The iPad 2 is the 2nd generation tablet from Apple. The new iPad is slimmer (33%), lighter (15%) and faster (Apple A5 1Ghz dual core) than the original iPad while maintaining 10hours of battery life. There are 6 models available, three Wi-Fi and three 3G+Wi-Fi. Each variant has a 16GB / 32GB / 64GB model, available in either white or black.
Other than being lighter, smaller and faster than the original iPad, the iPad also now has dual cameras which supports FaceTime and Skype. While the camera is not the high resolution version that everyone was expecting, it does a decent job of capturing pictures and videos. There is no flash on the camera but this is not missed too much, unless you are using the camera in very low light conditions.
The form factor, is the same as the original, with a 9.7″ (not quiet 10″) screen and a aluminium back (despite which colour you choose).
Apple also released an official cover, the Smart Cover. It is a magnetic cover, which serves more than one purpose. Firstly it acts as a screen cover and protects the iPad when not in use. Then, it can be folded to be used as a stand in a more elevated position for viewing horizontal or turned on its side for viewing videos. The only downside is that the smart cover does not cover the back, corner or sides of the iPad. You will have to get some other cover for this. There are many available which vary from plastic hard cases, skins to rubberised plastic. Also I would recommend buying a screen protector to protect the screen from scratches.
I have been using the iPad for nearly 2months and have found it is great for catching up on emails or even checking things online while on the go (you will need the 3G version with a mobile data plan – I used a Telstra iPad plan which I have also reviewed). I have setup my office email (Microsoft Exchange), gmail and another email account. All were done quickly and painlessly. Having the Apple App store with its thousands of apps that are download-able for the iPad, keeps the iPad continuously fresh and exciting. I would rate the iPad 8.5/1, only because there are other tablets out there with “better” specifications.
The iPad 2 is available at most big department stores, from your local Apple store or from the Apple store online. I bought mine nearly two months after launch in Las Vegas (I was visiting at the time) and I still had to wait 1.5hours in line to get an iPad 2! I hope the lines are smaller now
– iRandom Reiews Team –
*UPDATE* – 2nd August 2012
After nearly 1.5 years of owning my iPad 2 (64GB 3G), the front camera stopped working. So I brought it into a local Apple store and because I had Applecare (1yr extended warranty over original 1year warranty), they just said it was a hardware problem and swapped out my iPad for a new one (same exact model) and I was on my way in 10mins. Things to note; the front camera was not working, it would just freeze on the opening camera screen (the one that looks like the James bond introduction in the movies) but the rear camera was working fine. So the Apple Genius said, since one of the cameras was working, and I had done a restore to factory defaults and updated to 5.1.1 (previously 5.0.1), so they just did the swap on the spot. Otherwise they would have charged me AU$270 to get it fixed and still given me a replacement iPad 2. Camera issue aside, nearly one and half years after purchase, the iPad2 is going strong and with the only difference now being the 3G provider, we switched from Telstra to Amaysim (Optus network) on a $10/month, 1GB data plan.
*UPDATE* – 3rd April 2017!
The iPad 2 is still running after 4.5yrs (since the replacement in 2012). It is currently running ios 9 (as it is not up-gradable to ios10) without any major dramas. Sometimes it runs a little slow if I am running more than 2 or 3 things (especially chrome with more than 20+tabs). Considering its age and use its been through, this iPad is still running very well for its age!