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iPad 2: First Impressions

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When Apple introduced iPad last year they redefined the tablet computer category.  While tablets before iPad never caught on, Apple’s newest device redefined the category, and took the world by storm. Despite the continuing popularity of the first iPad, less than one year later Apple announced the newest incarnation of the device, iPad 2. But could iPad 2 really be that much better than the original iPad? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’!

Upon physically holding iPad 2 the first impressions were of the difference in weight and composition. While iPad 2 is only marginally lighter than its predecessor (100 grams less,) the slimmer body makes the weight difference feel more significant. The white bezel was also a popular new option that added to the already sleek look of the device.

Cameras

The other physical differences were additions of two cameras, front and rear facing, which proved to be a feature that everyone was eager to test out. The front facing camera is utilized by the popular FaceTime application, which allows iPad users to video chat with anyone who has FaceTime on their 4th generation iPod touch, iPhone 4, iPad 2, or Snow Leopard enabled Mac computer. The rear facing camera records video at 720p, which can then be seamlessly imported into the new iMovie application ($4.99 in the iTunes App store) for video editing. Along with iMovie, Apple also released another iLife application for the iPad, GarageBand for $4.99. The options of using either regular instruments or smart instruments can appeal to both GarageBand greenhorns as well as old hands.

Speed

We also tested the speeds of the new dual-core A5 chip featured in iPad 2 next to the original iPad with A4 chip. The speed increase was especially noticeable in Safari as web pages loaded much faster on iPad 2 than on the original iPad. We have yet to do any side by side tests of processor-hungry games, but we would expect to see similar results there as well.

Apps

Now, one week past the iPad 2 launch, the device is still just as popular with our customers, as well as our team, as it was on launch day. Our demo model is constantly being passed around the store and seldom gets set down. At our Doylestown store, Christie H. likes the the GarageBand App for the guitar function. Jordan E. likes using the simple drawing game called ZenBrush, and Tim F.’s favorite app is Slice it, a game that tests visual perception.

If you want to test out iPad 2’s new features, compare the differences between iPad and iPad 2, or if you want to find a favorite app of your own feel free to stop by any of our locations to check it out.


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