Apple made some waves this morning by introducing the iPad 2 and while the announcement didn’t contain many surprises, it is still going to be one of the major players in the ever-competitive tablet market.
As for the specs, the iPad 2 has a dual-core A5 chip for speedier processing, the same (or similar) 9.7-inch screen, and it’s thinner and lighter than the previous version. We also have a 720p HD camera on the back and front-facing camera that can do video calling via FaceTime.
Is that enough to compete with the Xooms of the world, not to mention the BlackBerry PlayBook and HP TouchPad? Check out what the IntoMobile team has to say:
The iPad 2, just like the first iPad, will set the pace for other tablet makers’ aspirations with their Android-powered tablets. I was hoping to see a revamped Notifications system for the iPad-optimized version of iOS 4.3, but that’s just not in the cards at this point. In terms of unobtrusive notifications and easy app management, Android 3.0 Honeycomb is still a winner. That said, the new iPad is thinner than my phone (an iPhone 4), runs a dual-core processor, has cameras, and has access to over 65,000 iPad-specific apps in the App Store. It’s clear that Apple is still the leader in tablets.
I like that the iPad 2 runs a similar dual-core processor as the rest of the Honeycomb tablets we’ve seen thus far. I like that it has a couple cameras. I like that it’s thinner than anything else out there. If the iPad 2 turns out to have 1GB of RAM — which is really important for multi-tasking and browsing multiple browser tabs without having them reload every time you switch tabs — the Motorola Xoom will come in a close second. Looks like I’ll be an iPad 2 owner, come March 11.
I was disappointed the iPad 2 didn’t get a high resolution display. That would have made it a guaranteed buy for me. As it is now, the iPad 2 is an impressive update to the iPad with its slimmer body, lower weight, and cameras. I also liked what Apple has thought up for its case.
The iPad is a gorgeous looking device and it’s a shame mine is hidden inside of a case, so I’m curious to see what other case makers will think up in the coming months. I’ll still end up selling my iPad to purchase an iPad 2, but it’ll be more out of necessity than it is want.
So no Retina display on the iPad 2, as many had been clamoring for, but Apple has still managed to make a solid sequel to its already-popular tablet. The slimness is probably the biggest feature for me, since one of the big complaints for the original has been its weight.
The iOS 4.3 software didn’t offer any particularly mind-blowing new features, though the new apps, (iMovie and GarageBand) will definitely be attractive additions to iTunes. The spec upgrade to dual-core will be great news for the iOS game developers who have become deeply involved with the iPad, and the addition of the gyroscope should enable some new gameplay options. I think the launch window for the iPad 2 is bad news for both the HP TouchPad and BlackBerry PlayBook which we won’t see until later. The price points for the various iPad 2 models will beat out the Xoom, and at least matches what we can expect for the PlayBook.
The hardware refresh keeps pace with others’ attempts to leap-frog Apple, and draws a firm defensive line that I think will be hard for competing manufacturers to match in the near future. Regardless of how the iPad 2 compares with the alternatives in terms of specs or price, it still rules the roost with apps, which seem to be the continuing driver of success for any mobile device these days.
The one thing that irked me about the presentation is that Apple is branding the iPad as a “post-PC” device, as if it isn’t beholden to the same standards as a real computer, which doesn’t fly with me at all. I’m holding out for the solid, stable tablet that includes an SD card slot, VGA or full HDMI-out, and a full-sized USB slot, thank you very much.
I didn’t expect the iPad 2 to disappoint, and it most certainly did not. It’s almost everything I would have wanted in a new iPad: thinner, lighter, rocking battery life, front and rear cameras and a more powerful processor. The first iPad was impressive because it was fast and it turned on and opened apps in an instant. Now the new model promises to be more powerful and a lot faster without sacrificing battery life, which is very important to me.
The design and specs are impressive, though I’m a little saddened to see the exclusion of Thunderbolt. It would have been nice to have super-fast syncing capabilities, but I guess I can live without it.
Apple’s portfolio of apps, over 65,000 and counting, is what matters most to me. The new iMovie and GarageBand apps are very cool and show that you can actually create stuff on the iPad instead of using it as a consumption-only device.
Would I recommend the iPad 2 for current iPad owners? Once the hype of the announcement dies down, what we really have is just a slightly thinner, slightly lighter and slightly faster iPad. Because I still consider the iPad a pricey luxury item, I really can’t recommend it to existing iPad owners unless money wasn’t an issue.
Even though there was nothing magical or revolutionary, it’s hard to deny that this is a compelling device, particularly because of that $499 entry point. The Xoom is nice and Honeycomb-y but there’s no way I’d pay $800 for one or sign another data contract to get one.
There’s still a lot missing: I would have loved a bumped-up screen, more RAM and for this to actually be a standalone device that doesn’t need to be connected to iTunes before you can use it but it’s exactly the right type of evolution Apple needed to do.
My iPad has actually been gaining a lot of dust (with the exception of Tiny Wings, of course) over the past few months but there is something about the iPad 2 that’s calling out to me. I think Apple is still at the top of the tablet heap with this one.
Thinner, lighter, faster, cameras. iPad. That pretty much sums up Apple’s new device, which brings it up to par with the competition. In that aspect, it’s not that impressive. What is impressive, however, is that the iPad 2 is kept at the original’s price. Add to the fact that no other OS can match the iPad’s tablet-optimized application selection, and we’ve got a huge winner on our hands. Again. This will keep the iPad at the number one spot for quite a while.
However, I believe that Honeycomb is superior to iOS in many ways, and I was hoping Apple had made some great optimizations with 4.3. It’ll certainly do, though. While I have no intention of getting an iPad 2, if I was, the rumors of the iPad 3 are enough that would make me want to wait. Still, the iPad’s simplicity and price point makes it terribly hard not to want one.
Plus let’s not forget Steve seems to be feeling better. I would say that’s even more important for Apple than the iPad 2. It’s always a pleasure to see him taking the stage.
I want the white version.
Now that it is official, I have to say that the iPad 2 is, as expected, a nice but not awe-inspiring refresh of the platform. The CPU received a nice boost, a front-facing camera makes FaceTime more interesting, and a dedicated CDMA model is nice. These changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary, though.
As such, I would be equally likely to recommend an original iPad for $399 over the new
one, especially for the average user who would grab the iPad for some light browsing, reading or Netflix watching. I am impressed with the iPad 2, but not enough to sell my original iPad. I think I will hold onto the first generation iPad until the iPad 3 arrives.