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Apple iPad 2 : Thinner Aluminium Unibody & Full Review

Updated on October 5, 2011

Apple 2nd Generation iPad Is Here !

Well, the one of the most wanted and anticipated new gadgets of 2011 has finally been released by Apple on March 11. The iPad 2 is a all brand new design, which Apple are advertising as ‘Less in your hand. More at your finger tips’. The all new design unibody is 33 per cent thinner and up to 15 per cent lighter. The new iPad is only a mere 8.8mm thick. The biggest fault with the original iPad has been rectified with a HD webcam on the front and a HD video camera on the rear. There is a faster A5 chip, better faster graphics, loads more new apps, but battery power has not been sacrificed. Interestingly, Apple have introduced a Smart Cover to go with the iPad 2, which also acts as a stand and automatically turns on the iPad when removed.

Superb Thinner Brushed aluminium unibody design :

Yes, after months of speculation and rumours, Apple have released the much improved iPad 2, which is not a improved version of the original iPad which came out less than 12 months ago, but it is a whole brand new design. While many expected a design based on the glass back and front of the iPhone 4, Apple have opted to stick with the brushed aluminium back, which is a super thin unibody, on which all the components, battery and the 9.7 inch screen is mounted. The thinner and lighter design will be more comfortable to hand hold.

New Duel-Core A5 Chip :

Apple have gone for their new 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip to power their new 2nd Generation iPad. This makes multitasking far smoother, gets apps loaded faster and surfing the internet better.

Faster Graphics for Games :

Apple have boosted the graphics performance on the iPad 2 by up to nine time, which means gameplay is much smoother and far more realistic. The faster graphics of course help apps perform better especially the video based ones.

Two Cameras are Better than One :

One of the biggest let downs of the original iPad was the lack of webcam. Why Apple decided not to include one has been debated many times, but the new iPad 2 has not one but two HD cameras. A front facing camera with video recording and VGA up to 30 frames per second with audio and back camera again with Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio and still camera with 5x digital zoom similar to the iPhone 4. Of course, this mean FaceTime has come to the iPad 2, and in a clear sharp display. Apart from FaceTime, wacky snapshots are also possible with the addition of Photo Booth.

Battery Life is Not Compromised :

You might expect with a new faster chip and superb graphics that battery life on the new iPad 2 will be reduced. However, Apple have been busy and managed to get a very respectable 10 hours battery life, which similar to the original iPad.

iPad 2 : First Look

Two Colours...
Two Colours... | Source
FaceTime on iPad
FaceTime on iPad | Source
Smart Cover becomes Smart Stand
Smart Cover becomes Smart Stand | Source
Loads of Smart Cover colours too All images
Loads of Smart Cover colours too All images | Source

Other New Features :

The new iPad features instant turn on, a gyro, accelerometer and compass to track every move, AirPlay and AirPrint for wireless streaming and printing, but no new special input ports such as USB etc. The 30-pin dock connector port has been retained as per the original iPad.

New Apps Galore :

The iPad 2 features a host of new apps including FaceTime and Photo Booth and Find My iPad, and you can now add Garage Band, Pages, Numbers, Keynote and iMovie and iBook from the App Store.

iPad Smart Cover: Designed for iPad 2

One of the biggest surprises for Apple iPad 2 was the release of Apple’s iPad Smart Cover, which has been designed specially for the new iPad. This unique magnetic cover protects the screen of the iPad, and automatically turns it on when it senses the cover being removed. Once removed, the smart cover neatly folds into a stand for typing or viewing pictures or videos. The iPad Smart Cover comes in several different colours including five in rich, aniline-dyed Italian leather. It also features a microfiber lining to keep those screen fingerprints down.

When can I get My Hands on One & the Big Question; How Much :

The iPad 2 go on sale in the U.S. on March 11, and to much of the rest of world on March 25. The iPad 2 will ship in six configurations: WiFi Only 16GB ($499 USD), 32GB ($599), 64GB ($699), and WiFi+ 3G 16GB ($629), 32GB ($729), 64GB ($829) - No UK prices yet. You can pre-order over at the Apple Store starting on March 11.

While Apple’s new iPad is sure to be a winner, some people will be disappointed that more ports or the Phone 4’s stunning Retina display were not included. Whether, these improvements are enough for people to want to upgrade to the 2 generation iPad will have to be seen. Also, this new IPad has a lot more competition to face from other tablets.  However, I suspect that eBay will feature lots of second-hand original iPads in the coming months!

© David Lloyd-Jones 2011


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