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Review of iPad 2

Contents:

  1. Package
  2. Design
  3. Dispay
  4. Controls
  5. Cameras
  6. Power Supply
  7. Processor
  8. Connectivity
  9. Storage
  10. Bottom Line

Package:

  • Tablet
  • AC adapter
  • USB cable
  • SIM ejector tool
  • Manual

My task today is quite simple Ц we have already had the announcement article that has been extensively discussed on the forum and now I only have to tell you what I have seen after opening the small box. You might have got more familiar with iPad 2 in The First Look but today we look deeper. Partly, this is because iPad is not a thing one can comprehensively review Ц it all depends on the software: this tablet can be a gaming console or a typewriter exactly because of the additional applications, so it is not that easy trying to decide which facet I should review. This is an amazing phenomenon Ц people splurge on a piece of metal only to find themselves thinking of its application. I certainly do have an iPad. If a new interesting game is released I take it out from its nook. I also take it if I have to make a small presentation, or kill time in a traffic jam, or read something. But sometimes I do not use it for weeks. But I cannot imagine my set of all purpose gadgets without it. There are also other scenarios Ц you buy an iPad and don't know what to do with it then your kids take it find a lot of applications for it (there is a ton of games), or your girlfriend uses it for Facebooking. Et Cetera.

iPad 2: Announcement

iPad 3G: InUse

Review of iPad

Design

This device reminds of iPod Touch: as if a few Touches were assembled together to make iPad 2. It looks thin but it is more an optical illusion Ц the rounded edges conceal the thickness of the tablet. The first time you hold it it feels muck thinner and lighter that the first iPad. Partially it is true but if you look at the picture you will see that the difference is insignificant. However, there is a difference in the weight. The first model weighs 680 g (24 oz), with the dimensions of 242.8х189.7х13.4 mm (9.56x7.47x0.53 in). iPad 2 weighs 601 g (21.2 oz) and its size is 241.2х185.7х8.8 mm (9.5x7.3x0.35 in). I will repeat once more Ц the difference in the thickness is unnoticeable. The material is the same slightly rough aluminum body, the screen now features an oleophobic protection but due to the size of the screen fingerprints are still visible.

iPad 2 vs iPad:

Due to the sloped sides there are a few issues with USB cables. On the pictures you can see the design of the slot. Only the bundled cable fits there the tablet does not recognize any devices connected via other cables. However, I could not find any critical differences. There is also an AC adapter in the package. I tested the top configuration: Wi-Fi + 3G with 64 GB.

There is a SIM ejector tool but the SIM slot is not very convenient to work with Ц it was much simpler in the first iPad, although, you won't be dealing too often with it.

The design of the loudspeaker is quite interesting Ц it is a perforated spot at the bottom. As compared to the first iPad the loudspeaker has become a bit louder and a bit better but that is it Ц and maybe this is just my imagination.

” версий с 3G также есть черна€ вставка на верхней части корпуса, на ней же находитс€ отверстие микрофона. –азъем 3,5 мм также скошенный, но проблем с различными гарнитурами не было.

The 4G version also has a black panel at the top that features the mic hole. The 3.5mm jack is also slopped but third party headsets work fine with it.

iPad 2 can work with accessories for the first model but you have to take into account the peculiarities of the slots Ц you will have to try everything before purchasing. The simple cases fit without problems as well as all kinds of covers. I have not yet laid my hands on the new smart cover but I will review it as soon as I get it. The most important design update is that you can now choose between black or white iPad 2 which have different frame colors. For boys and for girls, so to say. However, if we come to speak about iPad for boys I would say the first iPad feels more masculine Ц sharp edges and it feels heavy and solid.

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Dispay

The screen size is 9.7", the resolution is 1024 x 768 Ц my impressions from it are very positive. I have heard that there is a problem with the backlit at the bottom but the specimen I testes had no such issue. The view angles are excellent, the screen is bright, vivid and works fine with both gaming and web surfing. I tried watching videos on YouTube in our articles but was getting an error saying something like "You are not authorized" Ц a simple task yet I could not do it.

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Controls

No changes here: the same volume rocker and the switch at the side, in the settings you can assign an action to the switch: mute the sound, or disable automatic rotation. The home button has become softer or maybe I am imagining this. The top left button is still there but has been taken out of the body which makes it more convenient to use it.

The touchscreen is magnificent, I have not yet seen a tablet so easy to work with.

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Cameras

There are now front and rear cameras with a lot of possible applications. Firstly, you can use Facetime. The application icon is on the desktop, the application is very user friendly, the contacts are added very easily. To make a call you need a Wi-Fi connection. You can have a look at how the application works in our video. You should not expect crystal clear quality. As well as in iPhone 4 you can switch between cameras.

iPhone 4 - about FaceTime

Another application for fun is Photobooth, I expect very soon there will be a lot of pictures made with this application. You choose a funny photo effect, make a snapshot and can immediately send it to your profile. The rear camera is not spectacular Ц the photos are rather mediocre but the video is not bad (resolution 1280 x 720).


There is support for geotagging and manual focus.

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Power Supply

The official statement says it can work up to ten hours with web surfing via Wi-Fi. Anyhow, iPad 2 has a very good battery life span Ц I have not heard anyone complain about that. And all this despite the fact that the screen is enormous and the processor is now dual core it still lasts long. This is really nice.

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Processor

It is Apple A5 processor with the clock of 1GHz, two cores Ц but it does not tell us a lot Ц we must see the difference.

I did not make a video about the performance Ц I will do it a bit later. But I can tell you one thing Ц if you compare iPad and iPad 2 Safari works much faster on the latter, and for many the browser is the main tool they use. Games also work faster. You can jump between open applications faster, multitasking works faster. And you do not have to try and convince yourself Ц you can see the difference.

If you like to play I have good news Ц the tablet now features a gyroscope Ц very cool in racings.

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Connectivity

As you can see ny SIM was recognized, I will remind you Ц you do not need to unlock iPad 2. The Wi-Fi version looks attractive for owners of iPhone 3Gs and iPhone 4 because iOS 4.3 now has a nice feature called "Personal hot spot". I will review this feature separately. But, in my opinion, if you are considering buying iPad 2 it is worth tobuy the 3G version. Unlike the Wi-Fi version it also has a digital compasses (works with Google Maps) and aGPS. You can connect it to a TV set with an extra accessory for just thirty bucks (the price of the adapter). I wonder how popular this function will become. Will there be a lot of iPad owners who will connect their tablets to the TV? I would like to read your opinions on the forum.

Connecting to hot spots is simple, Bluetooth works fine with regular and stereo headset.

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Storage

16, 32 or 64 GB Ц it is very simple Ц the more the better Ц to watch your favorite soap opera or store music. The quality of the sound has not changed as compared to the first iPad Ц I used Monster Turbine Ц sounds the same to me.

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Bottom Line

The following goals are achieved. The entire known Universe is now talking about the new Apple tablet. It seems like only Apple manufactures tablets. All the competitors efforts are gone to oblivion: any news about Motorola XOOM or the Samsung tablets cannot be heard over the thunderous wave of iPad 2.

For the company it was important to secure the success and, obviously, we are witnessing evolution, not a revolution, but it is quite sufficient for maintaining the interest. Will iPad 2 be popular? Yes, it will. Is it worth switching your first iPad for iPad 2? Only if you need the camera, a slightly smaller body and the better performance Ц but I think these reasons are not good enough to hurry to the nearest store. You can as well use Facetime on your iPhone Ц the rest is relative.

As the practice shows reasonable arguments do not mean a thing for consumers. We are all merely children. And we like toys. The only thing that changes is that toys get more expensive. Apple are masterful toy makers and they can keep us amused forever Ц and the proof of it lies on my lap.

For the year that has passed not a single other manufacturer has presented anything comparable to the original iPad. Nothing you would hold in your hands and would not let go. It is yet another milestone passed by Apple.

And yet another reason for the competitors to scratch their heads.

Do you want to talk about this? Please, go to our Forum and let your opinion to be known to the author and everybody else.

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Sergei Kuzmin (skuzmin@mobile-review.com)
Twitter    Livejournal
Translated by Robert Mugattarov (mugattarov@gmail.com)

Published — 16 March 2010

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