Welcoming the iPad 2 – is it a winner?

Now that Apple’s event is over, and the news on the iPad 2 has been revealed, it’s now time to digest though the information.

What’s in the iPad 2?

  • Powered by a dual-core A5 processor running at 1GHz
  • The amount of RAM in is not listed
  • CPU 2x faster, GPU 9x faster
  • Front VGA resolution camera and read-facing 720p camera, but no word on resolution
  • FaceTime support
  • Thinner, even thinner than the iPhone 4 (8.8MM vs. 9.3mm) – current iPad is 13.4mm thick
  • Lighter – 1.3 pounds compared to 1.5 pounds
  • Two colors, white and black, and both will be instantly available
  • 10-hour battery life
  • Built-in gyroscope
  • Availability – March 11 in the US and two weeks later in another 26 countries

A new version of GarageBand and iMovie for the iPad have also been released, plus a new HDMI out cable accessory that allows 1080p output.

A new “smart cover” that uses magnets to attach to the iPad 2 – case also doubles as a stand – There are 2 versions available, one polyurathane and one in leather.

So, what do i think? Well, it’s evolutionary rather than revolutionary for sure. The hardware upgrades are more modest than many were predicting (no Thunderbolt port, no super high resolution screen, no storage bump) and the new features bought in by iOS 4.3, while being rather interesting, are far from ground-breaking. There was also no price drop.

That said, this upgrade is more than enough to worry those planning on bringing out tablets this year. iPad 2 should present plenty of challenge for Morotola and RIM and the like as they gear up to release their tablets. Or, to put it another way, the Xoom and PlayBook could well be toast in the face of the iPad 2.

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One comment

  • Good review but not sure about your final comment on the iPad2 making other tablets toast… Now that more info has been released, the Xoom has a more powerful processor, better resolution, more hardware sensors, faster browser, handles Flash, 4G ready, views videos, Word and PDFs without need to convert, built-in HDMI out, has mini USB and mini SD memory card slot. For my own personal use for instance, all this would probably suit me more than the iPad2. So even if more people might still prefer iPad based on the iPhone/iPad hype and Apple name, Xoom may well give iPad a run for the money.

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