The iPad received flack last quarter for being given an “upgrade” with very minimal improvements. According to reviewers in CNET, Techcrunch, and a myriad of other technology blogs, it wasn’t really worth dropping your last iPad to go for the newer model, unless you were an Apple fan who absolutely had to get the newest version of everything. But this year, Apple has given everyone a certain reason to consider an upgrade: the latest incarnation of the iPad has a data capacity of up to 128GB.

The New iPad

Apple releases a “new” insert-name-of-iProduct-here twice a year, and some online critics in the tech blogs might suggest that this is a sign of Apple running out of ideas or perhaps even new innovations—a real letdown after the iPhone had been the one to change the entire smartphone scene, after all. The iPad seemed to be one of the casualties, but after the last iPad failed to impress enough, the new iPad has all the makings of being worth the upgrade.

To start, the fourth generation iPad already has the Retina-display and Thunderbolt port that made it at least worth considering. The impressive display makes everything absolutely crisp and makes the graphics pop far more impressively than most tablets. The Thunderbolt port makes data transfer even faster from Apple product to Apple product (some of the reviews on tech sites, however, suggest that the Thunderbolt isn’t really as impressive as USB 3.0, which is rather odd—why is Apple taking a “step back”?).

And with the brand new Apple processor, it moves fast and makes multiple processes easier to handle. And you’ll need it to move fast, because the clincher is its massive new data storage capacity of 128 GB. This means more apps, more videos, more images, more games—all of which will demand the power of the new processor and the display chip.

Versus the Microsoft Surface Pro

People wonder if this move by Apple, releasing the 128GB iPad, is to directly combat the forthcoming release of the Microsoft Surface Pro. They also wonder why should Apple be threatened by the Surface, considering the abysmal reviews that it had last year? Scathing review after review was heaped on the Microsoft Surface, so why should Apple—manufacturer of the top tablet in the market—be at all worried about any “gap” between the iPad and the Surface?

This is because what Microsoft is releasing is the Surface Pro. No, not the bare bones RT, but the full-fledged OS-running Surface Pro. In itself, it was already slated with a 128GB capacity, capable of running actual OS apps like Photoshop, and a myriad of input and output ports. It is literally a computer in tablet form. Thinner and lighter than even an Ultrabook (the hyper thin notebook laptops all in the rage these days), it is powered by an Intel Core i5. It won’t be dependent on apps; it can run programs like a normal laptop in virtual offices would.

The game might actually be the other way around—Apple trying to one-up Microsoft before the Surface Pro releases. Because once the new Surface comes out, Apple’s iPad would really be in for a dogfight over the tablet market.

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