New iPad… again.

There is something almost pleasantly comforting about the annual announcement of a new Apple product, and like was predicted a week ago, Apple have surprised us with the announcement of a new iPad! I could scarcely believe it.

It is, on the surface, an impressive piece of technology. The new higher-definition screen pumps out a blistering 2048 x 1536 resolution, with 3.1 million pixels. In context, that is over one million pixels more than your 1080p screen displaying at 1920 x 1080. This isn’t just high definition – this is S&M High Definition.

There are lots of other little additions and changes too, such as high-definition video recording, a new camera with auto-focus and exposure settings, 4G LTE wireless and voice dictation and command.

The question is this – who is this new iPad aimed at?

Well, the success of the iPad isn’t surprising but despite being a tech-nerd, I personally have always thought of the iPad as nothing more than a gimmick, a technical exploration of the boundaries. The price for this – from £399.99 to £599.99, depending on how much storage you want on it. Compared to similar devices, this is rather expensive.

And this new one… doesn’t exactly make me want to rush out and buy one, but maybe that is because as a gamer I already know the next year will see me shelling out for a new console, and possibly two if Microsoft get their act together. I estimate each machine costing around £399.99, although I would like to be pleasantly surprised and see them cheaper.

But of course, the people it is aimed at already have an iPad. This is a yearly expense for fans of the device, and I am sure they all get an awful lot out of it. But it is the expense of it that makes me shudder – a console at £400 will last for at least five years, which averages out at £80 a year. The iPad is a yearly investment of at least £400.

I appreciate the iPad as a technical exercise. I have no desire to knock it, because it is fascinating to see what is added in each iteration. But you’ll already know if you want on – because you’ll have been saving up all year for this inevitable announcement.

And if you didn’t want an iPad – chances are this one still isn’t going to convince you.

But that’s alright, because I applaud Apple for their technical prowess and seeing what they can do, because inevitably within the next three months, the competition will take it on board and try to do better and more for far less. That there is a company out there pushing the envelope even if it is in incremental steps is a good thing.

I love Apple. But I’m not a fan, or in love with them. Why spend £400-£600 when next year I’ll invariably find out my expense is suddenly rendered obsolete?

Fans won’t, and don’t, care about that. And more power to you. But it does matter to me – such an investment in technology I want to pay off over many years, not just twelve months.

That is what ultimately turns me off. I’m a gamer, a collector, but I’m not super-rich and I have to buy all my own stuff. It’s just too expensive when this time next year, I’ll have to see another better device wheeled out in front of me.

That’s my personal stance. But hey, no hate here. Love the iPad. I just hope eventually Apple try something else and let their technology age gracefully, as a year isn’t that long in the world of technology…

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