How Easy Or Difficult is it To Tell The Difference Between The New iPad & iPad 2?

new iPad

The new iPad has a lot of differences from the old iPad 2 — the Retina Display, the upgraded camera, the 4G LTE compatibility, slightly thicker and heavier. Given that, you’d expect people to easily differentiate the new iPad from the iPad 2, but for the average consumer this difference doesn’t seem to be much.

The folks at The Next Web did a little social experiment outside an Apple Store, where people passing by were shown both, the new iPad and the iPad 2, and were told to identify the new one. The video (embedded below) features 9 people out of which only 3 were able to identify the new iPad correctly.

Obviously, if given more time to inspect the iPad and the freedom to hold and feel it, these people would have had a better chance of getting their answers right, but this does show that for many people the Retina Display isn’t really much of a difference, at least at first sight. Funnily, some of these people were coming out of the store with their just-purchased, new iPads.

The folks at Gizmodo did a very similar test, in which the subjects were their coworkers at Gawker media. These people were handed an iPad 2 and told that this was the new iPad. No one noticed this, and more importantly most of them loved it. Head over to Gizmodo to watch the video.

This highlights Apple’s insane marketing power, and its ability to convince people to buy new devices as soon as they launch. While it’s not fair to dismiss the retina screen as a marketing gimmick, the video shows that for a lot of consumers (some who’ve just bought the new iPad), spotting the retina screen is a difficult task.

Did you get the new iPad? How easy or difficult is it to tell the difference between the New iPad & iPad 2?

Also see: The new iPad and the iPad 2 compared with respect to boot up time.

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  • Frankly quite surprised that people could not figure out the difference. It is quite easy to figure out the difference if you look closely at the Home screen or visit, which is optimized for the new iPad’s Retina Display. The text is indeed crisper and images sharper on the new iPad just as Apple has advertised. But, yes you need to look closely to appreciate new iPad’s Retina Display.

    • This gives rise to an important question: Is it better for the average user to go for the $399 iPad 2? (Ignoring 4G)

    • joe

      lolz… and how “closely” is close enough????
      for most if not all daily tasks, people just “glance” or simply “look” at the screen … so that retina display is simply to just get the fanboys all hyped up to go out and buy one ASAP… i’ll stick with my ipad 2

      • mkimid

        In fact, I have similar experience. My wife do not notice the difference of retina display for while. After while, she has used in i4, she find the differen easily. Technically, bif difference, but, practically, many people do not care the retina, even regular screen also enough to show the their usage

  • Joyboy

    Not surpised at all for a few reasons, primary among them is the complete apathy when folks are accoseted with nonsense in the mall. Who cares, right?

    As for the Gawker people not knowing – having read some of the articles on their various websites I’m surpised that they. Were able to get the video camera to work, let alone identify the difference between an iPad and, say, a Volvo.

    Also interesting that the general public was able to identify a new iPad more frequently than a gawker employee…

  • The fact that we all call it a retina display now rather than just an improved display shows how well Apple can market, brain washing us into buying. Still want the new one tho! 🙂

    • fas

      ?Hey who does not want Apples latest?

    • Hiddenvalley

      Apple’s slogan: “it’s retina because we say so”

  • Eric L

    When reading pure text I find the new iPad MUCH easier to read.

  • iphone4sdabest!

    wow gotta be blind ( or have a bad retina, lol) not to tell the difference. i can tell the difference right away. also all i have to do is carry both with my eyes closed and i can tell the difference without looking at the screen.

  • Choudhary

    Is the iPad capable of doing all the Job a Lap Top can do???

    • j meister


      • fas

        Almost certainly not!

  • Frank

    Brain washed for sure If apple told half the idiots who follow them blindly to plug this in to an electric outlet and shove the bare wires up their butt to get better Internet connection I believe half would try it……

    • ^_^

      Is this something you normally do or do you keep it to hamsters and gerbils?

  • Ichigo

    Wow are people serious?? Don’t guess and look at the screen there is a huge difference.