So, everyone who wanted one had their dreams come true back on December 25th when they received their beloved iPad from a very generous and loving person in their life. And the recipient was happier than a pig in slop for about two and a half months – until the iPad 2 was launched. To make matters worse, the pricing stayed the same despite some subtle but substantial upgrades. It’s a strange thing because the iPad 2 isn’t all that different from the original, but the changes are enough to slam it way out of the park, which doesn’t bode well for its competitors.
What most people will notice first in a side-by-side comparison is the size difference; the iPad 2 is 33% thinner than the iPad (going from 0.5 inches to 0.34 inches, which is actually thinner than the iPhone 4). The device is also slighter shorter and more narrow. When potential users pick it up, they’ll also notice a weight loss in the iPad 2 (from 1.5 pounds to 1.34).
The second most obvious thing that makes the iPad 2 stand out (if you see the right one) is the color. Starting right away, the second-generation device is offered in both white and black.
The third feature on the iPad 2 that’ll get noticed upon inspection, the feature that has Apple fans shouting from the mountain top, is the addition of two cameras. The camera on the back captures 720p video, while the still-shot pics are basically video stills, which explains the lack of a flash. The camera on the front is VGA and enables owners to use Apple’s FaceTime video chat application – woot! However, FaceTime can only be used with Wi-Fi.
Other exciting apps available on the iPad 2 include GarageBand and iMovie.
At this point, it goes without saying, but the iPad 2 works with both AT&T and Verizon 3G networking.
Rounding out your digital life, Apple has made the iPad 2 HDMI compatibility. So, the device outputs everything you see on its screen – whether that’s video, games, your browser, or photos – to your TV while supporting 1080p resolution.
Undressing the iPad 2
One of the more important additions to the iPad 2 is the A5 dual-core processor that makes the device fast – really fast. Apple claims that it’s twice as fast as the A4 and the graphics performance is an astounding nine times faster. Also, Apple has included a gyroscope. With all this extra power your logic would be right to suspect that the battery life suffers, but it doesn’t; the iPad 2 still offers 10 hours of use and over a month of standby.
Pricing starts at $499 for the 16GB, Wi-Fi-only model and finishes off at $829 for the 64GB with 3G.