iPad 3 Review Roundup

“The new iPad” is likely the most anticipated piece of consumer electronics ever, as every iPhone and iPad preceding it seemed to be at the time. As always, this anticipation is called into question as reviews begin to roll out, as it’s hard to believe Apple can top itself every time around. Read on to get a quick feel for whether or not they managed to pull it off.

  • TechCrunch – Technology is amazing, and this new iPad is amazing. Also amazing: the only company competing with Apple right now in this particular space is Apple. [....] If you’re at all interested in LTE in an Apple product, obviously, get a new iPad. If you read a lot on your iPad, get the new iPad. If you take a lot of photos and videos (yeah you, the joker in the front row of the concert with your iPad in the air), get the new iPad. If you play a lot of games on the iPad, get the new iPad. If you don’t yet have an iPad, get the new iPad. – MG Siegler
  • The Verge (9.3/10) - Let’s be clear: the new iPad is in a class by itself, just as its predecessor was. As the latest product in a lineage of devices that defined this category, the iPad continues to stand head and shoulders above the competition. With the addition of the Retina display, LTE, more memory, and a more powerful processor, Apple has absolutely held onto the iPad’s market position as the dominant player and product to beat. – Joshua Topolsky
  • Daring Fireball - The retina display is amazing, everything in the UI feels faster, and the price points remain the same. What’s not to love? It’s that simple. – John Gruber
  • All Things D - Since it launched in 2010, the iPad has been the best tablet on the planet. With the new, third-generation model, it still holds that crown. – Walt Mossberg
  • New York Times - The new iPad doesn’t introduce anything that we haven’t seen before, either in the iPhone or in rival tablets. There’s no Steve Jobs “one more thing” moment here; Apple just took its white-hot iPad and added the latest screen, battery and cellular technologies. If you’re in the market for a tablet, here’s the bright side: For the same price as before, you can now get an updated iPad that’s still better-looking, better integrated and more consistently designed than any of its rivals. – David Pogue

Reading through these reviews, there should be little doubt that “The new iPad” is a worthy successor to the iPad 2. Between a crisp “retina” display, LTE support, and more memory, the newest version of Apple’s tablet steps it up in the specs department while seemingly offering a better UX through more than the sum of these additions.

Image: CoCreate

Kindle Fire review round-up

We’ve been pretty excited about the Kindle Fire since it was announced less than two months ago, and the din of excitement has grown to a fever pitch in the past week. Amazon’s budget tablet is now out, and it hasn’t quite lived up to it’s promise. That’s not to say it’s bad, but it doesn’t seem to shatter preconception about what a $200 tablet can deliver–it just happens to be among the best in its budget class.

  • Engadget - So, the Kindle Fire is great value and perhaps the best, tightest integration of digital content acquisition into a mobile device that we’ve yet seen. Instead of having a standalone shopping app the entire tablet is a store — a 7-inch window sold at a cut-rate price through which users can look onto a sea of premium content. It isn’t a perfect experience, but if nothing else it’s a promising look into the future of retail commerce. - Tim Stevens
  • The Verge (7.5/10) - It’s a well thought out tablet that can only get better as the company refines the software. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great start, and at $200, that may be all Amazon needs this holiday shopping season. – Joshua Topolsky
  • Wired (5/10) - iPad killer? No, the Kindle Fire is not. And it doesn’t even match the iPad in web browsing, the one area in which its hardware should have sufficient performance to compete. But the press has definitely supercharged Amazon’s product launch with a level of hype and enthusiasm that would make Apple proud. - Jon Phillips

The opinions range here, but at $200, and the multitude of built-in media services, it is certainly worth a look. Look for updates to this post as more outlets put up their reviews.

Official site | Image: The Verge

Motorola Droid RAZR Review Roundup

Verizon’s holiday lineup is packed to the brim this year. With the Motorola Droid RAZR, HTC Rezound, and Android 4.0-laden Samsung Galaxy Nexus inbound, consumers have an intimidating selection of flagship phones to choose from. The first one out of the gate is the RAZR, which touts the thinnest form factor in a smartphone yet along with a 4.3″ Super AMOLED Screen and access to Verizon 4G LTE service. Check out what reviewers had to say about it:

  • CNet – [The Droid RAZR's] large footprint and squared edges might scare off those with smaller hands, and the battery is sadly not removable. Picture quality was also not quite as smooth and vibrant as we wanted. However, we think the Droid Razr more than makes up for these deficiencies with its remarkable speed, power, and good looks. Its $299.99 price is very steep, yes, but for those who covet cutting-edge smartphone tech in a slender package, this top-of-the-line phone might be worth it. -Nicole Lee
  • TechCrunch – Did the Droid RAZR manage to win me over? Almost. I still don’t think the lightweight feel lends itself well to the premium sort of experience Motorola was going for, and the RAZR’s battery left a lot to be desired. Even so, Motorola has managed to put together a really impressive (not to mention gorgeous) package with the Droid RAZR, and there’s a lot to like if you can live with a few shortcomings. -Jordan Crook
  • Engadget – [The RAZR] kept pace with, and in some cases clearly outclassed its high-end competition. Despite its deficiencies in the display department and underwhelming battery life, the RAZR looks to be a perfectly viable alternative when considering the similarly-pricey Rezound and Galaxy Nexus, but we’ll have to wait for our full reviews of those devices to say for sure. And don’t forget: this one will only get better when ICS comes to Moto’s slim slab of sexy. -Terrence O’Brien
  • BGR - With a beautiful design, an amazing display and a thin profile that’s packed to the brim with the latest and greatest specs, the Motorola DROID RAZR is absolutely worthy of being Verizon’s flagship device for the holidays. While the physical size of the device is larger than I’d have liked, and one-handed usage can be tricky if you’re not used to the crop of large display’d devices of late, there are way more positives than negatives with the DROID RAZR. -Jonathan S. Geller
  • The Verge - So is the Droid RAZR worth Motorola’s marketing blitz? Is it the phone to get? Well, probably not. While the hardware engineering required to stuff the internals of the Bionic into the thinnest smartphone design on the market is nothing short of amazing, the compromise on display quality needed to get there simply isn’t worth it. [....] “Something better is coming” is usually bad buying advice when it comes to Android phones, but in this case it’s true. -Nilay Patel
So, does the Droid RAZR hold up against the upcoming flagship phones? The aesthetics, display and battery life were generally regarded with lukewarm reception, though the pure power of the device alongside the visual design seem to push this into an oft recommended purchase. With recent news that Verizon is doubling data caps for new LTE device owners coupled with a currently running sale on Amazon bringing the price to $111, this may be the device to grab if you just can’t wait for the competition to roll in.