The review embargoes for the soon to be released iPad 2 expired last night, so there’s a slew of hardware reviews out there for Apple’s latest ploy in personal computing dominance. Who has the time to read through all of these reviews? I do! Well, I don’t, but I do it any way because I care.
I really, really care…
So, the good things about the iPad 2 are that the battery life is still stellar, it’s quite thin, the processor is snappy and GarageBand appears to be better than hot, buttered sex. On the negative side, the cameras suck ass, the display is unchanged and some of these new, sexy apps have some significant bugs that have yet to be worked out.
The bottom line appears to be that Apple has once again made the iPad the definitive tablet experience, however the changes brought to the iPad 2 probably aren’t enough to make you upgrade from the initial iPad unless you’re the kind of person that has WWSJD tattooed on your forearm. Me, I really like the idea of an iPad but 500 bucks is too much to spend on an idea even if it’s less than Android tablet ideas. Granted, I’d happily take one as a gift should any of our readers be a multimillionaire with nothing else to do with their money, but I can’t see what hole it would fill in my computing life to justify the cost. Still, it’s a gadget and I looooooove gadgets. This is one of the rare cases where I’m glad that Apple doesn’t lower the prices on their items or have sales because as long as the iPad starts at 500 bucks, I can safely stay away. Until the iPad 3, that is.
Here are some quotes from the various reviews:
For owners of the previous generation, we don’t think Apple’s put a fire under you to upgrade. Unless you absolutely need cameras on your tablet, you’ve still got a solid piece of gear that reaps plenty of the benefits of the latest OS and apps. For those of you who haven’t yet made the leap, feel free to take a deep breath and dive in — the iPad 2 is as good as it gets right now. And it’s really quite good.
For existing iPad owners, things are a bit murkier. If you have the disposable income, it’s a no-brainer to upgrade. Again, this is everything you like about the iPad 1, but better.
But if you just bought an iPad 1, or you don’t want to drop another several hundred dollars, it’s not like the iPad 1 will be out of date anytime soon. Sure, it may feel like older technology to the touch, but again, it largely looks and acts the same. My advice is just don’t visit an Apple Store or play with a friend’s iPad 2, or you’ll be tempted.
But you know what? The iPad will still dominate the market, because it dominates in all the most important criteria: thinness, weight, integration, beauty — and apps.
Macworld (How hilarious would it have been if Macworld hated it? So hilarious!):
Though the iPad 2 is an improvement on the original iPad in numerous ways, it’s still an evolutionary product, not a revolutionary one. If you’re happy with your current iPad, there’s no reason to dump it just because there’s a shinier, newer one. (This is not to say that millions of people won’t do just that. I mean: shiny!) If you’ve invested in iPad accessories such as a dock or case, keep in mind that you probably won’t be able to use them with the new iPad.
Of course, if there’s someone in your family who has been clamoring for an iPad, now might be the time to buy an iPad 2 and hand down the old model to them—or, if you’re really nice, give them the new iPad while you soldier on with the classic model.
PC Mag (this review is worth reading in full as it’s the only one that gives serious comparisons between the iPad and the Android tablets):
Overall, the Apple iPad 2 is the best tablet you can buy right now, so it’s our Editors’ Choice. Currently, the Motorola Xoom shows tremendous promise and even edges past the iPad in a few areas (cameras and multitasking to name a couple). But even without the advantage of far more apps, the iPad 2 simply provides a better user experience and operates more gracefully and seamlessly with your media than Android devices. If you live happily outside the iTunes ecosystem, an Android tablet like the Xoom is certainly worth considering. But if you’re in the market for a new device now, and have no loyalty to a specific manufacturer or operating system, the iPad 2 is the tablet to get.
For everyone else, though, Apple has put together a superbly capable, class-shaping tablet, which can now legitimately take on not only other slates but lighter ereaders such as Amazon’s Kindle. The iPad 2 benefits from Apple’s cohesive hardware and software development together with the vast third-party developer support of the App Store, consistent and simple to use in equal measure. Apple’s vision of the post-PC world isn’t quite here yet – the iPad 2 still works best with, and at times demands, integration with a “proper” computer – but when it comes to tablets the iPad 2 maintains its position at the vanguard of the market.
Wall Street Journal:
As new contenders move into the field, Apple isn’t likely to keep its 90% share of the booming tablet market. But the iPad 2 moves the goal posts, by being slimmer and lighter, boosting speed and power, and holding its price advantages, available apps and battery life. As of now, I can comfortably recommend it as the best tablet for average consumers.