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Apple iPad 2 Review

Apple iPad 2

Posted: , by John V.



The contacts app is laid out similarly to a physical address book that’s increasingly losing its presence amongst people since they mainly rely on their snazzy smartphones, but nonetheless, it mimics the look and style of a physical one. On the left pane, we find a scrollable listing of all our contacts, while on the right, it’ll display all the associated information for each individual. Strangely, there isn’t an option to sync contacts over the air when we set up our Gmail account on the iPad 2. Instead, you’re required to connect it to iTunes to get them over. And as always, you can have as many contacts in your address book as long as you have sufficient memory – plus, there’s plenty of detailed information to associate with each person. Is it functional? Of course! However, it would be nice to see an option for syncing contacts when you set up email.

The contacts app - Apple iPad 2 Review
The contacts app - Apple iPad 2 Review

The contacts app


Whether it be regarded as good or bad, pretty much all of the organizer apps on the iPad 2 remain the same as what we’ve seen with the original. Then again, some people out there will like the unchanged format, while others will yearn for a makeover.

Launching the calendar, it takes full advantage of the roomy confines of the iPad 2’s display since it’s mostly comprised of two panels when using it in either the list or day views. You have the ability to create different calendars, each with its own color, so you can easily distinguish them. The month view is now showing all your appointments inside each day, and the other views are also full of additional detail.

The Calendar of the Apple iPad 2 - Apple iPad 2 Review
The Calendar of the Apple iPad 2 - Apple iPad 2 Review
The Calendar of the Apple iPad 2 - Apple iPad 2 Review
The Calendar of the Apple iPad 2 - Apple iPad 2 Review

The Calendar of the Apple iPad 2

There is a note pad function available. When a new note is added and saved, a small description is shown on the main screen with the time that the note was added. When adding a new note, the keyboard will appear, and from there, you can begin typing whatever you want. Luckily, you can now sync notes you have stored with your email services so that you’ll never have to worry about losing them.

Apple iPad 2 Review
Apple iPad 2 Review
Apple iPad 2 Review

Some other organizer apps are missing right out of the box, like an alarm clock, calculator, world clock, and timer, but you can always get those from the App Store, if you need them.


Obviously, it’s still always nice to see options when it comes down to inputting text, but of course, we’re only presented with the same keyboard layout on the iPad 2. Not to say that it’s a bad thing, especially when it works almost flawlessly in operation, but we’re hoping to see the process being sped up by giving us quicker access to both numbers and some commonly used punctuations. In portrait, the on-screen keyboard might be too unwieldy for those with smaller fingers because it requires plenty of travel with your thumbs. However, the landscape option offers a spacious familiar layout that enables us to accurately type up long messages without that many problems thanks to its large size buttons.

We’re presented with the same keyboard layout on the Apple iPad 2 - Apple iPad 2 Review
We’re presented with the same keyboard layout on the Apple iPad 2 - Apple iPad 2 Review
We’re presented with the same keyboard layout on the Apple iPad 2 - Apple iPad 2 Review
We’re presented with the same keyboard layout on the Apple iPad 2 - Apple iPad 2 Review

We’re presented with the same keyboard layout on the Apple iPad 2

The e-mail application is rather unchanged and remains the same, but then again, it’s somewhat difficult to fathom it moving away from its current structure. When in landscape mode, the user is presented to a split-screen view, with the inbox on the left, and the content of the selected message on the right. Pretty nice of course, but this has somehow become the layout that’s in use with almost every tablet out there on the market. Setting up email is a breeze seeing that it mainly requires your email address and password for automatic setup. Albeit, it might require some additional pieces of information for some of the less popular clients out there – like server addresses and ports.

The e-mail app - Apple iPad 2 Review
The e-mail app - Apple iPad 2 Review

The e-mail app

Connectivity and Data:

Luckily, customers have plenty of choices to go with the iPad 2 since there are versions that will work specifically with the 3G networks of Verizon and AT&T. However, it’s worth noting that AT&T’s version is a GSM enabled device that will work globally as opposed to the domestic use only of the CDMA Verizon iPad 2. In the event you’re out of any cellular data network, you can always fall back on using the iPad 2’s 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. In our usage, it manages to keep a steady strong connection to an access point that’s placed approximately 30 feet away. Furthermore, it features aGPS which will identify your location, and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR to get other wireless devices to connect with it. In our experience, we’re able to get a lock on to our location with Google Maps after 10 seconds of loading the app.

Truthfully, the web browsing experience with the iPad 2 is still feverishly favorable since it hits high marks in mainly all categories. From its silky smooth kinetic scrolling to responsive pinch zooming, there’s no denying the usability of Safari on the iPad 2; aside from the fact that it omits Flash support to this day. Complex web sites load in an unprecedented manner compared to the competition, but at the same time, it perfectly renders it like what you see on any desktop browser out there. Additionally, we like how most sites will automatically load in full fidelity – as opposed to their mobile friendly versions. Combining its swift response and glorious display, web browsing is like a dream come true with the iPad 2 since it’s by far the preferable choice while getting comfy and sitting down on the living room couch.

Apple iPad 2 Review
Apple iPad 2 Review
Apple iPad 2 Review
Apple iPad 2 Review
Safari browser - Apple iPad 2 Review
Safari browser - Apple iPad 2 Review
Safari browser - Apple iPad 2 Review

Safari browser

  • Options

posted on 16 Mar 2011, 07:21 1

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!

posted on 16 Mar 2011, 09:01 2

6. p0rkguy (Posts: 685; 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".

posted on 16 Mar 2011, 07:24 3

2. Shubh (unregistered)

I'm no apple fanboy and I gotta say this product is a winner!

And 1st! :)

posted on 15 Apr 2011, 13:39 1

25. RobinMATHuur (unregistered)

sorry u are SECOND :D hahahaha

posted on 16 Mar 2011, 08:18 2

3. Dxrren (unregistered)

Those camera are both a joke.

posted on 16 Mar 2011, 08:19 1

4. Dxrren (unregistered)


posted on 16 Mar 2011, 08:33 4

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.

posted on 16 Mar 2011, 10:28 1

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

posted on 16 Mar 2011, 10:47 3

8. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; 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.

posted on 16 Mar 2011, 12:51

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
IPad2: ...zZz..

why not mention the lack of SD cards or the lack of 4g? or even the bleed screen problem?

posted on 16 Mar 2011, 14:11 2

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.

posted on 16 Mar 2011, 18:09 3

13. aliksdhflkaj (unregistered)

*little green robot

posted on 16 Mar 2011, 16:52

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.

posted on 16 Mar 2011, 18:00

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.

posted on 16 Mar 2011, 20:12 2

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.

posted on 17 Mar 2011, 03:20

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.

posted on 17 Mar 2011, 04:02 1

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?

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 00:30

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.

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 18:07

19. Amir (unregistered)

Nowruz mobarak !
Happy Nowruz !
best wishes in new year Dear phonearena

posted on 22 Mar 2011, 08:17 2

20. yann (Posts: 381; 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?

posted on 23 Mar 2011, 03:45 1

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.

posted on 26 Mar 2011, 23:44

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!

posted on 29 Mar 2011, 17:07 1

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

posted on 17 Jun 2011, 20:05

26. matheus (unregistered)

Where can I get this wallpaper?

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PhoneArena rating:
Display9.7 inches, 1024 x 768 pixels (132 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera0.7 megapixels
Apple A5, Dual-core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
0.5 GB RAM
Size9.50 x 7.31 x 0.34 inches
(241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8 mm)
21.62 oz  (613 g)

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