Apple has included a new chip in the latest model, aimed at powering the high-quality display. The dual-core A5X is a system on a chip with quad-core graphics, upgraded from the A5 processor used in the Ipad 2, although Apple gives out little to no information on either version.
Web browsing on both tablets is responsive and speedy, and video streamed smoothly, although web pages on the Ipad 2 took a split second longer to load up. Games such as the ever-popular Angry Birds and GT Racing loaded up quickly on the new iPad, and the graphics were sharp and all the games we tested gave a smooth performance.
Those little red birds certainly seemed to fly through the air a shade faster on the new model, and apps were also faster to load compared to the Ipad 2, particularly a image-heavy example like the BBC News app.
Once apps are loaded, there's not much difference in the performance but the colour difference is again immediately apparent.
The new Ipad measures 241x186x9.4mm and weighs a very portable 652g for the WiFi-only version and 662g for the 4G model. The case has an aluminium back with a toughened glass display.
The older Ipad 2 is the same height and width but slightly slimmer at 8.8mm and weighs in at a lighter 601g for the WiFi version and 613g for the 3G model.
The 50g difference, which equates to a standard chocolate bar, means that both tablets are light enough to carry around all day. However, the dimensions make it difficult to type while holding either model, and you'll find you need to place it on a surface or lap to comfortably type anything longer than a quick message or search query.
We'd still like to see Apple release a smaller version, but this seems unlikely to do so now it's embroiled in the ongoing patents battle with Samsung over the 7in Galaxy Tab, as that could potentially be used as a weapon in Samsung's favour.
Both models were initially offered in 16, 32 and 64GB versions, but the Ipad 2 is now available only with 16GB, following the launch of its successor.
While there's no removable storage, Apple offers a further 5GB free through Icloud, and you can opt to pay for extra capacity.
Around the Ipad casing, both models feature the same 3.5mm headphone slot, lock button, volume on/off switch and up/down controls, charging port and camera lens.
We tried out the WiFi-only model, and the wireless was easy and quick to set up with auto-detection of networks, the same as was the case for the Ipad 2.
Bluetooth is also on offer, with an upgrade from 2.1 to version 4.0 for the new model. Apple has upgraded its mobile data support from 3G to 4G LTE on the new Ipad, although this is only on offer where operators have upgraded their networks.
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ