Battery Life, Conclusion
It is Apple that has the on-paper advantage in this area. The iPad 3’s gigantic 42.5 Wh battery dwarfs the 25 Wh battery found in the Prime.
However, this doesn’t mean the iPad 3 is guaranteed a win. A large battery was put in the new iPad because it’s needed. The new Retina display is no doubt a power hog.
Let’s see how endurance shakes out.
Well, that wasn’t even close, was it? At 30% display brightness the iPad 3 nearly doubles the life of the Prime in both of our tests. Increasing brightness to 70% demonstrates the power-hungry nature of the Retina display, but the new iPad still claims victory in both tests.
There is no doubt in my mind which tablet is better among these competitors. Apple’s iPad 3 is more attractive, a bit easier to handle, offers a significantly superior display and far better battery endurance. Using the iPad 3 is simply more enjoyable for all of these reasons.
That’s not to say there aren’t reasons to buy the Prime, but they are few. You might want the Prime if you use your tablet outdoors. Some people might like the Prime’s lighter weight. And the Prime is of course more supportive of customization, so some users will prefer it for that fact alone.
However, these points are ultimately trivial. The new iPad, taken as a whole, is clearly superior to the Transformer Prime. All the areas where the Prime can claim an advantage are only applicable to a niche.
There is a price penalty that you pay for the new iPad’s advantages. You can purchase a 32GB Prime for the price of a 16GB iPad. That difference is worth consideration, but in my opinion the gap in price does not compensate for the Prime’s disadvantages. Not everyone will agree, and you will need to give a bit of thought to your own usage. Anyone who has a lot of media they might wish to store on their tablet may prefer the Prime’s more affordable storage, though in my opinion the availability of cloud storage reduces any advantage provided by additional long-term memory.
Some have called the iPad 3 an incremental upgrade. I disagree. As I think this comparison shows, the new iPad is substantially better than the next-best competitor. When judged relative to the competition the iPad 3 is the best product Apple makes and among the best consumer electronics products available today. Everyone else is still trying to catch up.