iPad 2 vs New iPad – Can You See The Difference?

By: Chad Sweely - March 21, 2012

If you are currently in possession of both the iPad 2 and the recently released New iPad, are you able to tell the cosmetic difference between the two models? Place them side by side and try to see if you can find any difference between them, especially pertaining to the clarity of the display. If you have done this, do you find yourself stumped? If so, the technologists at The Next Web have put this conundrum to the test by asking customers leaving an Apple store to determine the cosmetic difference between the two models.

As you can see from their results in the video below, it is not definitive, and all of the answers have been mixed. A variable to try to determine the newer model is mostly by “which has the brighter/clearer screen.”

John Brownlee of The Cult of Mac has an interesting hypothesis as to why some people chose the iPad 2 in this test:

“It’d be interesting to hear what the reasons were why people chose the iPad 2 over the new iPad. It’s hard to escape the fact that many of the people who choose the iPad 2 over the new iPad have glasses, implying that they may not have eyesight good enough to distinguish retina quality in a display (which as Apple defines it means the ability to distinguish one pixel from another with 20/20 vision).”

Some Twitter users have also been challenging themselves to find the difference between the two iPads:

Amazed by how small the supposedly huge difference between old & new iPad display feels. Cool, yeah, mind-blowing, no. 7 hours ago via Twitter for Mac ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Aside from the difference in resolution, it also seems like midtones are brighter on the new iPad. 4 days ago via Twitter for iPhone ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

The new iPad might appeal only to geeks. My wife: “No big difference. Same design, same size, same weight?” Me: “It’s faster.” She: “Meh.” 4 days ago via Twitter for iPad ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Do you notice any difference in the display presentation between the iPads? Please let us know your feedback below in this post’s comments section.

About the Author

Chad SweelyChad Sweely is a contract writer for WebProNews, and previously was the Support Analyst for iEntry. Chad is also interested in classic Doctor Who, social dancing, and web design.

View all posts by Chad Sweely
  • Doug

    The respondents seem to equate the cooler display temperature with “clearer and brighter”. I rather like the warmer more natural display temp on my new iPad.

  • Paul

    This doesn’t surprise me.

    Several customers and I compared the two side-by-side, inside a store. We knew which was the new iPad and which was the iPad 2–and we couldn’t tell the difference! The employee even blew the screen up (pinch-zoom) and ran an HD video– and we still didn’t see a difference!