Posted by Jamie Forestell & Donny Torrefranca
It has been nearly a week that we have each been playing with the iPad 2. Each of us having a different experience. For myself I have upgraded from the iPad 1 to the iPad 2, and for Donny, well hes a first timer. The iPad 2 is thinner, lighter, faster, comes in black and white, and introduces front and rear facing cameras. So is the iPad 2 worth the money or the upgrade? Sounds like a no brainer right?
First Time User
By Donny Torrefranca
As a first time iPad user, Donny shares his experience.
Maybe because you’re not the type to spend on the 1st iteration; didn’t see the benefit; or is holding off until the ‘Next Big Thing’ is out (or just an Android fan like me). For one reason or another, you held off on buying in on this ‘new’ tablet technology?
If there was ever a time to get a tablet, the iPad 2 is a very good place to start. With a slim form-factor, the design feels good to hold for long periods of book reading or watching movies. Although it is supposed to be lighter than the original iPad, it still feels pretty heavy. I guess the slim design throws you off a bit. Not a bad thing though because it certainly doesn’t feel cheap due to its aluminum unibody.
The iPad 2 now comes with cameras… not 1, but two. The front facing camera is VGA quality but is sufficient for your FaceTime needs. If you don’t own an iDevice with front facing camera and are missing out on FaceTiming with your family and friends, here’s your chance. But other than FaceTime, I don’t see any other use for it other than turning your iPad 2 as a mirror. (I know, I’ve used it a couple of times already).
The back camera is also present for regular photo-shooting or video recording. This one is a disappointment because the photo-quality is less than useful, but let’s face it, who will really walk around and use this as their point-and-shoot camera. There is however an upside to that camera, it does a pretty decent job for video recording. The back camera is capable of recording at 720P HD quality. Viewing your freshly recorded video on your iPad 2’s 9.7”, 1024×768 display is a good combination with this feature.
Unfortunately, the iPad 2 still didn’t cover everything that a supposed laptop-replacement should have. So don’t make plans of ditching your personal laptop just yet. There are still quite a few features missing before we can do that (USB ports at the very least).
But enough about the hardware…
Let’s get things straight, I’m not a power-user of the iPad 2. I bought it mainly to fit my browsing, media, e-mailing, book-reading, and gaming needs. I don’t use it to make videos or edit music with intentions of creating my mix tape, in hopes of being the next big rap artist like Drake. Although the iPad 2 is a powerful tablet, it doesn’t work wonders in terms of rap talent. But with the right app, I’m sure it can make my recording sound good. (…is the T-Pain app still around?)
I do believe however that a good way to test these devices is by its way of handling games. I downloaded a game called ‘Modern Combat 2 – Black Pegasus’ from the AppStore. I was very impressed with the quality of the game itself, and the iPad 2 handled it very well. There was a moment in the game when I turned the corner to head down a set of stairs only to find myself on top of an invisible roof, unable to get anywhere even when I tried to blow myself up. It may be a glitch in the game, or the iPad 2 going crazy but I wasn’t able to reproduce it again. Aside from that minor glitch, all the other games and videos I played were flawless and very smooth. It still won’t compare to your top-end Xbox 360, PS3, or PC games, but it is definitely better than PS2 quality. Pretty good considering it is still a portable gaming device.
Coming from iPad 1 to iPad 2
By Jamie Forestell
As an iPad 1 owner, Jamie shares his experience upgrading to the iPad 2.
After watching Steve Jobs during the iPad 2 media event, I was left disappointed, not shocked. The iPad has been great and although it is still the champion of tablets, it still lacks quite a few features. Features we were sure to get with the iPad 2. Many rumors circulated about the possibility of the iPad 2 having a usb port, an SD Slot, a Thunderbolt port, which makes you realize just how many things the iPad can’t do. So when I heard there were no usb ports, no hdmi ports, no sd slot, no Thunderbolt port, I was disappointed. Not so much for myself and my own needs, but the fact here is Apple is no longer alone at the top of this tablet mountain. CES 2011 was filled with tablets, most will never make it market, however a select few have and are right on the tails of the iPad. Motorola announced the Xoom tablet, RIM announced the Playbook tablet, HTC the Flyer, Samsung the 10.1, and HP with the WebOS powered TouchPad. Hardware aside, Google has been really fine tuning Honeycomb, Android’s first tablet OS, to compete with Apples iOS. Many of these tablets were built based on what the consumer wanted in a tablet.
|Specs||iPad 1||iPad 2||Xoom||Playbook||Flyer|
|CPU||1GHz||1GHz dual core||1GHz dual-core||1GHz dual-core||1.5GHz single core|
|HDMI||No||HDMI Adapter for Mirror Output||Yes||Yes||Yes|
As you can see, on paper the iPad 2 has some real tough competition ahead.
The iPad 2 seems much snappier then the iPad. There never really was an issue with slow response on the iPad 1. Where this performance boost will come in handy is in gaming and also video editing with iMovie. Gaming on the iPad 2 is great. Infinity Blade is crazy! And of course the extra processor will indeed speed up rendering using the updated iMovie app.
Well where can I start..we asked for dual cameras, we got them. What we should have asked for is good quality dual cameras. Apple really cheaped out on the camera this time a round considering the iPad took flack for not including cameras in the first iPad. Now, to keep costs the same, I am sure we had to take a few hits somewhere, and this was definitely a hit. Now, it is not the end of the world. As Donny also mentioned above, I do not expect many people to be pointing and shooting with their iPad 2. And if you are one of those that plan to, no offense please, i’m just sayin!. Perhaps the next round of iPad will give us a better quality camera.
The placement of the cameras are also very odd. It is almost like Apple is forcing us to shoot in portrait mode. When holding the iPad 2 in landscape mode the camera is off to the left (or right) and you need to adjust the iPad so you are centered.
Photo Booth and Facetime are great additions to the iPad. The fact that you can also touch to manipulate the photos in Photo Booth is great fun and will be enjoyed by users of all ages.
And for those of you who have asked, no Photo Booth and Facetime do not work with the iPad 1. These features do require the use of a camera so iPad 2 is required. For the record, this is not fragmentation, this is merely lacking hardware. I just wanted to clear that up.
Well some call this the Smart Cover, I call it the Not-So-Smart cover. While the idea was there, it just lacks functionality. There are several issues I have encountered in the short time with my iPad 2.
- The micro fiber side (inside) is also the part of the stand that is exposed to the exterior surfaces, therefore picking up particles or perhaps dust. (yes my screen has a slight scratch most likely from the inside of the smart cover)
- When the smart cover is on the iPad 2, the magnets act as a lock/unlock feature which is great, however when inside of a case, or where ever you decide to carry your iPad 2 while en route, the slightest movement shifts the smart cover off of the iPad 2, and becomes unlocked. Now this is not so much an issue of the screen being touched to accidentally forward that video of yourself dancing to Youtube, it is more of an issue of the battery being drained.
- With the magnet being so close, it is just a matter of time before that precious screen gets marked up from the magnet clips accidentally.
Well so far I have to say the battery has been very similar to the iPad 1. Just as Apple explained, battery life is definitely 10 hours or more on the iPad 2. I am very pleased with the battery life thus far.
Well this is a hard call. Apple has asked us to shell out money and they didn’t really deliver what we expected. We had hoped for more ports and functionality, and had expected much better from Apple in terms of the camera’s. The iPhone 4 camera is one of the most phenomenal cameras I have experienced in a smartphone, and really expected to see similar results. Should these factors stop you from purchasing the iPad 2 though? Not at all! The iPad 2 feels great in your hands and the white tablet is such a nice experience. The face photo booth and Facetime work is great, so quality isn’t really an issue. Two thumbs up for the iPad 2. There is no other tablet that can compare, yet!