The iPad 2 isn’t a radical departure from the original iPad, as you might have figured out by now. What the iPad 2 is, however, is a much more refined product. Things that weren’t possible with the first iPad have now been featured front and center — a front and rear-facing camera, a thinner and lighter body, a more tapered design — and it just works beautifully together. Apple’s use of high quality materials combined with its ingenious engineering and manufacturing have yielded the sexiest tablet in the world. I haven’t seen anything that comes close to being as well put together as the iPad 2.

The iPad 2 features a brand new Apple A5 dual-core 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM (up from 256MB), an enormous battery (it’s actually three put together), and up to nine times the graphics performance of the original model. In my testing, the iPad 2 performed wonderfully well — easily a noticeable difference from the original unit, especially with gaming and when launching resource-hungry apps. Web browsing with the iPad 2 and iOS 4.3 absolutely screams, and it makes for an almost desktop-like experience… aside from the lack of Adobe Flash support, obviously.


Apple has introduced two other new apps for the iPad 2. The first is a new version of its popular movie editing software, iMovie, and the second is a new version of GarageBand. These are such amazing examples of how far behind Apple other manufacturers and companies are in so many ways. Apple is not only delivering the best tablet experience on the planet in arguably the best hardware, in the most prolific ecosystem imaginable, but the company is even taking it a step further to deliver apps that can actually perform better than what you’re running on your multi-thousand dollar computer at home.

Battery life

The iPad 2 units I’ve tested have had spectacular battery life. In fact, in my unscientific tests, the iPad 2 seems to do even a bit better in the battery department than the original did — even with a dual-core processor, enhanced graphics performance, and more. With average usage, one iPad 2 I was testing easily lasted over three days. With constant use I got around two days of usage before I had to charge the device, and that’s a ridiculously impressive number. If you’re not beating on your iPad 2 daily, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t last you close to a week with light on and off email, Web browsing, app usage, and FaceTime video calling.


Apple’s iPad was the first post-PC device that people took seriously. Microsoft, Nokia and countless manufacturers have tried to find the right balance between a tablet and a computer for the last 10 years, but the iPad was the first device to get it right and now Apple owns the space.

The iPad 2 takes Apple’s seemingly insurmountable lead and pushes it even further. The combination of beautiful and powerful hardware with gorgeous and thoughtful software that responds to your touch almost before you act delivers the best tablet experience on the planet. There are many competitors and there will be many more, yet in my mind, the iPad 2 is the slate device that 95% of the world wants and will buy. Sure, some people might prefer an Android 3.0 tablet so they can tweak it all they want, use it to view Flash content online, and have some more flexibility in terms of what they can install on their devices. I believe that those people, however, are very few and far between.

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Mahesh (MGIT – ECE 3rd year)