who avoid lots of typing on the iPad because of the annoying keyboard and autocorrect embarrassments.

Apple’s iPhoto app, at $4.99, was also interesting in that it provides filters that create vintage, black and white and other versions of photos in the same way Instagram does. I find it easier to use Instagram’s app, however, which doesn’t require as many steps to get to the different brush strokes and tools for editing photos as Apple’s app does.

Cecilia Kang is a national technology reporter, writing about tech and Internet policies at the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission and how regulations affect businesses and consumers.
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