Apple iPad 2 launched in the US, reviews mostly positive

Darren Allan

March 11, 2011

The day has come, and the iPad 2 has been released – if you’re American that is.

Over here, we still have another two weeks to wait for Apple’s tablet sequel, which brings with it a slimmer profile, faster processor, and twin cameras to keep up with the likes of the Motorola Xoom.

Interested in what the press have made of the iPad 2 in the many reviews which have now popped up? Then read on…

The review on Macworld.com notes that you can definitely sense the speed increase compared to the original iPad. And the good news is the battery life isn’t affected by the extra turn of speed, as Apple claimed when the iPad 2 was unveiled.

On the downside, the reviewer wasn’t too impressed with the cameras. They’re essentially identical to the fourth-gen iPod Touch, and not very impressive in terms of quality.

And the conclusion? That old chestnut: evolutionary, not revolutionary. Should you fork out to upgrade from the iPad? Macworld reckons not, unless you need specific features, i.e. you’re a big FaceTime user, or you need the video mirroring capability for presentations.

Laptopmag.com gives the iPad 2 a mark of 4 out of 5, but again cites the mediocre cameras as a drawback. However, the reviewer said the new processor gave a noticeable performance boost, and that with the iPad 2, Apple was still “king of tablets” despite the likes of the Xoom coming out.

The same theme is continued by Engadget regarding the device’s cameras – here they’re described as “not unusable, but it’s clear that the sensors employed are not top shelf by any measure”. The comparison is drawn to the iPod Touch fourth-gen technology, once again.

According to Geekbench, the iPad 2’s processor is more than 50% faster than the original, and Engadget noted that it felt “zippier than the previous model by a longshot”. And the battery life still delivers in spades. The site concludes that the iPad 2, while incremental, is “as good as it gets right now”.

On the whole, there are some pretty positive write-ups. The iPad 2 is thinner, lighter, and noticeably faster without impacting battery life. The twin cameras are the only disappointment across the board, but they’re usable and certainly better than nothing.

But as to whether it’s worth upgrading from your original iPad, the answer is probably not, unless you must have the latest shiny tech – or you have a compelling reason to do so, such as giving presentations via the video mirroring.

Or unless you want a white iPad 2 to wave in iPhone 4 owners’ faces, of course.






 

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