The original Apple iPad was released in April 2010 and became an instant success. Now Apple has launched its successor, the iPad 2, on March 11 in the United States.
Already a market leader in the tablet sector, the iPad 2 is expected to consolidate Apple’s position of a 90% market share.
The first impression is that the new iPad 2 is lighter and thinner than its predecessor and the specifications support this. At just 590 grams, the iPad 2 is 15% lighter than the original, and with a thickness of 8.8 mm it has shrunk by 33% from the iPad’s 13.4 mm.
Not only is it lighter and thinner, but the iPad 2 is also faster than the original. The new model boasts a dual-core 1 GHz A5 chip and graphics reputed to be up to 9 times faster than the original.
The new iPad 2 also has two cameras built in, one on the front and a second on the rear of the device, which are designed for FaceTime video calling. The iPad 2 lets you make video calls to anyone else with an iPad 2, an iPhone 4, the new iPod touch or a Mac using Wi-Fi. The rear camera is HD, so you can shoot HD movies, and the illumination sensor on the back adjusts to a wide variety of light situations, eliminating the need for a flash.
Although the iPad 2 will initially be offered in either black or white, you can brighten it up with a specially designed iPad 2 Smart Cover, which comes in a range of 10 different colours. The Smart Cover attaches to the iPad 2 by a clever magnetic arrangement and not only serves to protect the device, but also serves as a wake-up switch and a foldable stand.
Simply opening the Smart Cover wakes up the iPad 2 and closing it puts the device back to sleep. If you’re into origami, you’ll appreciate the way the Smart Cover can be unfolded from the iPad 2 and used as a stand in two different configurations, one for typing or alternatively for watching movies.
Drawbacks? Some critics have voiced disappointment that the screen resolution on the iPad 2 is still 1024 x 768. With the recently released iPhone 4 featuring what Apple calls the “Retina Display” which has a much higher pixel display, it would have been nice if the screen on the iPad 2 had been similarly upgraded.
Overall, the design is a stunner and the aesthetics are much improved. It goes without saying, the Apple iPad 2 is a definite crowd pleaser.
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