The iPad 2

May 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

I wrote a post back in November about my thoughts on the game-changing iPad. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the seriously understocked iPad 2 a few weeks back and feel it’s time to give my thoughts once again.

Essentially, not much has changed – not that you’d notice anyway. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s a natural evolution of the device and to be perfectly honest, it doesn’t need much improvement.  Here are the noteworthy differences:

Thinner

In fact 33% thinner than the first gen; the iPad 2 is now an amazing 8.8mm especially when compared to the iPhone 4 which is thicker at 9.3mm.  This is a pretty good sign that the iPhone 5, which is widely anticipated before September this year, will be going on a diet.

Lighter

A not-too-shabby 15% lighter!  In my opinion, this is quite noticeable as one of my main gripes about the original iPad was it was a bit on the heavy side and made one-hand operation a little uncomfortable for any extended period.

Faster

Potentially up to twice as fast as the iPad 2 is now packing the dual-core 1GHz A5 Apple processor as compared to the single-core in the original iPad.  This does seem to keep things snappy, but I’m yet to notice much of a difference over the original.

Cameras

The iPad 2 now comes with a front and rear facing camera.  (Big whoop?)

Shape

I’ve not seen this discussed much elsewhere, but is arguably a very important change.  Processor speed, memory and other technology will follow the state of the art and will always be improved.  Shape, feel and materials are things which are not controlled by the state of current technology and therefore allow Apple to be creative with the device they are producing.  Whilst the original iPad felt a little heavy and perhaps a bit clunky with its thick squared edges, the new iPad is slender; with a pleasingly chamfered screen front and an equally as pleasing curved back.  It feels so much more comfortable in the hand and would definitely be my number one improvement if it weren’t for:

Smart Cover

In the same way that the original iPad got ooh’s and ahh’s in front of people, the smart cover re-introduces the sense of wonder and innovative design that Apple has become synonymous with.  Magnets in the iPad and case perfectly align the cover to the edge of the device when placed near.  The microfibre side of the case goes someway to removing fingerprints from the screen, but in actual fact doesn’t make a huge difference (it’s better than not having it).  And to round off with some elegance, a leather case gives a pleasant luxurious and natural touch to the otherwise very high-tech silver device (though they are far from cheap at £59).  The only negative point with the case being that you loose the weight that the new iPad had shifted on its diet!

Conclusion

With the price remaining the same as the original iPad (though you can now pick up the first gen cheaper) current owners might find it difficult to justify an upgrade, but new buyers have enough reasons to buy an iPad 2 over an original.

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