The iPad 2 is officially released tomorrow in the States, but a host of sites have already grabbed theirs and posted their respective thoughts online. The reviews are in, so what’s the verdict?
Generally, the consensus is that it’s much the same as before, with the notable addition of a couple of cameras. Despite a number of modest improvements in terms of specs, it manages to boast the same 10-hour battery life, and is slimmer and lighter. No surprises there then.
So what about those cameras? Well, they’re said to be good, but not great. Edward C. Baig of USA Today reckons: “You won't confuse the cameras on the iPad 2 for a top-notch Canon or Nikon. Indoor pictures I snapped in low light were grainy. There is no flash. Still, the VGA-quality front-facing camera or the HD (up to 720p) rear camera are just fine for FaceTime.”
To be fair, as a lot of sites point out, it’s not like a 10in tablet is going to become your primary snapper. And people willing to fork out for a tablet are likely to be packing a top-spec multi-megapixel smartphone in their pocket too.
Apple’s new 1GHz A5 processor, which will also feature on the iPhone 5, is “wicked fast” according to The Daily’s Peter Ha. Pete explains: “Switching between apps is effortless, and apps that once moved at the speed of sloth are now Millennium Falcon fast.”
He (Ha) carried out a quick side-by-side comparison with the two iPads. “I launched the new graphic-hogging game Infinity Blade on each iPad simultaneously. The results? The iPad 2 sprinted to the main screen roughly 12 seconds quicker than the iPad 1.”
Sounds good so far. But is it actually worth shelling out for?
Bloomberg was generally impressed, but mused: “For existing iPad users, the question is whether to upgrade. Unless you truly need the video capabilities, the answer is: Not really.”
TechCrunch concurred, saying: “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you just bought an iPad 1, or you don’t want to drop another several hundred dollars, it’s not like the iPad 1 will be out of date anytime soon.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.”
So there you have it. The iPad 2 is faster, lighter and slimmer than before, and now has semi-decent front and rear cameras. If that floats your boat, you’re in for a treat.