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The iPad 2… a month later

The iPad 2… a month later

In our digital age, we’re constantly being bombarded with gadgets that seemingly push the human experience to new directions; some taking the usual evolutionary path, while others kick things up a notch with their ingenious and carefully thought-out execution. Nothing has undoubtedly changed our mentality as a whole society more in the last year than the rise of tablets, and rightfully so, they engage human interaction in ways we haven’t thought about previously. Of all the various ones out there on the market, especially after checking quite a few and fully absorbing their offerings, nothing sticks out more that the venerable iPad 2 – even despite its still relatively new arrival on the scene.

It’s all about pricing

First and foremost, you can’t deny the alluring price point that Apple has instilled with the original iPad, and of course, its successor surprisingly maintains that level. Thus, it’s able to keep even the closest of competition at bay. Although we’re mildly impressed now that Sprint has lowered its pricing for their version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, it’s unfortunately a little too late at this point to compete on the same level. Sure you can pick one up on contract for $200, or $429.99 off-contract, but considering its already dated hardware compared to the iPad 2, it’s not something that can benevolently attract those consumers who are starved for the latest and greatest.

But so far, we haven’t compared the iPad 2 with some of its current direct rivals, and some upcoming ones as well, but it was only a couple weeks before the iPad 2 launch that we saw the biggest name in the Android tablet space hitting the market. The Motorola XOOM came out in full force thanks to its heavy presence in various advertising spots, but one of the main reasons why it’s still not at the same level in terms of popularity is because of price point yet again. As it stands right now, the gargantuan $799.99 no-contract price of the XOOM is by far its Achilles’ Heel – and not to mention $70 more than the similarly equipped 32GB iPad 3G. Granted that it has some impressive features, like 4G LTE support in the very near future (no 4G love for the iPad 2), it’s still a hefty price to pay to experience the top shelf Android tablet.

Naturally, there are a host of other tablets coming to market that will undoubtedly test the might of the iPad 2 – some employing a totally new tablet experience (PlayBook & TouchPad), while others are attempting to win consumers with their novel features (shooting 3D photos & scribe technology). Albeit, there is still one aspect that seems to utterly attract people far and wide to the iPad 2 – and that, my friend, is its killer design.

Good looks can help too

Say what you will, but there is still no arguing the fact that the iPad 2 is still tops in this particular area. Both the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Dell Streak 7, which launched recently, are constructed out of plastic, while the Motorola XOOM steps up to the plate with a solid metallic exterior. However, when you hold the iPad 2 in your hands, you can’t help but behold its razor thin profile and premium choice of materials. Yeah, the 10.1” Samsung Galaxy Tab is emulating its streamlined looks and price point, but after briefly holding onto one during the most recent CTIA event, it doesn’t quite embody all the richness and glory that goes into the iPad 2’s design – then again, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 we check wasn't a final product, so who knows, maybe Samsung will take care of that by the time it launches.

Sole focus on one item only

Unlike its competition, Apple is able to craft such a stellar device, not to mention gracing it with killer pricing as well, because they only make one tablet – and that’s it! On the other hand, manufacturers out there like Samsung and Acer place their attention on a multitude of tablets – which obviously plays into cost. When you’re able to solely focus on one product and expect to sell millions of units, you’ll more than likely be able to secure deals with component vendors. Ultimately, this is one of the driving factors that enables Apple to produce such a stellar tablet that’s competitively priced.

Then again, there is the original iPad

Of course, the iPad 2 isn’t for everyone, but for the majority of people who have at least $500 and change to spend, it’s very hard to not take it into consideration. Impressively, we’ve seen an adverse change in pricing with Apple’s original model. In fact, we reported that some Verizon locations are selling the 16GB iPad Wi-Fi for an unheard price of $299! That’s not something you can overlook, especially considering that some people regard the $250 Nook Color as a bargain in terms of Android tablets, but it nonetheless shows you the kind of allure surrounding it. And if you prefer going the Craigslist route, we’re confident that you can possibly pick one up used somewhere around the $200 mark.

Looking forward to the future

In the end, it’s really going to take a lot to knock the iPad from its throne. Although it’s sitting on a sizable chunk in the tablet space right now, it’s going to take one company to focus all of their efforts in conceiving, manufacturing, and marketing a single tablet to literally have the same mix of ingredients to produce a worldwide hit. Some time down the line, we’ll surely find that Jesus tablet that will finally say to the world that it's better than the iPad in every way, but then again, it might be short-lived considering that we see a new iPad model every year – then again, maybe we won’t?

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