Apple iPad 2 Review

Introduction and Design
Update: You can also read our Apple iPad 3 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.

The package contains:

  • 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.

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