That would be fine, except that the Retina screen eats memory space. Many applications that have been upgraded for the display use more memory than before, presumably because their icons and pictures need to be that much more detailed. So those 16 gigabytes won't go as far as they did. After you've loaded your apps, you'll have less space for movies and photos.
Unfortunately, the "app bloat" effect isn't limited to the new iPad. The new, bigger apps will be delivered to older iPads as well, and in some cases iPhones, even though they can't take advantage of the upgrade.
In the past, I've recommended most iPad buyers get the cheapest version, with 16 gigabytes of memory. The 32-gigabyte version might be the better buy this time around. It galls me, though, that this model costs $100 more, for an additional memory chip that costs Apple about $17.
A couple of other upgrades in the new iPad are good to have, but not as revolutionary as the screen.
The processor is faster. Again, I've never actually wished for a faster processor in my iPad, but once you have one, it's welcome. In particular, there's less of a delay when firing up programs.
The camera on the rear is improved, now matching the one on the iPhone 4, with 5 megapixels of resolution. I use the iPad cameras for videoconferencing, not for photography, so this doesn't mean much to me. The lower-resolution camera on the front is unchanged from the iPad 2.
As before, there are step-up models with cellular broadband modems available for an additional $130. In the new iPad, these modems can access AT&T's and Verizon Wireless' faster "4G LTE" networks, which in many cases are faster than wired broadband. They come with added monthly fees, of course.
Another welcome change: You can dim the screen much further than you could on the iPad 2. That's a good thing if you like to use the tablet in bed before going to sleep. Staring at a bright screen in a dark room is hard on the eyes and might make it more difficult to fall sleep afterward.
When I first learned that Apple had boosted the battery capacity of the new iPad by 70 percent, I thought it was a pity that it didn't just dispense with the screen upgrade and extend the battery life to 17 hours. But the screen has won me over.
Once again, Apple has come up with a feature we didn't know we needed, but we actually do.
Peter Svensson can be reached at http://twitter.com/petersvensson
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