Technology

Apple iPad 2 Review

This Apple iPad 2 review will cover all the information you need before making a decsion whether to buy or not, it includes ipad2 pros and cons, release date, where to buy ipad 2, its availability, price and sales

Considering the long lines in the stores, the Apple i Pad 2 is amazing. There was such a buildup to its release, with rumors flying around for a long time, and all the hype about tablet PC’s during the past twelve months, that the huge demand just let loose with a bang this weekend.

Regardless of the long lines and the sold out stocks, there are still a couple of questions to be answered. First, is it really true that the iPad is better than other tablets. Second, is it better to get the original iPad cheaply or to spring for the new one? Read on to find out answers to these questions, as well as others, in our full review.

Positives 
The unit has a dual core processor and 10-hour-plus battery life. The 9.7″ IPS LCD screen is nice and bright. It is one-third thinner than the original device. This device has both front and rear cameras.

Negatives
The screen is very reflective. The device is slippery. It has no expandable memory. It’s hard to read outdoors. Still image quality is quite poor.

Basically, the iPad2 is currently cheaper and easier to use than any other tablet. It may not have quite as many features as others; however, this isn’t much of an issue. Just look at the box office lines — the iPad 2 is the de facto market leader, and nothing else comes close. You can get the original iPad new, at discount prices, for a limited time. It’s great if you aren’t planning to use FaceTime.

Features and Design 
The iPad 2 boasts three major improvements over its predecessor. 1. It is 1/3rd thinner with a slightly smaller surface area because it has a thinner bezel. It also has a sloped iPhone 3G type edge rather than a squared off perimeter like the original iPad. It weighs about 25% less – and you will notice both improvements.
2. There are both front and back facing cameras on the iPad, so a lot of new applications are possible. One important example is FaceTime video chatting.
3. It presently has a dual-core 1GHz processor, which Apple says doubles the speed and boosts the graphics up appreciably (nine times).

Areas in which the iPad 2 has not improved are areas that Apple is known for ignoring, such as a removable battery and external memory expansion, so these deficits are not a surprise. However, Apple didn’t fix the worst, most literally glaring problem with the original iPad — the screen still is almost worthless in direct sun. Amazon and other e-book reader manufacturers will still crush Apple in this category.

The iPad 2, other than other almost cosmetic changes (for instance, the speaker is in the back this time), is basically a more petite version of the original iPod.

Ports and Connectors 
Just like the first iPad, iPad2 only has two connectors – the 3.5mm headphone jack and the 30-pin Apple connector.

However, because the iPad 2 has sloping edges, the jacks are slanted as well; therefore, they are behind the screen rather than perpendicular to it. Because of this, the jacks are hard to find. You will want to try to push the connector on an angle, but that is unnecessary. And the connection’s as solid as the one on the first iPad, even though it doesn’t seem it. The look and feel of these jacks is not quite right.

Multimedia Capabilities 
Two of the main draws of the iPad clearly have to be video and gaming. As advertised, the iPad2 is much faster in every way – app booting, Web page and video loading. That said, it was rarely proved to be twice as fast as the first iPad, as you’ll see for yourself in the comparison videos.

While direct sunlight still makes the iPad2’s screen fairly useless, the screen is as sharp and clear as the original when used inside. The screen on our original iPad appears to have faded appreciably, but while it is clear when you look at it in person, it barely makes an impact when watching videos.

When it comes to sound, iPad 2 has a speaker located on the back of the casing behind a perforated area, rather than behind a grill on the flat perimeter. The first iPad on the market had something they left out of iPad2 — when you held it in your hands, you could actually feel the vibrations of a song. The sound is also thicker and hollowed, warbling with movement of the device. This surely isn’t an improvement; however, you’ll probably tend to use headphones, anyway, so you won’t notice a lot of difference between the old one and the new one.

The video makes it clear that, when using the internet, pages load a lot faster than they did on the original iPad. However, when people used the 2 different versions in real life, nobody noticed any difference. How much faster? That is going to be highly dependent on which wireless connection you use — Wi-Fi or 3G.

However, more importantly, the Wi-Fi signal that the iPad 2 pulls in seems to be stronger, and the second version consistently has more bars than the original iPad does. The comparison videos might reveal this to you — this might be why the original iPod is slower. We are not sure if connectivity or processing power make the difference, but iPad 2 loads pages and content from connected apps appreciably quicker.

Cameras 
Let’s get this straight: cameras on tablet PCs are always lousy. This is due to their ergonomics, not their less-than-expected imaging sensors. A tablet PC is simply not the right shape or size to make a good camera. Imagine adding wings to a boat — although it might fly, it’ll be so awkward you wonder why anyone bothered.

Even so, it’s a mystery why Apple didn’t include the iPhone 4’s 5-megapixel digital camera in the second iPad. Apple didn’t even list the pixel resolution spec for the iPad 2 still photos (you should know, however, the rear camera is .69 MP – 960 x 720 pixels – which is only slightly better than the VGA-quality front camera), and for good reason – still photos taken with the iPad 2’s rear camera are poor, bordering on “why bother”. Shots taken inside are grainy, with little detail or color, and going outside doesn’t improve things much either.

But video is different.. If you hold the iPad 2 still (very difficult) you can take good 1280 x 720 HD video at 30 frames a second. Although the video is decent, the device makes for very shaky footage.

We don’t believe Apple created the iPad 2 to function as a camera: this is for FaceTime, and the purpose of the rear camera is to allow callers to see what is around them. Nevertheless, it is very disappointing that the iPad2 takes lousy still pictures, since we do use it for this purpose.

Battery Life 
While there hasn’t been enough time for us to do a side-by-side comparison, it appears that the iPad 2 uses power a bit faster than the original did — this shouldn’t, however, have an impact on the 10-hour battery life Apple claims.