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Apple iPad 2

Updated on September 5, 2011


March 2, 2011

Apple finally dropped the shoe. The iPad 2 has been announced. With all the internet frenzy about this product its about time.

After months of hearing about the wonders of the New Apple iPad 2 the product announcement can, finally, end a lot of speculation. As with the initial iPad announcement in January 2010, writers, technologies, and consumers have speculated wildly about what the new iPad has that the older iPad lacked.

The Rumors
Rumors were that the new iPad 2 would include:

  • Retina display
  • More Random Access Memory 512 Megabytes up from 256Megabytes
  • The OSx operating system instead of the iPhone iOS
  • Come in different colors
  • Support phone calls
  • Support for GPS navigation and geotagging
  • True multitasking with a new processor

Apple has not disappointed, but the projections of a "Retina" display seem to have fallen flat.

iPad 3
There are even rumors of an iPad3 to be announced later in this year, 2011.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
iPad 2 (comes in black and white)iPad 2 (back)iPad 1
iPad 2 (comes in black and white)
iPad 2 (comes in black and white) | Source
iPad 2 (back)
iPad 2 (back) | Source
iPad 1
iPad 1 | Source
iPad2 Battery
iPad2 Battery | Source

Where Apple Went Right

They've added not one, but two cameras. There is a rear facing camera and a front-facing camera. Apple has not been very open about the resolutions of the two cameras, but claims VGA quality (facetime camera) recording with the front facing and high definition (720p) recording at thirty frames per second on the rear facing.This sounds like sub-megapixel for the facetime camera and at least five megapixel for the rear facing, but oddly, Apple does not state the exact specifications.

Battery Life
Even though there is a new processor and cameras, with all the new functionality this implies, battery life remains the same at an estimated ten hours. Not bad!

MicroSIM Card
The iPad 2 now has a microSIM card slot, but only on the Wi-Fi plus 3G model, not the base model.

The iPad 2 uses the A5 processor, an Apple design. This new processor promises to deliver twice the operating power at the same power requirement. The processor also includes graphics processing capabilities which Apple states will run at up to nine times the speed of the A4.

New Case Design
Not only is the case a different shape, faceted on the back rather than a slab, the tablet is now one third thinner than the original iPad. The old iPad was 13mm thick, the new iPad 2 is 8.8mm thick. In inches that's half an inch to one third of an inch.

The new iPad 2 can also be had in black or white.

More Memory
The orignal iPad had a quarter megabyte of memory or two hundred fifty-six (256Mb) megabytes of memory. The iPad 2 has 1/2 Gigabyte or (512Mb) five hundred twelve megabytes of memory.

Better Processor
The iPad 2 will use Apple's new A5 processor. The clock speed for both the A4 and A5 are one gigaHertz (1GHz), but since the A5 is dual-core it will run twice as fast, according to Apple, and graphics up to nine times faster than with the older A4 processor on the original iPad.

Video Out
The new iPad 2 will support HDMI out, but with an optional video "dongle" priced at $39.99.

The iPad 2 Diet
The new iPad actually weighs slightly less four ounces less than the iPad. The old iPad weighed 1.5 pounds; the new iPad 2 weighs 1.3 pounds; that's a difference of 3.2 ounces. Where portable devices are concerned every ounce makes a difference.

If you liked the old prices you'll like the new ones. The prices haven't changed at all.

Where Apple Fell Flat

A number of rumors did not pan out. The iPad 2 does not have an improved display so, for now anyway, only the iPhone 4 has the retina display.

Retina Display
It's not there. Apple did not update the display at all.

Not there. Apple did not include the Thunderbolt I/O port on the iPad 2.

Smaller iPad
No, diagonally it's the same, but it is thinner and slightly lighter.

iPad Specs
Apple iPad 1
Apple iPad 2
4:3 aspect 9.7" diagonal display
4:3 aspect 9.7" diagonal display
1024 X 768 (XGA)
1024 X 768 (XGA)
Apple A4 (1GHz)
Apple A5 (dual core [1GHz])
RAM (Random Access Memory)
256 Megabytes
512 Megabytes
16, 32, 64GB Solid State Disc
16, 32, 64GB Solid State Disc
802.11(a,b,g,n) / Bluetooth 2.1
802.11(a,b,g,n) / Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Cellular Data
Only on 3G (data only)
Only on 3G (data only)
iPhone OS 3.2
iPhone OS 4.0
Lithium Ion 25Watthour
Lithium Ion 25 Watthour
up to 10 hours
up to 10 hours
two / front-facing facetime, rear facing HD
Digital Compass
Digital Compass
GPS (3G only)
GPS (3G only)
Cellular (data only)
Cellular (data only)
Docking Connector
Docking Connector
3.5 mm headphone jack
3.5 mm headphone jack
built-in speaker (one)
built-in speaker (one)
9.56" X 7.47" X 0.5" (24.3 X 19 X 1.3 cm)
9.50" X 7.31" X 0.34" (24.3 X 19 X .88 cm)
1.5 pounds (680 grams)
1.3 pounds (590 grams)

New and Improved Apps

Because the iPad 2 now comes with cameras the new tablet will come with FaceTime and Photobooth. There's a new OS for the iPad as well in the form of iOS 4.3.

The iPad 2 still comes with Mail, Safari, iBooks, Videos, Photos, Find my iPad, iPod app, YouTube, Maps, Game Center, Notes, Calendar, Contacts, iTunes, and App Store.

Garage Band and iMovie have been ported over to run on the iPad 2. They are extra and not included with the initial iPad purchase. If you check the App Store right now you won't find either of these titles listed for the iPad 2 so I have no idea what they'll cost.

Potential Issues

Though this is clearly a leap forward in tablet technology the savings in weight and size present some potential problems.

Glass Face Problem?
During the teardown it was discovered that the new iPad 2 screen glass is considerably thinner than the glass on the original iPad. This means the device is going to be considerably more fragile than its predecessor. see the iFixIt section below

If you buy one you will want to treat it much more gently than the first iPad.

iPad Smart Cover?
Another issue that seems to be cropping is the smart cover. There have been complaints about them not staying in place. So this particular design, though not that important in my view, may cause some problems for the purchaser. After all, the cover is supposed to protect the face of the iPad 2. If it won't stay in place it might just be cheaper to purchase a more traditional cover and by-pass the iPad Smart cover.

In fact any portable gadget that I own has it's own traveling case. The case is purposely chosen because it completely encloses the devices with a zipper or velcro closure.

Apple Published Prices

iPad Wi-Fi Only
iPad Wi-Fi & 3G
AT&T & Verizon


The prices have not gone up, but the iPad 2 certainly has some improvements despite this fact. What was added was what most reviewers complained was lacking. With two cameras, a better processor, a slimmer case and lighter weight Apple has another marketing coup on their hands.

This is not the earth-shattering announcement that nearly everyone was anticipating, but the improvements are very welcome and most certainly better than the original. From a technical point of view the improvements are stellar. But if you were expecting a smaller iPad in the two primary dimensions, a better display, or other much rumored gizmos you may be disappointed.

There are rumors, already, of an iPad 3 in mid 2011.

I predict that the iPad 2 will outsell the iPad 1 by a factor of two.

The first iPad 2s are set to ship on March 11, 2011.

iPad Smart Cover
This is a new addition to the iPad. It looks like it might fit the old iPad as well. It is an accordian segmented cover that is held on by magnets. It can be rolled up in four segments to become an iPad stand. When unfurled it completely covers the iPad screen protecting it. The cover will come in plastic and leather in a ten colors. Because the cover is optional it will cost extra, but no price is given as yet.

In the Box
When the iPad 2 goes on official sale on March 11, 2011 it will be available with the following:

  • iPad 2
  • Dock connector via USB
  • 10W USB power supply
  • Documentation

Orignal iPad now on Sale
Now that Apple has dropped their marketing bomb you can pick up the older iPad at a discount.

iFixIt Teardown

On March 11, 2011 iFixIt, the site dedicated to giving gadget owners the power to repair their own purchases, did a tear-down on the iPad 2. The link immediately below is the result of this post.

iFixIt found that though the iPad2 does not have the odd screws found in the iPhone4, it is largely held together with heat sensitive glue. This make the possibility of fracturing the screen during dis-assembly pretty high which is why they gave it a low score. This is exacerbated by the fact that the new iPad 2 screen is one millimeter thinner than the screen on the iPad 1.

iFixIt give the iPad 2 a score of 4 out of 10, where 10 is best, as to easy of self-repair. Bear in mind that the iFixIt score has little to do with the actual usefulness of a device. The score has to do with repair and access to the device.

IFixIt Apple iPad2 Teardown.

By the way, if it seems I like iFixIt, I do. I'm a firm believer in do it yourself, and any site that helps you do your own repairs is a site I'll promote.

iFixIt does sell replacement parts and tools. I believe that despite their own do-it-yourself philosophy this is how they make enough money to pay staff, produce their excellent videos and step-by-step teardown instructions. As reviewer I do not profit in any way from promoting iFixIt. I do so because the instructions are well thought out and clear, the videos informative, and the products they sell amost an afterthought.

Other than that I was not compensated in any way, monetarily, with discounts, or freebies by any of the companies mentioned.

Though I do stand to make a small profit for the word count of this article none of that comes directly from the manufacturers mentioned. I could also potentially make a small profit from advertising attached to this article.

As author I have no control over either the advertising or the contents of those ads.


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Marge M 

    7 years ago

    You've got some really informative hubs here. I've always been one to avoid all the new and costly stuff, but reading the details does intrigue me somewhat. :) Nice one, thanks.

  • LiamBean profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    serampangan. Apple says yes. According to Apple you can get the new OS for your iPhone, iPad or iPod through iTunes.

    Follow the link to the Apple site below to see how.

  • serampangan profile image


    7 years ago

    I love my iPad. Do You think that maybe I could upgrade my OS version later?

  • LiamBean profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    katrinasui: The older iPad is now on sale so if this new iteration doesn't grab you consider the older one for about $100 off.

    Still I'm impressed. The processor and graphics improvements plus the lighter weight really make this attractive.

  • katrinasui profile image


    7 years ago

    ipad is a fantastic gadget. i am thinking to buy one 4 myself.


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