The iPad 2 launches tomorrow in the UK! Just roughly a year since the launch of Apple’s first magical tablet and here we are, already gearing up for the release of its souped-up, new and improved successor.
Got the dough but still sitting on the fence over whether or not to make the iPad 2 plunge with your hard-earned pennies? Here are ten good reasons why you should cough up the cash and nestle down on the sofa with an iPad 2 this weekend.
1)It’s thinner and lighter than the first iPad
The first iPad was pretty slim at just 13.4mm, but that’s been reduced down even further for the iPad 2 to just 8.8mm. The same goes for weight too, with the Wi-Fi-only model down from 680g to just 601g, and 3G models down from 730 to around 610g. Neither measurement may sound like a drastic reduction, but get the iPad 2 in your hand and that’s a noticeable difference.
2)It’s got dual cameras
One of the main criticisms levelled at the first iPad was how Apple had almost certainly left room for cameras, and cynically held them back for inclusion in a successor. Both front and rear facing cameras now make it to the iPad 2, allowing for the odd snap to be taken and eventually support for a wave of Augmented Reality apps too.
3)The iPad 2 is faster than its predecessor
The iPad 2 ditches the 1GHz single-core A4 chip from the first tablet, and updates it with a dual-core 1.2Ghz A5 chip. RAM also jumps up from 256MB to 512MB. Smoother browsing, multi-tasking and a potentially massive jump in gaming graphical ability will result from this.
4)It’s cheaper than the original iPad was at launch
Prices for the iPad 2’s entry model, the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model, start at £399. That’s £30 cheaper than the opening price of the lowest-spec iPad 1. That price reduction carries on right the way up to the 64GB 3G and Wi-Fi iPad 2 tablet, priced at £659, £40 cheaper than its last-generation equivalent.
5)Smart Covers are…smart
Sure, covers aren’t the most exciting part of buying a new gadget, but protecting your new favourite toy is important, and Apple have made a good attempt at making that accessory just as covetable as the tablet itself. Smart Covers magnetically clip onto the iPad 2’s face, meaning that only the delicate screen is covered and not bulking up the sleek lines of the tablet elsewhere. They also fold up onto themselves to act as a stand too, as well as being available in a range of nifty colours.
6)Apple’s new in-house apps are amazing
As well as having access to the hundreds of thousands of iOS apps available to iPhone and iPad owners, Apple have also launched a handful of great new apps they’ve built themselves to accompany the iPad 2. Garageband turns your tablet into a multi-track recording studio, complete with instruments and effect pedals, iMovie makes the iPad 2 a video editing suite, while PhotoBooth lets you add wacky post-production effects to your still photos.
7)FaceTime is available on the iPad 2
FaceTime, Apple’s proprietary video-calling app that debuted on the iPhone 4, is now available on the iPad 2 thanks to its built-in cameras. The larger tablet screen real-estate makes the app far more useable, while you’re still able to contact FaceTime users on Mac computers and iPhones too.
8)Smaller size, same great battery performance
The iPad had a remarkable 10 hour battery life, and the iPad 2 retains that, despite a fairly drastic reduction in size.
9)HDMI-output for big screen fun
If you’ve got some cash spare after grabbing the tablet itself, you could do a lot worse than grabbing Apple’s iPad 2 HDMI-output add on as well. Capable of full big-screen mirroring on your flatscreen, it’s surprising how well the iOS interface and the majority of iPad apps scale well when blown up on a HD TV. The Infinity Blade game, for example, looks drop-dead gorgeous.
10)The iPad is still the most impressive tablet on the market
Many have tried to topple the iPad from it’s top tablet perch, and yet still so many have failed. The competition is heating up, what with the launch of a whole wave of Honeycomb Android tablets from the likes of LG and Motorola, not to mention HP’s TouchPad sitting just around the corner. But as it stands, the iPad 2 is the best slate available, and by a wide margin too.
By Gerald Lynch | March 24th, 2011