Apple iPad 2 Review
Amazingly, the tablet market has evolved tremendously over the course of the last year thanks to the revolutionary onset of the Apple iPad. Prior to its release, tablets were merely thought of as secondary devices, or even expensive luxuries that rendered them almost completely incapable of reaching mass appeal. However, the iPad surely has taken things to an entirely new direction as consumers gobbled it up thanks mostly to its intuitive operation, portability, and more importantly, its manageable low cost of ownership.
Naturally, it’s only expected to find its successor, the iPad 2, to step things up a notch in various aspects to make it a moderate improvement over its predecessor. And rightfully so, we’re greeted with a product that pushes the envelope in the design and hardware department, while still retaining that gold standard of being ticketed with a minimum $500 cost of ownership. Precisely on cue, its arrival should stem the tide of recent competitive offerings from tampering with its reach, but let’s hope that the tablet experience is up to the task of complementing its fashionable exterior and impressive hardware.
- Apple iPad 2
- USB Cable
- Wall Charger
- Apple Decals
Let’s get the obvious out of the way, but the first thing to catch our eyes with the iPad 2 is none other than its impressive slim profile. Just when we thought that the original iPad was a piece of work in terms of design, Apple’s engineers truly did a number in cutting out a lot of the fat from its body – leaving it almost unimaginably lean. In fact, it went from the original’s 0.50” thickness, all the way down to a mind boggling 0.34” thick – which is even thinner than the iPhone 4!
Besides its razor thin profile, the overall industrial design of the iPad 2 remains the same, though, we’re presented with tapered edges that comfortably provide a decent amount of grip when holding it with both hands. And of course, its brushed aluminum back cover exudes that utmost premium finish that’s generally accompanied by most of Apple’s products. For something packing a decently sized touchscreen, its weight is also reduced to a mere 1.3 pounds and requires little effort in holding it. Meanwhile, its solid construction tastefully makes the iPad 2 one magnificent looking tablet that doesn’t skimp out with even the smallest of details. However, you may want to exercise some caution in handling the iPad 2 since it would most likely not look too pretty after being dropped from a substantial height.
We’re presented with the same exact 9.7” IPS display that boasts a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. Sure there are other tablets on the market right now with slightly higher screen resolutions, but when you gaze straight at it, there’s no arguing the kind of brilliance that it embodies. Relatively speaking, there is no problem in making out even the tiniest of text, but it doesn’t quite have the same sharpness that’s evident with the iPhone 4’s Retina Display. Despite that, we’re actually still mesmerized by its naturally colorful output and blinding luminance that manages to retain itself at all viewing angles. Even more, we still find it quite viewable under the presence of the sun, however, it’s obviously mostly distinguishable when set to the maximum brightness setting. So even though we don’t see an upgrade with its display, it’s still nonetheless admirable in getting the job done.
Customary at this point, the recessed home button is located at its usual position beneath the touchscreen. Fittingly, it still provides that springy response when it’s pushed down – which translates to zero accidental presses. Thankfully, the iPad 2 is given the functionality of video chatting thanks to the 0.3-megapixel VGA front facing camera found above its display.
If you happen to get the 3G version of the iPad 2, you’ll find its microSIM card slot placed at the upper left corner of the device – with a pinhole next to it that’s used to access the slot. Meanwhile, both the silence switch and volume rocker are placed at their identical positions on the right edge of the tablet. Prominent in nature, they’re both easily distinguishable to feel out – with that solid tactile response with the volume rocker.
Also, there is a small black strip located on the top edge with the 3G versions of the iPad 2 which houses the tablet’s built-in 3G modems – whether it be compatible with Verizon’s or AT&T’s 3G network. Moreover, the 3.5mm headset jack, microphone, and the angled dedicated power button round up the items located on the top side of the iPad 2. Conversely, the proprietary 30-pin connection port and the notches for the speaker are all found at the bottom edge.
In the rear, we’re greeted to that instantly recognizable Apple logo that’s placed dead center, with the rear camera placed towards the upper left corner. Sadly, there isn’t much love with the rear camera, but we’ll expand on that a little bit later on.
1. 3MTA3 (unregistered)
So why in the picture does the ipad 1 & 2 dwarf the XOOM? 9.7 incher compared to 10.1 XOOM but in the picture they make the maxipads larger than everything else? Even Engadget did this - give me a break!
6. p0rkguy (Posts: 684; Member since: 23 Nov 2010)
I don't know about you but that seems like the correct scaling in the pictures.
The iPad is using a 4:3 while the Xoom is using 16:10. So it's not weird for the iPad to be "taller".
2. Shubh (unregistered)
I'm no apple fanboy and I gotta say this product is a winner!
And 1st! :)
25. RobinMATHuur (unregistered)
sorry u are SECOND :D hahahaha
3. Dxrren (unregistered)
Those camera are both a joke.
4. Dxrren (unregistered)
5. not good enough (unregistered)
"we’re greeted with a product that pushes the envelope in the design and hardware department"
OK, I'll give Apple a justified 'A' for design however, pushing the envelope in the hardware department they did NOT do whatsoever.
Let's see. . .
Poor cameras--VGA 0.7MP?!?! That's just sad!
NO standard ports--hdmi, usb => purchase an expensive proprietary dongle.
NO SD expansion slote => make sure you upgrade to the larger version because you can't expand the memory or have easy file transfers.
NO 4G => that just gimps the device => upgrade to iPad 3 asap
NO HD screen - retina display may not be possible but at least a bump to HD would have been nice.
Only 512MB RAM. . . what's that about?
Sorry, no real envelope pushing on the hardware side whatsoever.
And you all pretty much covered how "stale" iOS is. . . enough said.
7. Ant1 (unregistered)
Has any 1 notice,that since app 4.3 update photos taken by the iphone 3gs cannot be access,because they are hidden behind the album notice on the album screen of the phone
8. Sniggly (Posts: 7182; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Yeah, this was a fair review. I had to skim a lot of the details, but it seems you remained objective this time, Phonearena. Good job.
9. someoneeslse (unregistered)
lol..so a low end device like samsung ace has as a negative point no flash
but this ipad 2 doesnt? if the camera is bad why not put bad quality camera? now shoots terrible photos? give me a break~
Xoom: - No Flash from the onset
why not mention the lack of SD cards or the lack of 4g? or even the bleed screen problem?
10. Nikkco (unregistered)
The Ipad 2 is an incredible product and rivals any tablet out there now or yet to come. This is my first Apple product after trying the little green alien and there's no comparison. I realized that Android (whether tablet or phone) is just a sad wanna be follower (not a leader).
The cameras which you all are making a big deal about are insignificant because they are not meant to replace your digital camera. They are there for facetime and incidental pics. The screen although not rated as high as the pixels on the motorola xoom is just as nice if not better. You can't always go by specs. The HDMI is taken care of with an adapter - problem solved.
To all the nay sayers.... get a life and get your head out of your @$& because its clouding your judgement.
13. aliksdhflkaj (unregistered)
*little green robot
11. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)
ooo a sexi picture frame ;) me like...so what how big is the frame??? I'm planning to put a picture of a "Android rocks" in it.
12. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)
Don't fix what's not broken. There is nothing wrong with the iOS' interface. It's simple and very easy to understand. It's plug and play. It's the apps where developers can make use of different types of animations and interface gimmicks. Personally, I like iOS interface the way it is.
14. AppleGuy1212 (unregistered)
I love how before iPad 2 came out phonearena was saying that it would be nice to have a back camera but it wouldn't have to be something for serious photographers, considering who wants to hold a 10 inch pound and a half tablet in the air. This obviously isn't supposed to replace your point-and-shoot digital cameras, it was just something people were asking for.
15. IOS5 (unregistered)
Phone arena mentioned that there's other tab in the market offer more higher resolution screen than iPad 2 right but did they offer quality graphic like iPad 2 offer?! Don't think so and forget about the camera it's not that important for a tab cuz I'm not gonna shoot video or taking a photo with 9" ir 10" even if it has 12 m pixel camera every day loll.
16. blueFox (Posts: 9; Member since: 29 May 2008)
Hmm. While they try to look impartial, I'm not 100% convinced... Like another user pointed out, the delay in implementing Flash support is a problem with Xoom yet the complete lack of it is okay with iPad?
18. Crucial (unregistered)
Allow me to answer your question sir. The lack of flash in iPad will only be obvious while surfing flash intense website. If you use the tablet to surf sites like CNN, you can still watch the embedded videos since they are in HTML 5 format.
Also, Adobe just launched an application where it allows web developers to convert their flash into HTML5 format. So in the near future, we can probably see more HTML5 compatible websites that can be independent of flash for website animation.
I won't deny having flash is a good thing. However, seeing how it drains the tablet battery life and also cause slight jerkiness in the browsing experience, it is not all that glittering.
19. Amir (unregistered)
Nowruz mobarak !
Happy Nowruz !
best wishes in new year Dear phonearena
20. yann (Posts: 42; Member since: 15 Jul 2010)
What is the purpose of this device? Size like a laptop and power of a mobile phone?
I've both. Why do i need such stupid device?
21. Lee (unregistered)
This device sits in between a cell phone and laptop. Obviously if you have both a laptop and cell phone then this device doesn't serve much of a purpose. But in my case I recently gave my old laptop away and when I looked at a replacement I realized my only needs were web browsing, music and movies. The iPad does all that extremely well while being more portable and having better battery life than any laptop I've ever owned.
22. James J (unregistered)
Granted it was quite expensive, I am very impressed with the iPad 2. The video quality is the biggest difference from the first one. I downloaded the Remote Access app from my employer, DISH Network, to remotely stream live HD TV. The picture is absolutely amazing!
23. dane64 (unregistered)
I bought the Ipad2 and returned it the next day. It was buggy and not very user friendly. One speaker? What is up with that, Apple. I love my Mac, but there tablets suck. I am waiting for the new Samsung Tablet that looks like it rocks.
Georgia you are still the hottest blogger in my book!! Keep up the good work.
Your friend in Maine
26. matheus (unregistered)
Where can I get this wallpaper?