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Apple iPad 4 review

Apple iPad 4 header
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £329
inc VAT

Relaunched as Apple's 10in budget tablet option, you'd have to be on a tight budget to consider the iPad 4 over the iPad Air


We’re pleased to say that the screen is the same 9.7in model, with its huge 2,048×1,536 resolution, used on the iPad 3. This was far ahead of the competition when it was first unveiled, although the Google Nexus 10 now has a slightly higher resolution 2,560×1,600 screen. While Google’s tablet might have more pixels, the iPad 4’s screen is still a thing of beauty.

Its 264ppi is what Apple terms Retina: you can’t see the individual pixels. Technically speaking, then, there’s no point in having more resolution on a screen this size, as you wouldn’t see the difference. Besides, when you’re talking about resolutions far in advance of Full HD, the differences become less and less meaningful.

Apple iPad 4 front It’s no longer the highest-resolution tablet display, but it’s still one of the best quality

What is important, that as well as having a high resolution, the IPS panel used is of the highest quality. Excellent colour saturation and contrast really brings images to life. Viewing angles are superb, so it’s clear to see no matter how you’re holding the tablet. That high pixel density has another advantage: even the smallest text looks incredibly sharp and easy to read. So, the iPad 4 may not have the highest resolution tablet screen, but it still has a very high-resolution display and its quality is still the best.

As the iPad 4 is still fairly recent it has been updated to iOS 7 and will soon be getting iOS 8. Initial complaints about iOS 7 when it launched have long been forgotten and the operating system makes the iPad feel quicker and sleeker. The iPad 4 will get another new lease of life when iOS 8 launches in the autumn, with features such as Hand Off and Continuity making working on projects across Apple devices even easier. Click here a full list of iOS 8 features.

The only area where we saw a slight decrease was in battery life in our video playback test. On the iPad 3 we saw just over 11h of playback at 50 per cent screen brightness; on the iPad 4, at the same brightness setting, the battery lasted for 9h 54m. Considering the faster processor, this slight decrease in our tests is actually impressive and the iPad still stands up well against the competition.

Apple has overhauled the wireless chips inside the iPad, adding dual-band 802.11n, just as it did on the iPhone 5. Given the increasing number of routers that support 5GHz wireless, with its faster speeds and less interference, it’s good to see another device that supports this technology.

For the Cellular version, Apple has updated the chip so that it will work with 4G networks in the UK, with support for Everything Everywhere already announced. While the iPad 3 had 4G as an option, it didn’t work on the correct frequencies for the UK.

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Basic Specifications

ProcessorApple A6X
Processor clock speed1.4GHz
Maximum memoryN/A
Pointing devicetouchscreen


Viewable size9.7 in
Native resolution2,048×1,536
Graphics ProcessorApple A6X
Graphics/video portsN/A
Graphics MemoryN/A


Total storage capacity16GB
Optical drive typeN/A

Ports and Expansion

Wired network portsN/A
Wireless networking support802.11n (dual band)
PC Card slots0
Supported memory cardsN/A
Other portsLightning connector


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemApple iOS 6
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedN/A
Optional extrasN/A

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

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