The embargo for iPad 2 reviews was lifted a few hours ago and the top gadget and Apple-centric websites have their thorough reviews of the device out. Based on the initial reactions, I’ve drawn the following conclusions:
- The battery life on the device is great. Apple claims 10 hours, in regular use-cases you can squeeze 10 hours from your iPad 2. PCWorld has some numbers quoted below.
- The cameras in the iPad 2 aren’t good for still photographs but do justice to videos for which they are intended. Apple hasn’t talked about the camera specs either.
- Sound quality is debatable.
- The A5 processor from Apple offers recognizable performance improvements.
- If you own an iPad and don’t have disposable cash, you can skip this version.
Here are some excerpts from the reviewers:
Joshua Topolsky, Engadget:
Pictures don’t quite do the iPad 2 justice — it feels really, really great in your hands. Not only does the construction give it a feeling of heft and permanence, but the thin profile combined with the new, tapered edges make holding the device a real joy.
we can’t say that there’s a major improvement as far as the placement goes. It does the job, but if you’re working in GarageBand (or just listening to music or watching video), you’ll want good headphones or decent speakers nearby.
The CPU and graphics performance of this tablet felt extremely impressive to us — the iPad 2 performed excellently no matter what we threw at it.
In our standard video test (running an MPEG4 video clip on loop, WiFi on, screen at roughly 65 percent brightness), the iPad 2 managed an astonishing 10 hours and 26 minutes of non-stop playback.
Let’s just put this out there: the iPad 2 cameras are really pretty bad.
He summarizes his experience in a sentence by saying that the iPad is the only tablet on the market.
MG Siegler, TechCrunch:
Holding the original iPad now feels a bit like holding a slightly bulky monitor compared to the iPad 2. The iPad 2 feels much more like holding a clipboard.
[â€¦] the cameras on the device are not great.
The battery life remains excellent.
In the end Siegler suggests that if you own an iPad v1 and have disposable income, go for it. Else, you wouldn’t miss a lot and can skip this one.
Vincent Nguyen, SlashGear:
In reality, as was the case with the first iPad, we’ve seen in excess of ten hours mixed use from a full charge. That’s with WiFi switched on; turn the wireless off, as you might while in airplane mode, and you’ll stretch even more out of the iPad 2.
Jason Snell, MacWorld:
For Apple’s competitors in the tablet-device market, the iPad 2 is a bucket of water to the face. After more than a year of struggling to catch up to the original iPad, here’s a new model that addresses many of the iPad’s deficiencies, dramatically improves its speed, and doesn’t cede any ground on price, features, or battery life.
Honestly, an Apple centric website saying this shouldn’t be a surprise.
Tim Gideon, PCWorld:
[â€¦] the real-time effects it’s able to render to live images in Photo Booth are quite impressive for both their speed and grace. You almost never see the iPad stutter or slow down during a game or video [â€¦]
Our continuous video playback-only rundown test of the Verizon model yielded 3 hours 58 minutes. Playing audio only, but with the screen always on, we were able to eke out 7 hours 15 minutes.
Unless you’re dying for the graphics performance and camera, which, again, doesn’t replace a dedicated one, upgrading right now seems a bit rash.
David Pogue, The New York Times:
My friends, I’m telling you: just that much improvement in thinness, weight and speed transforms the experience.
The iPad will still dominate the market, because it dominates in all the most important criteria: thinness, weight, integration, beauty â€” and apps.
Pogue has his biases and Apple is one of them.
For me, after going through the announcement (twice) the A5 chip and the Smart Cover are more interesting than the iPad 2. For a tablet device, battery life is crucial and Apple has done a commendable job of maintaining their previous numbers despite the added modifications. While Microsoft still continues to push WIndows 7 based tablets, Apple and Google are way ahead with Apple continuing to lead. The iPad 2 seems to be a good device for first-time to-be iPad owners given the price, specs, features and competition.