What’s that state of mind when your favourite tech company brings out a new, better revision of hardware a matter of months after you bought the last? Envy? Lust? Greed?
Nope. Buyer’s remorse.
The truth is that from the very first moment I bought my New iPad (and bear in mind this was only six months ago) that the (undeniably) amazing screen was really pushing the on-board circuitry beyond its means.[drop2]This was concreted when certain games appeared that made the New iPad struggle – NOVA 3 from Gameloft was the notable title but there were a couple of others.
On the latest model, with that Retina display, the game was missing special visual effects and ran at a lower framerate. It was better, without question, on previous hardware, and this was a frustrating experience on the latest tech.
Gameloft later conceded and issued an update (another GB or so download, sadly) that effectively made the game run at the same resolution of the iPad 2, to get things moving.
But the fact remains: the A5X chip on the New iPad didn’t pack enough grunt.
And now, as of yesterday, this New iPad, is effectively outdated. Sure, it’ll still do the same job but those claiming that it still holds the same position might be missing the point: the new one is more powerful, and as we’ve seen over the years, developers love to push hardware.
This isn’t just tech envy (although there’s certainly some of that) – it’s about owning the most capable hardware. I adore the iPad and use it daily, and have done since the first one. The annual updates are easier to swallow financially because I tend to sell on the previous model, but an update after just six months? That’s a much tougher ask.[drop]Take Real Racing 3, a game that was used to show off the iPhone 5. That’ll no doubt run on the New iPad, but it’s likely to run better on the latest model. A faster framerate, better graphical effects?
They don’t make a game, but it’s right to say they can enhance one.
“The new A6X chip inside iPad is our most powerful mobile chip yet,” says the blurb on Apple’s freshly updated website. “It delivers up to twice the CPU and graphics performance of the A5X chip. And it makes iPad feel faster and even more responsive.”
It’s not just gaming, too – Apple say that Apps launch faster, and the camera’s sharper.
The branding’s a little confusing too. This new model is no longer the New iPad, it’s “iPad with Retina Display”, presumably in order to distinguish it from the also announced iPad mini. I don’t really mind either way, of course, but with Apple’s shares dipping last night after the reveal, it’s tempting to think that this hasn’t been Apple’s smartest move.
A six monthly tech cycle’s just too rapid, in my opinion.