Apple iPad 2 Review

By Jonathan Spira on 17 April 2011
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Just a little over one year ago, Apple reenergized the moribund tablet computer market with the introduction of the original iPad. Easy to use, with a 9.7” Multi-Touch display that has already changed how we interact with applications, the iPad was an instant hit.

All of a sudden, people were browsing the Web, sending and receiving e-mail, viewing photos, watching movies and videos, playing games, reading eBooks, checking the weather, planning trips, managing stock portfolios… all with the iPad..

When the iPad 2 was introduced to the marketplace a few weeks ago, Apple had to top itself, a difficult feat.  Somehow, the company managed to do it.

The iPad 2 has been completely redesigned and is 33% thinner than its predecessor. At its thinnest point, it is 0.34” (the original iPad was 0.5”).  Indeed, it’s thinner than the iPhone 4.   In addition, it weighs ca. 15% less than the original.  And it’s smarter, faster, and better.

The first thing one notices is the innovative Smart Cover.  Apparently, the four seconds we lose each time we open and start the iPad were also noticed at Apple’s headquarters.  While it may sound trivial, it takes a typical computer several minutes to start up and the original iPad was quick compared to this.  Now, with the Smart Cover, the display goes on immediately and we can start work (or play) more quickly.  Put the Smart Cover down and it shuts off (at least we think it does as this begs the question, does the light in the refrigerator REALLY go off when one shuts the door).  The Smart Cover also folds into a stand, leaving the iPad 2 on an angle for easier viewing or typing.

The 9.7” display, unchanged from the previous model, is gorgeous.  Image quality is excellent with superb color balance, contrast, and deepness of black.

Everything felt faster with the iPad 2.  This is due to the new dual-core A5 processor that Apple says is twice as fast and has nine times the graphics performance.  The speed is evident in everyday browsing but is really noticeable (and appreciated) when gaming.

The iPad’s diet has made it easier for me to hold it for longer periods of time.  While my arm would quickly get tired reading a book or newspaper on the original iPad, there’s quite an improvement with the iPad 2.  It’s not Kindle-thin but it’s thinner than other tablets, such as the recently introduced Motorola Xoom, and this change will no doubt please eBook fans.

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