Apple iPad 2 Review
Apple’s iPad has dominated the tablet market since its launch whilst Android models have struggled to catch up. The successor to the iPad, the iPad2 is thinner and lighter than the earlier version but otherwise very similar so does it compete in an ever changing and very competitive market?
The iPad 2 has a 1GHz dual-core A5 processor with a dedicated GPU. According to Apple this means that the iPad 2 runs twice as fast as its predecessor and processes graphics with nine times the speed of the original iPad.
Originally the iPad 2 ran on IOS 4.3 but since the arrival of IOS 5 it has been upgraded to run the newer version. This has enhanced the user experience by adding the Notifications Bar, similar to that found on Android devices. IOS 5 also improves the multi-tasking ability of the iPad 2. By pinching the screen you can go to the Homescreen, flicking up on the screen will open the multi-tasking window and then by swiping left you can switch between open apps.
The User Interface is easy to use and it is fast. Because the entire operation is done by your fingers, as there is no mouse, icons are large enough to tap accurately.
There is a wealth of apps available for the iPad 2. You can book your holiday, play games ranging from brain teasing puzzles to action adventures or edit your photos. There is an app for almost anything you could think of and they are usually available to the app store before they reach the Android Market and often cost less than a few pounds.
You can import your iPhone apps onto the iPad 2 but in order for them to fill the larger screen space you need to use the pixel-doubling zoom and then you lose the clarity and the benefit of a high resolution display. You are, however, limited to the Apple apps store and you need to sync via iTunes which can only be on one computer.
You can browse the Internet with speed on the iPad 2. It loads web pages quickly and the content looks great on the 9.7 inch 1024 x 768p resolution screen of the iPad 2. Unfortunately the iPad 2 continues to lack FLASH support. Whilst this is not always a problem are still those occasions where video content cannot be loaded without it.
Another niggle of the iPad 2 is its inability to remember web pages when you flick between pages. For example if you have opened a web page but switch to another one to check some details and then want to return to the original page the iPad 2 will need to reload it from scratch. This can mean that you lose information you have imgted on a form, for example, or it can cause problems if you are connecting to the Internet in an area where the signal is patchy.
One of the reasons Apple continue to resist adding FLASH to their devices is the battery-draining nature of it. One thing you can’t fault is the battery duration of the iPad as its battery life lasts up to 10 hours of general use.
The iPad 2 comes with two cameras. On the front is a 0.3 megapixel camera and on the back a 0.91 megapixel camera. You can play around with these using the pre-loaded PhotoBooth app which allows you to create funny photos but is not a serious camera app. If you are looking for that you’ll need to visit the app store. FaceTime is included though, enabling you to engage in video calls with friends using either the front or rear-facing camera, but you can only do this with people who have an iPhone 4, iPad 2, Mac or iPad touch.
You can take pictures with both the iPad 2 cameras. The front facing camera can be used for capturing images of yourself but the image quality lacks definition and clarity. The shots taken with the rear-mounted camera are acceptable and this device can also record 720p video. You can edit your video clips with the iMovie app.
iPad 2 UK Price
Since the arrival of the new iPad from Apple the cost of the iPad 2, which is still the second best tablet on the market, has seen a great reduction in cost and some versions of the device are no longer available. You can now purchase the iPad 2 for as little as £329 and you have the option to choose from the 16GB Wi-Fi version or the 16GB model with both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.