New iPad 4 review

The iPad 4th generation has landed - and it's a bit faster

Hands on: iPad 4
Summary: a bit faster with a smaller connector

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Battery life

Apple's relationship with battery life on its portable devices has been a rocky one over the years. But we'll let you breathe a little easier: the new iPad 4 has a more than acceptable battery life in our eyes.

It's an interesting situation – we reckon if the same battery efficiency used here has been put in the iPad 2, the device would be rocking a time between charges of between 3-5 days, even with more than moderate use.

The battery life of the new iPad 4 is slightly improved over the previous iteration, which will obviously impress those worried about the power of the Retina display draining the life out of the device. Over our long term tests with the previous iteration we noted the battery life fell over time, but that should hopefully be nullified somewhat with the new A6X processor.

And then there's the issue of 4G or 3G connectivity on top of that screen power – push that a little harder and it's highly likely you'll be seeing maybe a day's use out of the new iPad, although we've yet to test the 4G version.

New iPad 4 review

If you're going to be taking the new iPad 4 on a long haul flight and are intending to consume a large amount of video, we'd reckon you could just eke things out to four movies – in our tests we were seeing consumption of around 15% per hour when firing up the screen, although popping down the brightness will see a lower consumption.

After spending several weeks using the iPad 4 we have to say we are extremely impressed with its battery life.

While improvement in battery over the iPad 3 may only be slight during heavy usage, lighter users will witness a noticeable gain, with the iPad 4's ability to hold onto juice meaning it will happily last days between charges.


There are so many connection options on the new iPad 4 that it's hard to list them all… but we're a diligent bunch here, so we'll give it a go.

The big one we're excited about is Bluetooth 4.0 – the latest version of the wireless technology, and here's our explanation from our lovely 'What is Bluetooth?' feature:

New iPad 4 review

"Bluetooth 4.0 uses even less power than previous versions, and enables various devices to replace propriety sensor technology with Bluetooth.

"This Bluetooth Low Energy has benefits for technology in fitness, such as heart rate monitors and pedometers, which before could only communicate with a specific device controlling them. Now this information could theoretically be checked by any phone or computer."

New iPad 4 review

"The use of Bluetooth 4.0 still isn't that widespread, but it's tipped to grow, with the possibility to even be used to work as a wireless payment system in a similar fashion to the slower speeds of NFC."

Above that, we've got Wi-Fi up to 802.11 n standard, aGPS and a gyroscope. If that wasn't enough for you, there's a cellular data connection that can handle up to 73Mbps depending on the territory you're in, with the likes of DC-HSPA promising speeds of over 40Mbps for those in the less well-connected territories.

As you can probably guess based on the iPhone 5, Apple has decided to once again use a smaller nanoSIM on the iPad 4 – this is annoying as you can't cut down a microSIM to a nano size very easily, so you'll have to hassle your network for a whole other card it seems.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.