1. You don't have to wait for apps to be updated to take advantage of the retina display
A lot of apps will look better after they've been specifically built to use every one of the 3.1 motherfucking million pixels, sure, but the thing with the iPad is that it normally displays text and photos independently of the app you're viewing them in. So, on the new iPad, all text is now "retina" quality. A lot of apps are mostly text, which is automatically "upgraded." A lot of apps just embed high-resolution photos, which are automatically "upgraded." Straight lines don't suddenly look blurrier. Even if no developers changed their apps, the new display would still be a step up.
2. Porn looks glorious on the new iPad
If you don't already get all wet just staring at that curvy aluminium slab, try turning it on and making it show you some skin.
|Not the new iPad|
3. Light leakage is a thing of the past
I was disappointed when the screen on my iPad 2 had a splotch of light on one side. This backlight bleeding through was only noticeable on completely black screens, but still, barf. From Googling, it seems like almost every iPad 2 had it to some extent. I'm happy to report that my new one has absolutely no light leakage. A black screen is uniformly black. And I couldn't find anybody complaining about this issue with the new iPads, so perhaps it's been fixed for good.
Let's hope so, because light leakage is worse than anal leakage in my books.
4. The speaker is the same
I originally thought it sounded better, but after a side by side comparison, no. It's the same. It still points away from your ears. So you still need headphones. The volume buttons, too, seem exactly the same.
|Pink shirt man shows off the fridge of the future|
5. Hey, surprise, it's Bluetooth 4.0!
Barely even mentioned as a new feature, the new iPad includes Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility. Like the iPhone 4S before it, it's one of the first devices in its class to do so.
Devices are going to be talking to each other a lot more over the next few years. Everything from your bracelet to your car, from your fridge to your toilet, will be getting all chatty with each other as well as with you. It's what people have called (though it's a terrible name) "The Internet of Things." With Bluetooth 4.0, things can talk to each other faster and more efficiently. Putting it on the iPad is positioning Apple's tablet to be the main interface between us mere humans and all the things.
6. You might lose all your apps
This applies to any new iOS device, but apparently Apple's cloud backup still has issues. All my apps are still out there, somewhere, but I had to plug the iPad into my computer (with a wire!) to get them onto the device, and even then, they forgot what folder they were supposed to be in. With hundreds of apps, it'll take hours to rearrange them again. The iCloud backup may preserve everything for some people, but it didn't do crap for me.
Update: I wiped the new iPad, made a new iCloud backup with the old one, then restored the new one from the backup after waiting a few hours. That seems to be doing the trick (restoring all apps and folders) so far.
7. iTunes Match and iMessage still don't work
Not that I'd expect new hardware to fix it, but iOS 5.1 comes on the new iPad and had potential to fix these two buggy-as-hell services. It didn't. Smart playlists (which I rely on, and don't see how anyone with a large music library couldn't rely on) are completely broken in Match. iMessages take 15 minutes to propagate to all devices, defeating the purpose and removing the "I" from "IM". This bug doesn't seem to be common, but it's happening to me regularly. These flaws are showing that Apple still sucks at the cloud.
While I'm at it: iCloud still doesn't work for documents on OSX. I.e., you can't sync iWork documents between mobile devices and traditional computers. Again, defeating the whole point of iCloud. WTF.
8. Despite complaints, it's still the best tablet there is
I've used just about every decent tablet (all 3 of them), and the iPad is the best by any measure. The most important new thing is that the screen is gorgeous; like, what's a tablet other than a glowing slab of screen? Plus, when everything works, it makes you feel like a member of an advanced alien race who travelled to Earth with their magic flattened supercomputers to study primitive humans but then decided to loaf on the couch and browse porn and Tumblr instead.
It's that good.