What can I say? Yes, the iPad 2 is better than the iPad one. Yes, it's superior to the current crop of competitors. Apple has ticked the empty boxes on the features list that, left unchecked, would have left its tablet in the lee of this year's other new models. There, review done, move on to the next one... Apple iPad 2 Apple' …
Bring on the nerdrage!
Cue "but...but...but!" speech from fandroids
No I don't have a tablet. Watching the two fanboi camps slinging mud at each other is amusement enough, and it's free!
Not a review, a comparison...
It's fair to say that the iPad2 is a nice bit of kit, but no one has convinced me that there's a use for any slab.
To review a product don't you have to tell us how well it performs it's function? And I know I will be flamed for this but I don't understand it's function.
The review states this can't really be done as nothing really utilises the 2 cores.
You don't buy Apple products for function...
And I'll get flamed for trying to answer the question. It's use cant really be explained, you just have to live with one for a while to really get it.
Just look at all the comments, people who don't have them hate them, people who do love them, it's all there between the lines.
It's not just you!
I've been perplexed by them too, which is why I always refer to tablets as animated tea trays.
If I want to check email, look at a website, or as I did this morning, laze in bed and watch the F1 qualifying on iplayer, I just reach for my smartphone.
If I want to do something more serious, I reach for my laptop (old, antiquated, but 250gig of storage goodness and 1400x1050 resolution - widescreen laptops really annoy me, would love to upgrade, but don't want something the size of a small car!).
So where does a tablet fit in? If there is one thing I wish I could do from my phone instead of my laptop it's upload photographs from my DSLR. So maybe I do have a use for a tablet, except tablets don't have much more storage than my phone, and it couldn't be a fruity one as we're not trusted with USB connections by the head orchard wrangler so there's no way to read the CF card, or connect the camera.
Now, that *is* a fanboi statement "people who don't have them hate them, pepole who do love them". Well, I have news for you, I have one and I don't love it. It's a nice enough toy, but the many shortcomings mean it's not much more than that. Great for idle web-surfing. Not a replacement for a decent netbook, let alone a laptop though.
Use your loaf
Simple, don't buy one then. I don't buy things that I don't have a use for.
People are different, one size does not fit all.
Some shops are now using tablets for mobile tills. They cost a quarter of what a normal POS terminal costs.
Desktop machines and laptops simply aren't very mobile. A tablet it, it is instantly on when required and the battery life on standby is weeks.
I felt like that too - until I got one
And there is no answer. Except now, even though I have a powerful desktop for development work and blogging, it suddenly seems peripheral to my concerns. The whole tablet form factor is scarily addictive. The intimacy of the way tablets work with multitouch has lead to it getting inside my head. My phone has definitely become a secondary device, where i used to use it for looking stuff up all the time I now only use it outside the home if I don't have the tablet with me. But for any kind of distance travel I'll take the tablet along as well, so I'm using my phone much less. The tablet has tapped into the fact we find computers useful for so many aspects of our lives, having one tied to a desk, or only accessible by opening on your lap is too much of a restriction. I'm not sure it's a good thing, all I know is I don't want to be without it. When without it, if for example sitting on a train, I feel like I'm wasting downtime or occasions where I could be doing something with it. Damn, Apple are a goddam drug dealer.
You can display your pics on an iPad via the Shuttersnitch app and an Eye-Fi wireless SD card. Unfortunately, if you are using CF (I'm guessing that you have a Canon) then you'll need a CF-SD adapter, ideally one with all of the metal removed.
@the AC's of the world
Yep, you got me, i'm just a deluded fool who regrets the day I ever set foot in an Apple store.
What makes me really angry with myself is that I'm increasingly using it more and more on a daily basis and barely touch my 'real' computer. Why do I do it to myself? It's not like if I thought it was shit I could have just flogged it on eBay for pretty much what I paid for it.
Imagine someone forming an objective opinion based on actual hands on experience, not just regurgitating other peoples narrow minded and misinformed thoughts that they read on the internet. I'm such a tool.
Re: @ Prag fest
Can't speak for the other fellow, but I use my (gen one) iPad for:
Reading comics, books, magazines, PDF tech manuals.
Watching movies and such when flying - better content, screen than aircraft seat-backs have.
Checking email - easier to read that phone screen.
Web browsing - ditto.
The last three can, it's true be done on a computer screen, but I find the iPad's size, and switch-on speed makes for a better 'grab it for a mo while sitting on the sofa' experience than a notebook or netbook. Battery life is way better than the latter, and a tablet is more comfortable to carry too.
Tablets have lots of uses. Yes, many of them can be done by other gadgets, but that's no reason not to use a tool if it makes sense for the way you as an individual live/work.
I have two laptops, a tablet and a phone. Sometimes I use one when I might use another, but generally I use whichever is most practical for what I want to do, where I want to do it.
Despite what many will probably say, I think this is a nice bit of kit. I've used the original iPad and it is very nice. For most people browsing, emails and looking at pictures is all they'll use it for, so it fits the bill nicely. So do others, but not as well as this :)
If I had the cash I'd buy one.
the 3.5mm jack
Yes, the semi-exposed jack does look odd.
But the alternative you suggest (sinking it further in) would constrain the different types of jack that could plug in - the jack on my Sennheisers has a 1/4-inch adaptor, and the plastic boot at the back of the 3.5mm jack goes flush with that. Do Apple want a 1/4-inch cut-out in their shiny bevel?
That's correct. Apple made this mistake with the original iPhone, and then corrected it with the 3G
3.5 mm jack
Apple did miss a trick there: should have used a magnet-attached connector like the power connector on MacBooks (good idea that - though hardly worthy of it's patent)..
Not least because Apple could then sell "Apple headphones" with the weird jack for $100+ per!
My 3GS has the jack on the curved part and you can see the metal. It's not as pronounced as on this iPad 2 but it's there.
Who cares anyway? Tony's suggestion that they bore a bigger hole is the dumbest thing I've heard today (and I read a Guardian comments section earlier). Make the port less useful for the sake of a minor aesthetic concern - yeah, great idea.
To call this a mistake is to ignore the design tradeoffs. One might prefer aesthetics over function (after all, one is an Apple buyer) but that can be taken too far.
No gyro in original iPad
Just one small correction; there is no gyro in the original iPad, though it does have a compass and accelerometer.
Who could have guessed
that 1024x768 screens would hang in so long past their FOAD date?
I hate to admit this, but with Garage band and music recording ability on the iPad2, it's gotten closer to the one standard that could have me purchase a tablet- "Can I record my music with it.:" So far, I haven't found any music recording software for my EVO or any Android Tablet.
If Apple have copied Intels tick-tock
It's competitors are in trouble.
Apple release a 'good enough' v 2.0. (Tock)
Then maybe a Tick iPad 3 with retina display.
Sadly my attempt to buy an ipad2 failed due to the time it took me to enter a fist full of vouchers on John Lewis.com. All sold out within 15 mins.
Loving the leather jacket your hand-model's wearing
although the nails could do with not being chewed to death
They should have got George Costanza to do the gig
This post brought to you by beer.
Does any other product polarise like an Apple product?
Apple products really do have a unique way of polarising people, and I don't just mean the fans and the non-fans. Even professional reviews are inconclusive. For every review like this one ("a small step forward on paper, in your hands it's a leap ahead") there are others that draw the complete opposite conclusion, protesting that while Apple promised a whole new ball game with the iPad 2, what they've provided is merely a few tweaks and polishes to the original.
Perhaps it's the curse of Apple products that they're fundamentally un-reviewable; everyone's reaction to the device will be different regardless of how many reviews they've read, or what those reviews concluded. You may as well try to review Marmite.
On a more nit-picky note, the headphone socket thing is nothing new. The 3rd generation iPod touch exposes a bit of ground conductor when the 3.5mm headphone jack is inserted.
Now that version 2 is out there are suddenly remarks on the previous version... stuttering? Never heard of in the review of the first version.
Furthermore, looking objectively at the facts stated, the difference is small, yet for the reviewer it is soooo great... yeah, I smell bias from about a mile...
BTW, talked to a friend who got an ipad 2 for free (and already had the first version), he said the curving made the damn thing too wobbly to type on while laying flat, the first one was actually better.
As for competition... that Samsung tablet seems to be at least as good... there, said it, Apple fanboi
(/me is neither Apple or Android fanboi, go ahead and thumb me down anyway)
iPad 1 stutters
The iPad 1 didn't stutter when it came out with iOS 3.2. When iOS 4.2 arrived, along with a kind-of multitasking, this put much greater pressure on the 256MB memory (the iPad 2 has 512MB), and this caused stutters. I've noticed with the new iOS the iPad does more, but is a little less fluid and the battery drains a little quicker.
This is a technology website reviewing hardware. It's always going to run through features and will always actually IMHO tend to be biased the other way than you are suggesting, e.g. against kit that has the evident yet intangible qualities like those the iPad has. The reason why Apple kit is hard to review is because the essence lies in intangible qualities, the way the sum of the parts are put together and make a so much greater whole, the shear obsessive design attention to every little facet of the experience. Reviews in the tech space will tend to be biased more against Apple because:
1) How do you write an extensive review about intangibles without sounding like a Eulogising knob ?
2) How do you appear objective if you massively prefer the kit of a company where there is no back-up of what you are saying in terms of comparative specs you can point too on paper ?
3) How do you write about something where the value is in such intangibles as quality of implementation and style and at the same time satisfy an audience that will by nature tend to be interested in tech-spec details and detailed tech analysis ?
So it's entirely ok that there is no single feature that can be pointed to that "proves" something is "better" than a previous version, yet it is given 90% There is no points system in the world that can tell people what they must prefer.
Never noticed stutters, but certainly rotation issues on v1
Have a friend with one and they are forever shoving it under my nose to see some App or something. The only issue I have noticed is that often in the midst of handing it to me over the table or so, the Apps seem to get frozen up or stuck in the incorrect orientation. On these occasions I have given it back to him and he does a few twists and hands it back to me more more carefully making sure it does not twist through any axis it clearly is not made to. Not always, but at least 3 instances I can think of. As a non-Apple-product owner this certainly has not done justice to the 'because it just works' mantra I always hear. For me this sums up the problem with tablets: generation 1 technology without clear use-cases beyond infotainment and too little competition to drive prices down to compensate. (Of course nothing new with new tech!)
...with a capital "Smoo" surely?
Wot no mention of the 1080p hdmi output?
(via the extra adapter natch)
The magnet case is a genius way to top up the profit margin at point of sale. Kudos for that one, the price point is a killer too, as with the HDMI cable, mopping up as much associated revenue as possible. Got to maximise your profits in these austere times no?
Or well, maybe just announce the next iteration of 'i' once sales start slowing of the previous most amazing poke at product, to start the whole exact process again. This close update also nails the 'Im not gonna get the 'first version' of this new form factor buyer beautifully square in the nuts. Every one is welcome to The iParty!
Slabs are content consumption devices & should not be confused with something you can do actual work on in my view. Tech specs are therefore irrelevant (provided you control the ecosystem) as you _can_ just make it work with what you allow people to have on it, its nothing magical. Clever yes, visionary? we'll see, when they ever start paying dividends probably...
I could have saved a lot of typing and just written a +1 for the Meh, but hey its Friday* & the F1 is back on later.
May have rambled a bit there, see * for details :)
Apple lives and dies by new model releases ...
Apple's high end segmentation and limited offering within devices (compared to say an HTC, Samsung, Nokia etc. means that they pretty much live by new product releases. Their annual sales cycle has a 3 quarter lifespan and then starts to taper as they saturate their high end market and marginal new customers ... and then it is time to get a new product out there. Have some (unfortunately confidential) research on this and it is fascinating to see the Apple cycle of new release Q1-2 of mainly repeat/upgrade buyers, Q3 of majority new Apple buyers, and then the tapering in Q4 before next release ...
Still no USB, SD card slot or HDMI - ridiculous!
To me, this is a small improvement over the iPad - mainly due to its dual-core CPU - and still a major fail when it comes to removable media. USB Is *essential* - think 2TB external drives, keyboards, printers and many other peripherals that would be useful for a tablet to temporarily use. If you buy the non-3G model and are on the move, how do you get files off the thing (unless you're lucky to find one of those mythical free Wi-fi hotspots [no, not open home ones!])? Answer that obvious question, Steve!
The reviewer virtually dismisses USB, SD cards and HDMI at the end, despite these being highly desirable features (almost standard nowadays?) on almost all forms of computer, not just tablets (heck, even mobile phones have a form of USB - why not the iPad 2?!).
I'm not saying the iPad 2 isn't a nice bit of kit (it is), but yet again the hardware is underspec'ed and overpriced for the umpteenth product from Apple - only getting rescued by the slick user interface really.
USB, SD and HDMI are supported
through the dock connector and two adaptors .. so it's optional for those of us that prefer pure wireless connectivity and minimal dust gathering holes. The lack of these built-in are no great loss to me and of course you could buy one of the android also-runs if you cannot live life in the cloud.
If you are funds limited and just go for the wifi only version (and also miss out on the great built-in GPS) then you could tether to a phone or MIFI dongle .. again it's optional.
Of course specs are not just about CPU, memory and connectors .. it's about build quality, responsiveness and physical usability .. the more usable androids are still struggling to get down to the same price level as the iPads. Value for money is, after all, in the eye of the beholder.
Why tie yourself to a USB keyboard when the iPad supports a Bluetooth one as well as its own keyboard 'dock', as for printers, the iPad supports wireless printing - again, why build in a technology which is now just a legacy option on new, wireless network capable printers?
@Still no USB, SD card slot
I agree, the main thing I would put such a device to, beyond idle web surfing while travelling, is to act as a mobile photo store/backup and editing tool for my DSLR. So for me the biggest let-down is no way of putting in a decent amount (64GB+) of (ideally removable) storage, such as an (micro?) SD card.
The idea of a bluetooth keyboard/mouse is nice though.
But looking at the competition so far, though they offer storage option they are just so far behind in shiny usability (and battery life usually), and are not *that* much cheaper, they are simply not worth buying either.
So looks like a win for Apple for a lot of consumers, though sadly not in my list of must-buy objects yet.
Get with the programme...
Apple have always been first movers on removing superfluous connections.
The SD card adaptor is there if you need it and if you're carrying a camera and a case or bag then you've space for it.
As for HDMI? Airplay was invented for that. If it's connecting to a projector in the office it's another connector to add to the heap of apple laptop adaptors that are already there but there will be a load of them around soon. Given that there are already 3 types of HDMI connector - standard, mini and micro, and i suspect other tablets use one of the latter two you would always end up carrying an adaptor anyway
I'd anticipate using my iPad (I have one on order) at the office, home and the homes of friends. Oh, and maybe the odd cafe, coffee shop. There will be wifi in all of those places in all likelihood. When I've travelled in the last year there's been wifi available almost everywhere, and usually free - I got an hour's free on a Dutch train the other week. Free wifi in Schipol airport as well.
The new slab does feel oh so much better to hold, I'm tempted to upgrade for that alone.
But I believe the gyro is also new to the iPad, which is why you can now navigate 360 degrees in the newest games. And the RAM being doubled to 512 MB means you can open more links in Safari without reloading pages, an especially important feature when on a 3G network.
I agree with an earlier poster unless you have used one it is difficult to say what will I use it for. I love technology and took a punt and bought an ipad late last year and for me it has been a game changer. I have worked in IT as a Unix sys admin for 20 years now and at long last I am actually in the paperless office, the ipad comes to meetings with me, i display presentations, docs etc on it and write notes, both typing and with one of the pens you can buy in an app called noteshelf. I really didn't expect this to happen, but I have sold my old sony laptop which was a great piece of kit but to be honest was never truly mobile, it had all the connections I thought I would need, sd card. usb etc but never actually used and all my true mobile needs are met by the device and access to dropbox and other online storage
Would like to try an android device but lets all be honest with one another there isnt one out there worth buying yet (and I meet yet I am sure they will come)
I'd buy that for a dollar...
For £400+ I'm afraid there are higher priorities. Still, it does look good...
Googles brand of lock in over Apples?
Just curious...but where's the Google lock in? Apple seems to be only compatible with Apple - I.E. if I want to code for an iPad I can only do it on an Apple using software provided by Apple in an Apple approved language, then after paying a fee to Apple I can move my software to my iPad providing I've bought a compatible connecting cable from Apple. Of course, if I want to sell my software, Apple first wants to approve it before letting me sell it - at which point Apple will take another nice big cut. I'm not even going to go anywhere near altering the OS.
That's the Apple lock in as I see it...where's Googles?
As for Google
You'd have fat chance of selling in any useful numbers outside Android Market, which also takes a 30% cut. Plus you also have to pay an initial fee to Google to access that.
Google doesn't do approvals, they simply remove apps they don't like from everyone's devices and install updates with very little warning.
I think you'll find that Google wishes that you'd program in their approved language, Dalvik, as well.
Google and Apple aren't that different in this sense, learn to live with it fandroids.
Works like this, duck...
If you own a Google product then all your data belong Google.
If you buy from Apple then you get what you pay for with your agreed limitations.
If you buy from Google - you are the product which is sold.
For example, Android is "Open" except with Honeycomb where Google aren't releasing that yet.
Not true troll
Anyone with a normal number of brain cells would understand full well the reviewer wasn't referring to *developer* lock in, very different thing, but I'll bite anyway:
There are now other ways of coding for iOS, including Adobe's Packager for iPhone which lets you create applications using ActionScript on Windows, no need for Apple approved anything.
"Providing I've bought a compatible connecting cable from Apple" is just the lamest comment ever. The cable comes free with any iOS device and if you need more there are plenty at Poundland.
Think I'll stick with my Archos 70 - smaller form factor suits me down to the ground. A bit more portable than any 10" screened device so handy for carrying round for my work. It's light, and has the requisite USB and SD ports.
Handy also for a quick game of Angry Birds when the mood takes me (i.e. when pissed off with working and taking a quick bit of R&R)