Now that I've had a full day to play with it, some further thoughts:
The thing that has tickled me most about the new iPad is how comfortable it is to read for long periods now (text ... so sharp!) and how much fun the Siri dictation is. I rarely use dictation but I've tried it with composing responses in this forum as well as dictating email and it works surprisingly well (though as with all dictation-product users, you really become aware of how many homonyms there are in the English language!). I have to do a little correcting on the dictation most of the time, but I'd say it's about 90 percent accurate, maybe even higher. Perfect for short posts, messages, emails, etc.
I was afraid that older apps (I have a couple on my iPad that aren't even iPad apps -- they're iphone-sized only!) would look terrible on the new display but the upscaling is EXCELLENT. Even old SD videos look just fine.
Speaking of which, I compared a 1024x768 (ish) video from an HD source I had converted before I had this new iPad to a new video I copied in at full 1080p. The difference is exactly as you'd expect it would be, WOW.
Did a FaceTime chat today, nothing new with the front camera so no surprises there. Haven't used the back camera for anything at all yet, it wasn't my motivation for buying the new iPad so it may be a while on that.
Again, the screen is just WAY more comfortable for reading for longer periods, and the text scales BEAUTIFULLY when you zoom in. Really wish you could do it that easily and beautifully on a Mac.
Oh, and photos!! Again, WOW. Also, iPhoto for iOS is absolutely REMARKABLE. I'm not going to throw out my notebook's copy of Photoshop, but frankly I can easily see iPhoto for iOS becoming my favourite editing tool routine jobs. It's not laser-precise but it really is pretty amazing.
As far as battery goes: I used it literally ALL DAY today and very often yesterday and it only just got down to one percent battery. I have the Wi-Fi only so I appear to be getting the benefits of the big battery without paying the 3G/LTE penalty. As for getting warm (as I've heard some people say, I stuck mine in my old Apple cover (for the original iPad) right away so I haven't noticed any heat at all.
Now to start thinking about what I want for a case ... gonna need one of those HDMI adapters too for presentations ... and maybe iMovie and iWork for iOS ... oh dear ...
Coming from a first-generation iPad I can only echo what has been said here - the screen is amazing, I actually couldn't believe the difference! Reading is SO much more comfortable. The speed and weight differences are also very noticeable to me. I can't believe I've hauled around the "clunky" iPad1 for almost 2 years ;-)
Bell techs keep telling me that LTE should "Just work" and there's nothing special they have to provision, but if that's the case it makes no sense that I'm stuck on "3G."
Just to follow-up on this previous post, I did speak with a Bell tech yesterday who seemed to be a bit more on the ball and informed me that the $10 "tablet share" plans are in fact not LTE compatible. He moved me over to the $5/15/35 tablet flex plan, and although it took a while for LTE to actually start showing up -- perhaps due to provisioning delays and/or weak LTE coverage in my area, that seemed to do the trick. There were a number of things he had to specifically confirm were provisioned, so there's definitely stuff to be done on Bell's end -- in the very least making sure you're on an LTE-compatible plan and don't have LTE blocked for some reason.
I'm at Yonge & York Mills and at this point I'm getting only a single bar of LTE in my apartment with HSPA+ like speeds. I get a solid 5 bars of 3G/HSPA+ coverage, so the weaker signal is specific to LTE. Outside walking along Yonge street I get about three bars and 45mbps down and 27mbps up, so considerably more respectable.
Man, I caved... I was at the mall in Richmond, and walked into the Apple Store and finally saw one for myself. Couldn't resist. What a beauty. Plus with our strong dollar and low taxes here, actually was quite a steal!
iMac 21.6" 2.5Ghz i5, 8GB, 120GB OWC SSD, 500GB HDD
Apple TV (3rd Gen)