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Published on Nov 2, 2012
If you've got an iPad 3, you might be curious (and also frustrated by the early release of) the iPad 4, which adds a new CPU and the lightning charging port. The most notable feature, certainly, is the faster CPU, which Apple claims to provide double the performance than the A5x, found inside the iPad 3. In our review of the iPad 3, we charged that it was not significantly faster than the iPad 2, offering up occasional lag and stutters. The A6 chip, making its debut in the iPhone 5, is much more promising than was the A5. It's a 32nm CPU that provides increased performance and lower power consumption. So the million-dollar question is: how much faster is the iPad 4 than the iPad 3, and are there other benefits to the new chip like better gaming and improved battery life? While it'll take us some time to answer to latter two questions, this video answers the former, as we put the devices head-to-head in start-up time, app launching speed, WiFi performance, and web-browsing performance.
The results? The iPad 4 is indeed faster than the 3, but not by leaps and bounds. In fact, we were surprised by how similar the performance is of both of these tablets when browsing the web, launching apps, and starting up. The difference is a second here, two seconds there. We can safely say that if you're an iPad 3 owner and are considering an upgrade, we would advise you not to. The difference in performance is just not significant It's possible that we have yet to see apps take advantage of the A6x chip, but in terms of day-to-day performance, even with some of the built-in apps (that are presumably optimized for the A6x), the iPad 3 and 4 are nearly on-par in terms of performance.