iPad (fall 2012)

The Good The newest iPad's faster A6X processor adds extra system speed and graphics power. Improved worldwide cellular compatibility makes the LTE model a more appealing proposition. And the iOS App Store remains best in class, with the widest selection.

The Bad The fourth-gen iPad is otherwise identical to its recent predecessor -- same size, weight, and Retina screen. It's heavy to hold in one hand, and most older accessories won't work without investing in a pricey Lightning adapter.

The Bottom Line The latest iPad adds several tweaks and improvements to secure its position at the top of the tablet heap. It's better all around, but third-gen owners need not apply.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 9.0
  • Features 9.0
  • Performance 9.0
9.0 Overall


Apple iPad (4th generation)
iPad (fall 2012)
Apple iPad 2017 (space gray, 32GB)
Apple iPad (9.7-inch, 2017)
Microsoft Surface Pro (1TB, Core i7, 16GB)
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 - Android 7.0 (Nougat) - 32 GB - 9.7" - black
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Apple iPad Pro (10.5-inch, silver, 64GB)
iPad Pro (10.5-inch, 2017)
Price $389 Amazon.com $270 Amazon.com $2,496 Amazon.com $480 Dell Home $592 Amazon.com


The best 10-inch tablet gets a little better

Scott Stein

Editors' note (March 18, 2014): Having previously taken it off sale, Apple has brought back the fourth-gen iPad as its lower-cost full-size tablet, starting at $399. Its premium tablet is the $499 iPad Air.

Every year since 2010, there has been a new version of the iPad. In 2012, we've already seen three. One, the iPad Mini, is a different beast altogether. Still, even the third-generation iPad with its Retina Display has suddenly become the recipient of a surprising seventh-month upgrade, to a very similar-looking device now known as the "fourth-generation iPad."

Should owners of the now "old" third-gen March 2012 iPad be upset? Should new buyers be wary? The answer to the first is yes. The answer to the second is no. The new iPad (technically just known as "iPad" at the Apple Store) has a few upgrades, two minor, one significantly major. A Lightning connector replaces the old 30-pin, just like all other new iOS devices this fall. And while the rear iSight camera remains the same (5 megapixels), the front-facing FaceTime camera has been upgraded to HD status: 720p video recording and sharper self-portraits. The LTE versions of the new iPad also work with a wider range of international carriers.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $399
  • Brand Apple
  • Diagonal Size 9.7 in
  • Installed Size 16 GB
  • Type Apple iOS
  • Weight 1.44 lbs
  • Color Category white
  • Cameras (for SD) rear camera + front camera
  • Service Provider AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless
  • Monitor Features Retina display, anti-fingerprint
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