iPad with Retina Display: design and build
iPad with Retina Display: Hardware
The iPad 4 is a nippy device, then, but our real-world impression is that it's not much quicker than the iPad 3, however.
Graphics improvements are more noticeable, with a frame rate of 39 frames per second. The iPad 3 managed 22fps. This means that in Apple Maps pinch zooming is a little bit smoother.
Storage ranges from 16GB up to 64GB, with Wi-Fi and 3G/4G cellular data options. There's no microSD card slot for storage expansion.
The screen is 9.7in in size with stunning 1536 by 2048 Retina quality resolution. There's really no faulting the LED-backlit IPS display.
The Lightning conducter is small and reversible, and means you need to buy an adaptor if you want to plug it into any existing 30-pin accessories.
If you want, and can afford, 4G mobile broadband, then this iPad will cater for your needs, and Apple has upgraded the Wi-Fi.
iPad with Retina Display: Cameras
This iPad sports a 5 megapixel iSight camera, useful if you don't mind using a device as large as an iPad for taking snaps. A back-illuminated sensor should help in low light situations.
The front facing camera is a 1.2 megapixel FaceTime HD shooter capturing up to 720p footage.
iPad with Retina Display: Software
The iPad 4 comes pre-loaded with iOS 6 including Siri. Some recent and notable changes to the operating system include the switch between Google Maps and Apple's own mapping system – the firm's own-brand app has received heavy criticism for its many failings. Luckily there are alternatives out there in app form, or you can use Google Maps in Safari. Apple has also ditched the YouTube app but the service is available via the web browser.
Apps supporting the Retina resolution take up considerably more space than previous ones.
iPad with Retina Disply: Battery life
Once again Apple touts a battery life of 10 hours for the iPad 4 when browsing the web over Wi-Fi.
We found that using the iPad 4 heavily meant we needed to charge it at the end of the day. If you predominantly use a smartphone and use the iPad occasionally then it will stretch much further, a few days' worth is likely.
iPad with Retina Display: verdict
With 4G connectivity the iPad 4 is the quickest iPad yet and a solid choice for a tablet in which we can barely find fault. We award four and a half stars.