Mar 032011
 

I expected a bit more from iPad 2, but oh well, same with iPhone 4. It seems that Apple is continuously and intentionally staying off the bleeding edge of technology and sticking to simplicity instead, targeting their faithful users, the best niche the world has seen. Although Motorola Xoom is my favorite tablet for now, most consumers like it simple and I’m sure many Apple fans will be buying iPad 2, although some of them will wait for the next year’s model.

Is iPad 2 cheaper than Motorola Xoom? Yes, but if you buy the 64 GB 3G iPad 2 with a case and a few accessories you’ll spend far more, but you will still have no 4G, no stereo speakers, no camera flash, no Flash support, lower resolution, a bit lower screen size, no USB or HDMI ports without expensive adaptors, no barometer…. To your advantage, you will have a lighter device with longer battery life.

I’ve always been a sucker for light gadgets. After spending a week in bed with a very painful back injury using the iPad I bought for dad as the only device light enough not to hurt my back, I appreciate every single ounce shaved from every new version of a device even more. This is exactly why I selected my current Toshiba Portege laptop as an incredibly light, netbook weight powerhouse. So, until there’s a lighter one on the market, iPad 2 will still be some people’s preference.

Pros

– Lighter than the original iPad.

– Faster, dual-core CPU

– Faster graphics

KISS design
Same as with the ground-breaking original iPad that made both my 88 year old dad and my 1 year old daughter love it so much, Apple continues pursuing the incredibly simple and convenient mode of operation in an effort to spoil its users and it manages to do so.

– Dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi connectivity. Although b/g/n is commonly found on most cell phones, laptops and tablets, having the 5 GHz band radio WiFi option is big for us city dwellers with hundreds of b/g/n access points around and only few channels to choose from. For example, I usually see about 40 access points in my condo and very few on the 5 GHz band which also effectively has more separate channels. So yes, iPad 2 has the 5 GHz 802.11a radio, just like the original iPad and Motorola Xoom.

– Garage Band, if you know what it is.

Cons

– No 4G

– No more RAM than iPhone 4G

– No Flash support

– No Camera Flash WTH?! – even granny phones have it nowadays.

– No USB ports without special dock ports (that, as you guess, cost an arm, a leg and your firstborn unless you guess the name of the Rumpelstiltskin aftermarket manufacturer that doesn’t suck).

– No HDMI ports blah blah (see the line above)

– No wireless sync

– Glossy, reflective screen, impossible to use outdoors. To be fair, most tablets including Xoom and many laptops and phones share the same flaw, Kindle aside.

To summarize, iPad 2 is similar to its older brother, only more appealing, sophisticated, souped-up, lighter, but the situation on the market has changed immensely as new tablet models come out every week or so. Apple broke the ice with the first iPad, and as many times before, it was a visionary without any competition for a long time. However, iPad 2 now has to compete with the booming tablet market and only the time will tell how well it will do. I’m sure it will do well, but having in mind the overwhelming growth of the number of Android devices on the market, I doubt it will do as well as its predecessor.

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