Whatever anyone says, someone here will call it a rant. =)
Basically there is no right answer to the question. it is just a label given to a mindset. so to answer the question.. no it is the same thing..
There was no particular point in history where the people of the time said.. hey now it is time to do new imperialism! No one said Imperialism needed a version upgrade.
And I would agree with Tom Au, the term "Early imperialism" describes the taking of the lower hanging fruits against substantially less developed civilizations (in Africa, North America, Central America, South America, and Australia).
"New Imperialism" is just the same thing, the same mentality, but a term coined to describe the taking of more established and more advanced civilizations, such as those in the middle east, south Asia, indochina, and east asia. (which was clearly enabled by the widening technology gap)
But ultimately it really is the same thing.
Eventually, we had Total Imperialism. A period that no children of the imperialists have gotten around to naming (still too raw).
This was a period where the imperialists ran out of fruits to pick and decided to play for all the marbles among themselves, resulting in WWI and then WWII. It is the exact same concept. But they ran out of outsiders to conquer. So they looked to each other.
And tens and tens of millions of deaths later... We ended up with 2 super power... then 1....
The original imperialists lost it all.
This should be the ultimate cautionary tale. But, for the average person, history stops at the GLORIOUS mankind triumph over the evil that was the 3rd Reich.
That was of course a great story, but evil exists in many forms. Hitler only happened because of imperialism...
And with a cultural mindset of Win-Lose, of domination, this will never stop happening.