Hands-on Apple new iPad 3 vs iPad 2 and issues


What’s the difference between the two in:

  • screen/display,
  • thickness,
  • WiFi reception
  • and… 


I’ve also covered here some of the issues found by early customers and some solutions. Tested iPads were:

  • iPad 2 16 GB WiFi,
  • iPad 3 32 GB WiFi,
  • iPad 3 64 GB WiFi.

For full techy benchmark coverage you can go to tomshardware.com.

Tom’s hardware new iPad 3 review scope.

iPad 3 vs iPad 2 Display

My both iPads 3 displays are darker and have warmer colors with a yellow tint in contrast to iPad 2 (see the movie below). Reportedly, the yellow hue is a temporary chemical phenomenon (according to zdnet.com) which recedes after a few days. Moreover, it was also found in early iPads 2, iPhones 4 (see macrumors.comtechcrunch.com) and iPhones 4S (see news.cnet.com).

iPhone 4 (2011) on the left (slightly blue) and iPhone 4S on the right (rather yellow).

But at the moment, for those who cares about the colors (e.g. graphic artists and photographers) yellow tint can be too painful. To the casual user it rather doesn’t matter until contrasted with any other reference picture/display due to natural human brain white balance ability. Things are worse if your new iPad has unevenly/partially yellow screen – you can do nothing with it but take it back.

If you like techy torment reviews, go to new iPad Display Technology Shoot-Out at displaymate.com.

iPad 3 screen color test just after the purchase

It’s not true that all iPads 3 have warmer display than iPad 2 as Apple might say – it’s propaganda.  Just look at the picture below, taken on Polish Apple Premium Reseller (iSpot) demo table.

Demo new iPad 3 (on the left) and my new iPad 3 (on the right).

For more new iPad 3 users yellow tint feedback go to thread on discussions.apple.com. In my opinion, based on users feedback, majority yellow iPads were manufactured before March 2012 (my was in 1 week of 2012). You can check your Apple device production data on chipmunk.nl (or in form below), providing its serial number (app Settings > General > About > Serial number).

How did I reduce iPad 3 yellow tint?

I found that using new iPad just only intensively is not an effective way to get rid of yellow tint, as advised on the web. I’ve decided and had to apply special treatment to achieve solid effect. So, I took the following steps:

  1. Auto-Brightness OFF and brightness set to the MAX.
  2. Auto-Lock OFF and locked onto Portrait Mode.
  3. Saved white screen to Photos and opened on full screen (see photo).
  4. iPad connected to the charger. Disconnected from time to time to let battery do its (dis)charge cycle.
  5. Finally, iPad put to the drawer for several hours and between the clothes for better warmth incubation. My iPad was getting 41.5°C/106.7°F throughout the process.

Look at pictures below after 24 and 48 hours – yellow tint visibly reduced! Time is summarized for every several hours burning cycle in between I was using it normally. After 48h I didn’t notice any significant improvement (see pic after 60h).


It’s not an advice! It’s a report about how I reduced evenly covered yellow tint display.

My only advice can be to take back your new yellow iPad to the Apple for your claim. The rest is up to you and you’re doing it on your own. Apple says that „operating iPad in higher temp. than 35°C/95°F might temporarily shorten battery life or cause iPad to temporarily stop working properly”.

Both iPads side by side at once in all shots. iPad 2 plays reference role to eliminate WB effect. Pictures taken with iPhone 4 (no HDR). For those more perceptive, iPads show 4 min difference in time, because I simply didn’t set them :)

How to check iPad 3 backlight bleeding and stuck-pixels?

To check stuck-pixels (even at a store), start new/blank tab in Safari and thus you get your white test screen. Rotate iPad up and down and look for tiny black spots. Although Retina pixel has 0.0038 inch/0.096 mm, surprisingly stuck-pixel is really visible by bare eye (or take magnifying glass with you). Looking at white screen you’ll see black pixel and the same pixel will be white on black screen (look at my pics below).

The same hot-pixel on black background is emmiting light.

iPad 3 black stuck-pixel at white screen using magnifying glass.

For more info about testing iPad 3 dead-pixels and back-light bleeding go to ipadmalaysialabs.com.

iPad 3 vs iPad 2 Thickness

Both iPads are practically the same, so iPad 2 case or cover fits iPad 3 perfectly. That’s great news :)

iPad 3 on the left, opposite to iPad 2.

iPad 3 WiFi

I’ve really experienced WiFi issue as mentioned on many websites around the Web. iPad 3 is losing internet connection – not WiFi connection, which seems to be flawless (iPad still shows full bars WiFi icon at least). For the time being you can fix this issue switching off and on WiFi (or resetting network settings that gives the same result). But…


Avoid restoring iPad 3 from an older iPad/iOS archive. You’d do better setting it as a new iPad.

Personally, I suspect that the real problem is faulty process of restoring iPad 3  from an iTunes archive made on older iPad and iOS. I’ve had no such issue on an empty/new iPad 3 64 GB, taken out of the box, until restored from the iPad 1 iOS 4.3.3 archive (BTW, iOS 4.3.3 had also WiFi issue). Anyway, my second iPad 3 32 GB was installed as a new (wasn’t restored from any archive) and no single issue has been occurred yet.

If still no luck…

Last chance

Play with Apple standard iOS WiFi troubleshooter (e.g. sometimes changing router/AP bandwidth from 40 MHz to 20 MHz can help – look at router settings picture below)

or wait for new/better iOS, or just go back to your retailer.

iPad 3 excessive heating

At the first use (iPad taken out of the box), you can experience relatively high temperature on the left side (about 33.6°C/92.48°F as knowyourmobile.com measured).


Do not charge new iPad first time until battery runs out completely and then recharge it fully.

This fixed heating phenomenon on my iPad 3 (even stressed for a few minutes with 3G graphics in Epic Citadel). If you haven’t done it yet, just do it. But…


Rising your new iPad 3 brightness to the max will always rise it’s temerature to 33.6°C/92.48°F (or even more if you display more white than other colors). It’s normal for iPad 3, even if iPad 2 stays cold in that situation, but go to the half a way and your iPad 3 will stay cold also.

According to knowyourmobile.com, it’s all about iPad 3 Retina Display implementation: twice as many LEDs as in iPad 2, additional battery strain for Retina Display and less power efficient/old silicon display technology.

iPad 3 slow or no charging issue


Setting iPad 3 display brightness to the max exceeds it’s power consumption over the charger ability to refill the battery. As a result, battery energy level is steady or depleting instead of increasing while charging.

If you want working on iPad while charging, just go down with your brightness or buy 15W charger.

More Retina brightness = less power and more time needed for charging.

Other iPad 3 issues

that can be found on the web are:

  • iPad 3 WiFi range issue reported on christianpost.com but tests found on aerohive.com didn’t confirm it’s inherent.
  • iPad 3 4G cellular connection drop issue reported on discussions.apple.com. It seems to be an iOS 5.1 bug (allegedly Apple infoline confirmed that), so I would wait for next iOS before any claim.
  • iPad 3 100% battery issue reported on zdnet.com.

and at the end…

‚How to say, which one is the new iPad?’ issue

Exactly… the dumbiest idea I’ve ever seen was not to differentiate both iPads names.

  • How can I explain to a newbie or my mother-in-law which one to pick from the shelf or on ebay or wherever?
  • How to defend against cheating merchants?
  • Is the new iPad the latest iPad or only new iPad 2?

I’ll try to tell you… iPad 3 has:

  • bolder package :)
  • little bigger camera eye :)
  • crispy clearer display :)
  • it’s faster :)
  • it’s new :)

But you still can’t say which one is it, handling only 1 package/piece :) If you do and nothing above seems to you it’s true, then certainly it’s iPad 2 :) Beautiful ryhme :)

If I were more cruel, I would say iPad 3 is warmer and yellower (humorously described as ‚pissed’ on one of the Polish discussion boards) :)

For more, go to this beautiful marketing case thread at apple.com, to see what I mean.

Discussion (10)

  1. Dave Wyman

    Looks like problem solved, with the issue of the overly-yellow display.

    As for photographers and graphic artists, with a reasonably accurate display, color temperature is not an issue. No two displays are the same.

    If a photographer or anyone else works on a photo on their iPad and emails it off to a client, it’s guaranteed the client won’t see what the photographer sees. This has been an issue for as long as there have been digital photographs and computer monitors.

    A photo, on a computer monitor or on an iPad can be color-corrected, on the latter with a swipe of the finger. So assuming the iPad doesn’t show a grossly yellow tint – like mine was for a few days – then color balance is not an issue worth worrying about.

    Good job on your report, by the way – very informative, thanks.

    • Thanks Dave!
      You’re absolutely right that displays are not comparable (and even prints) but I’ve mentioned photographers and gfx artists (maybe mistakenly) as a people more sensitive to the colors than casual users.

  2. Hello,

    I am from india and as the new ipad released here on the 27 april, I bought it on the same day but yesterday i noticed a yellow tint on the top left of the ipad when held in portrait mode (facetime cam up ), I can clearly see the tint on the keyboard when using in landscape more ( Face time cam on the right side now ), as a reference for the amount of area affected the return, right caps, fullstop key .?123 key the keyboard down key and slightly on,the „L”‚key is halfmgood and half yelloish.

    I am thinking of trying your method of heating the ipad in order to dry the glue but in your pictures the whole screen seems to be yellow where as in my case only the top right part is affected ( when in portrait mode ),so in this case will it be helpfull ?

    There also seems to be a slightest blue tint on the bottom part of the ipad ( near the home button ) but its not at sll bothersome and i can live with it.

    My ipad is the 32GB black wifi only version. Production date : week 15.


    • Unfortunately, I doubt it will work for partial stained screens, but you have nothing to loose trying that and report your results.
      The best result is achieved exchanging iPads until you’ll finally get your satisfaction. I’ve read on apple forum, some guy have done 8 rounds until he got his.

  3. Amazing review, first time I come across iknowsomething.com
    I live outside the US, and I had my new iPad shipped a couple of weeks after launch. I had no issue with the display whatsoever, but although I have the 4G LTE + Wifi version, I do have the wifi range problem. My iPhone picks up the router signal from my backyard without an issue with almost full strength, while the iPad barely can connect. So I was fed up with this, but since I couldn’t ship it back, due to the long distance, I had to seek ways to fix the new ipad wifi range problem. I tried the disconnect and connect to the network and all that jazz, but no luck.

    After a couple of weeks researching, I found Pong Research cases, and although I was a bit skeptic about it, after reading so many nice reviews on the web about their products, I placed the order for a case, and now the problem is totally fixed. The antennae between layers on the back cover of the case, boosts the range to, what I would say, even better than regular, and the smart cover on the front has some special design that allows you to fold it on 5 different positions, to stand. Really nice solution in my opinion.

    • Thx Steve!
      I don’t think „New iPad Wi-Fi Pong Case” is a good solution, even if mending current WiFi range issue, which btw I can’t even notice on my new iPads. I would never buy it due to: (1) price, (2) weight increase and clutterness (similarly to smart cover) and most important (3) alleged WiFi issue can be iOS bug (we will never know until next iOS release). I would rather invest 120USD in better WiFi router than in heavy cover for one device (btw breaking its sleek design). This way you could improve WiFi environment for all the devices, not only iPad. That’s my opinion.
      Anyway, thanks for your valuable report.

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