Apple resurrects the iPad 4 at $399, retires the iPad 2 at long last « Ars Technica

The iPad 2 first became the $399 entry-level iPad in January of 2012 when the third-generation iPad was introduced, and it stayed there through the introduction of the fourth-generation iPad that October and the iPad Air in October of 2013. It was Apple's last remaining iPad that still used the old 30-pin connector, and its retirement leaves the $299 iPad mini as the last non-Retina device in the entire iOS lineup.

The iPad 4 is a substantial upgrade over its predecessor, looking essentially the same but adding a Retina display, a Lightning port, just a little more weight and thickness, and an Apple A6X processor with about twice the CPU performance and four times the GPU performance of the A5 in the iPad 2.

For most consumers, we'd still recommend stepping up to the iPad Air. A 16GB iPad Air costs only 20 percent more than a 16GB iPad 4, but can offer as much as 200 percent more performance depending on what you're using it for. It also has a streamlined profile and is substantially lighter (one pound, instead of the iPad 4's 1.44 pounds). If you wouldn't mind the Retina iPad mini's smaller screen, you can have your cake and eat it too—that tablet costs the same amount but is both newer and faster than the iPad 4.