It comes in white. It comes in black.
It’s made by Apple, looks as good as ever.
It’s the iPad 2.
The original iPad was a fantastic device. It completely blew up the industry and tablet market. Never before had so many people been in such a rush to get hold of a tablet. Apple sold more iPads in year one than there ever have been tablet PCs sold.
Should such monstrous success be left continue, eventually dwindle, and finally be awed at in the history books – or be followed up by a sequel, risking the image and recognition built up for further success?
Apple are banking on the latter; read on for more info on exactly what their following up the biggest success of 2010 with.
It would have been weirder if at least a front facing camera wasn’t included in the second iteration iPad. Despite my musings that Steve Jobs may well step up on stage and say that noone wants to take pictures with a tablet, it’s too big and clumsy for that (a point I would actually of agreed with) – “but instead, look how cool FaceTime is on the big screen!”.
He didn’t. The iPad 2 has rear and front cameras, but they’re not that great. Not at all. Perhaps it’s just Jobs punishing us for making him give in on his original “only the iPhone needs a camera” ethos – but the iPad has a VGA (0.3MP) camera on front, and about 1MP around back; enough to allow them to call it “HD”.
The second most speculated to-be feature of the iPad 2 was a “Retina Display”. Unfortunately, that was a no-no. Despite growing evidence, such as an image found iBooks at double width and height resolution, and with a suggestive name – the resolution of the iPad 2 remains the same.
The issue is that in order to keep it neat, as they did with the iPhone 4, Apple would need to double the resolution in both dimensions, to 2048 x 1536. That’s a pretty big resolution anyway – nevermind for a 9.7″ display. Unfortunately, it’s still below the 320ppi point slated by Apple as being the point of “Retina Display”. This is really just a testament to how poor the pixe density is of all our larger devices, TVs etc.
The A4 CPU from the original iPad has been swapped out for an A5 – a dual core “1GHz” (It’s actually dynamically clocked at 900MHz) and the paltry 256MB RAM from the old has been bumped to 512MB on the new. This is a good thing, but it’s still pretty small considering there are smartphones announced with 1GB of the good stuff.
It folds round to support the iPad in every which way, flapping down to protect the screen when not in use. It’s also held to the iPad via magnets, so it’s secure as well as remaining discrete and not too bulky. The iPad will automatically sleep and wake with covering and uncovering of the screen, respectively.
The new iPad is a solid contender, but unless you love gaming on the go, or must have FaceTime on that larger screen; then it’s probably just a great opportunity to nab an original iPad at its lowered price.
Personally, I’ll be holding out for a higher resolution display – and also hoping that a manufacturer who’s rather fond of Android beats Apple to it.