The original iPad may not have been the first ever tablet computer, but it was certainly the first one that took the world by storm. The 2nd Generation iPad was released in the US on the 11th of March 2011 and quickly became a huge success. Is the iPad 2 really any good, or are you paying more for the Apple name and branding? Let’s see.. ;)
iPad 2 Specs
- Operating System – iOS 4.3
- 9.7 inch Capacitive Touch screen
- Apple A5 1GHz Dual Core CPU
- 512MB RAM
- Available in 16, 32 or 64GB
- Front Facing VGA Webcam
- Rear Facing HD Camera – no Flash
- Optional 3G
- 30 Pin Dock Connector
The iPad runs the same operating system as the iPhone and iPod Touch. This is called iOS and as with all new releases, the iPad 2 features an updated version of the operating system. This is iOS 4.3 which isn’t really that different to the original version on the iPad 1. This version features an updated browser and the ability to use the volume switch as a rotation locking switch.
The iPad was referred to as a big iPhone, and as it uses the same operating system it really does look like that.
The iPad 2 is built to a very high quality, just like you would expect from any Apple product. The iPad 2 is just slightly smaller than the original iPad. The iPad 2 looks insanely similar to the look that Apple seems to think it has patented with the iPad 1. In other words, it looks very similar to most other tablets on the market, and most of the other manufactures are being harassed by Apple (like the galaxy tab).
The iPad 2 is one of the thinnest and lightest tablets on the market. It is also very fast and easy to use, however not everything is so great about it.
The iPad 2 speaker has been moved to the back of the device. This produces slightly better sound than the original iPad, however if you are planning to watch a lot of videos or listen to music on the tablet then you really will need to use a pair of headphones for much better sound. If you are expecting iPod quality sound without headphones, then you will be disappointed.
The screen is reasonable, but not excellent. This uses the same 9.7 inch screen as in the iPad and is a little bit of a disappointment. This won’t make it impossible to enjoy watching photos and videos on the screen though.
The battery life on the iPad 2 is much better than the original version of the iPad. This is pretty impressive considering the new version is much thinner than the original. Apple claims that the battery will last for over 10 hours between charges which is much better than many other competing tablets.
The iPad did not include any cameras, and one of the biggest improvements with the iPad 2 is that it includes 2 cameras. On the back there is a megapixel camera, and on the front a fairly basic webcam. These cameras are pretty terrible, while they aren’t unusable; they aren’t a reason to buy the tablet. When compared to other tablets like the Xoom, the tablets seem second rate.
One of the biggest advantages of using a device powered by iOS is the large number of apps available in the market. There are well over a million apps which can be run on the iPad 2 which is many more than Android, WebOS and Blackberry tablets.
The iPad 2 is the leading tablet computer available today, but whether it is the right one for you is a different story. You pay a lot for the name and design. However, the camera and screen are both lacking and these are much better on other tablets.