iPad 2 Review

March 15th, 2011 Posted in Apple News, Industry News, ipad 2

Now the iPad 2 has arrived. This new iPad 2 is getting a very interesting update. Thinner design, dual-cameras, updated OS, new accessories… with the same pricing structure. Some of the iPad old users are wondering whether they should update the original iPad to the iPad 2. And this review on iPad 2 may give you some tips.

Hardware

From an industrial design standpoint, the iPad 2 just seriously raised the bar on sleek, sexy computer hardware. The iPad 2 is unbelievably thin. At its thickest point, the tablet is just 0.34-inches. The device is slightly shorter than the previous model (at 9.5-inches tall), but also slightly less wide (just 7.3-inches versus the iPad’s 7.47-inches). It looks and feels amazingly sleek when you hold it.

The iPad 2 does add a camera at the top of the device, but the small dot is barely noticeable. Around back there’s the familiar, smooth aluminum of the previous version (it does feel slightly smoother here), a small, dotted speaker grid on the lower left, a camera on the upper left, and depending on what model you get, the 3G antenna along the top back. The volume buttons and mute / rotate switch sit on the back left side of the device, while on the right you’ll find the Micro SIM slot (on 3G versions). A standard 30-pin dock connector is along the bottom, while the top reveals a power / sleep button on the upper right side, and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left. All pretty standard business for an iPad, but smartly put together on this tiny frame.

iPad 2 has proved the outstanding industrial design of Apple.

Internals

Apple has replaced iPad’s A4 CPU with a new, 1GHz dual core chip it’s calling the A5. And the RAM is said to be 512MB. To be the truth, the iPad 2 has no light-spot in the field of hardware configuration compared with its rivals. Most of the tablet computers are in the same level.

Battery life

Apple promises the same longevity we witnessed in the previous version on the iPad 2.

Devices Battery Life
Apple iPad 2 10:26
Apple iPad 9:33
Motorola Xoom 8:20
Dell Streak 7 3:26
Archos 101 7:20
Samsung Galaxy Tab 6:09

In our standard video test (running an MPEG4 video clip on loop, WiFi on, screen at roughly 65 percent brightness), the iPad 2 managed an astonishing 10 hours and 26 minutes of non-stop playback. That beats its nearest competitor — the Xoom — by about 2 hours.

To say we were impressed by its battery life.

Cameras

The photo quality shot by iPad 2 is almost the same as iPod touch 4. It is pretty bad, especially compared with Xoom. Luckily, the iPad 2’s cameras do well while having FaceTime video chat.

Browser

Thanks to the introduction of the Nitro JavaScript engine to the underlying Mobile Safari software, the browser is noticeably faster and more responsive than on the previous iPad.

However, the iPad 2 still does not support Flash. There are still loads of content we couldn’t view because Apple won’t allow Flash on its platform.

Smart Cover

The Smart Cover is another light-spot of iPad 2. This ingenious little cover can do an excellent job of keeping your screen protected. The covers also can put your device to sleep and wake it up as you close or open the flaps — and it can be folded over on itself to be used as a stand in a variety of positions. The accessories also have a microfiber lining, which supposedly helps keep your screen clean.

Summary

I have to say that the iPad 2 is still the best tablet on the market. Some other tablet computers, such as Xoom, can not threaten Apple’s presence in this space.

However, the iPad 2 is absolutely not a perfect product. The cameras are severely lacking, the not improved screen, etc.

For owners of the previous generation of iPad, we don’t think you should rush to upgrade your iPad if you have no desire for the cameras.

If you still have no iPad, the iPad 2 is really quite good and deserves your try.

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