Apple released their new touchpad iPad 2 tablet back on March 11 in the US. This was far ahead of release dates of many of its competitors for their tablets. Apple has completely outdone themselves again and have created yet another monster in the tablet department. Apple is offering the iPad 2 in two different colors now: Black and White. The Apple iPad 2 comes in two variations as well: regular Wi-Fi(16-32-64GB) and with Wi-Fi and 3G(16-32-64GB) capable through either AT&T or Verizon. Prices range from the basic 16GB Wi-Fi at $499.99 to the 64GB Wi-Fi 3G at $829.99.
Apple didn’t change much in the way of the exterior look of the iPad. The iPad 2 still retains its 9.7 inch screen like the first generation iPad. The weight of the iPad 2 is not only thinner, but also lighter than its predecessor. The iPad 2 has slimmed down to .34in from the iPad’s original .52in. It has also cut its weight from almost 24oz to 21 oz(slightly heavier with the 3G models).
The iPad 2 in the matter of specs hasn’t changed much, yet. The reason for the yet is because many of the applications from Apple aren’t harnessing the new power provided by the new iPad 2. Apple has installed their new 1GHz dual core A5 processor that takes less power than the original single core A4. This is a big deal as battery life has become a big issue with mobile devices of all sorts. Battery life in the iPad 2 hasn’t changed much either. Which is significant when considering the new processing power. With up to 10 hours of battery life (depending on your settings and how you use it) and up to 9 in the 3G model. The resolution of the iPad 2 hasn’t changed either still providing a well backlit LED screen at 1024x768 with IPS LCD technology. In short the In-Plane Switching LCD helps viewing angles, which is up to 178 degrees(this means you could almost turn the screen to the side and still see it without blackout). The iPad 2 comes in a variety of memory formats ranging from 16GB to 64GB. Most of Apple’s competitors only have up to 32GB tabs, so this is a big win for Apple. It also has 512MB of RAM, though for tablets this doesn’t really matter.
The iPad 2 hasn’t changed at all as far as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. The only difference is the iPad 2 comes in either Wi-Fi only, or Wi-Fi with 3G capability. The only real difference between these two is the area in which you are going to use the iPad 2. If you aren’t going to be near a wireless router or a Wi-Fi hotspot, then the 3G device is the way to go. Another difference is the ability to use the iPad as a phone or a GPS device. With the Wi-Fi only you would still be able to use the tab as a phone, however, you would need an application to do so. The iPad 2 does still have a digital compass and is Bluetooth 2.1 enabled.
One very big and new item added to the iPad 2 is the front and back cameras. The original iPad did not have cameras period. The iPad 2 comes with a front VGA camera for video conferencing through FaceTime and other apps. The back camera is a 720p high definition camera with a 5x zoom function. The VGA camera does leave some wondering why Apple didn’t use a megapixeled camera, however, the difference isn’t very discernible. Another add on to the iPad 2 from the olde iPad is the 3 axis gyroscope. The first iPad had an 3 axis accelerometer, which has the ability to gauge the orientation of a stationary platform relative to the earth’s surface. The gyroscope has the ability to measuring the rate of rotation around a particular axis. Why is this all important. Gaming! Well and other applications that require you to twist and turn the iPad 2 for use. This is a big upgrade that while it may not be in wide use now, will be down the road.
The iPad 2 has internal stereo speakers with a 3.5mm headphone jack for the tabs audio. Also, with an Apple Digital AV adapter one can have 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound through an external audio device.The iPad 2 also has a microphone for FaceTime and other applications. Charging and data transferring(to or from a PC or Mac) is done through a USB 2.0 capable port. The other end of the provided USB 2.0 cable is the standard Apple 30 pin connector. With the 3G device there is also a micro-SIM card tray(same as the SIM card you would find in your mobile phone).
Overall the Apple iPad 2 is most likely the best overall tablet on the market right now. As with all new electronic devices, there is room for some tweaking. The iOS 4 operating system that the iPad 2 uses is arguably the most stable and best OS for any tablet out there. Another great thing about the iPad 2 is the thousands of apps available to users. In the end Apple has done it again.