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Updated on December 16, 2012

The iPad2 is a tablet computer designed by Apple. But it is not a computer in the traditional sense as in a Windows PC or a Mac. It will not run Mac OS X applications nor Windows applications. It will run software known as "apps" designed for iPads.

The iPad2 went on sale in the United States on March 11, 2011. Here is the official announcement. It is being sold at Apple retail stores, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, AT&T, Verizon branches.

The iPad2 went on sale internationally on March 25, 2011. Pictures and video of long lines of people waiting to buy the product can be found on the internet. Here is one where people lined up at an Apple store in Toronto, Canada.

A couple of weeks after the release of the iPad2 in the United States, the demand is still greater than the supply. Many stores are sold out of the product. Even the Apple Store at the Apple headquarter in Cupertino, California did not have any. Ordering from, you still had to wait 3 to 4 weeks.

However, at the same time, new iPads are available on Amazon and eBay by third party sellers. That is if you are willing to pay $100 or so above retail prices. These are new iPad2. But there are a couple of used iPad2's too.   When buying from Amazon and on eBay, make sure you are able to tell if you are getting the original iPad or the iPad2 version.  See this tutorial on how to tell an iPad from an iPad2.

Apparently, people had anticipated the demand, waited in lines to get the product, and then are selling them at a higher price for a profit on Amazon and eBay.

box says iPad, but is really iPad2
box says iPad, but is really iPad2 | Source

Types of iPad2's

When looking at the prices of iPad2's, you have to look at what type of iPad2 it is.

1. First, you select the type of connectivity you want: "WiFi", "WiFi + AT&T 3G", or "WiFi + Verizon 3G".

Using WiFi only, you do not need to purchase a monthly data plan. However, then you can only connect to the internet when WiFi is available. With 3G, it uses cell-phone-like technology to enable you to connect to the internet anytime (provided that you sign up with either AT&T or Verizon's dataplan).

2. Second, you select the memory capacity: 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB. This is the amount of memory you have to store all your photos, videos, data, etc. It is stored in RAM memory. There is no hard drive. The iPad is too thin for a hard drive.  The iPad2 is even thinner than the original iPad. 

3. And third, you select the color: either black or white (nothing in between)

The lowest cost model is the 16GB with WiFi connectivity starting at retail price of $499 (irregardless of color). This is the model that is being referred to in this article.

iPad2 Touch Sensitive Screen

The box that the iPad comes in is about the same height and width as the iPad. So after removing the shrink-wrap from the box and opening the box lid, the first and only thing you see is your anticipated iPad, which is covered in a protective plastic film to prevent any scratches to the screen.

The iPad's screen is not only for displaying information, it is touch-sensitive and is your primary input method. You type on the screen and you click things on the screen. (Although it is more customary to call it "tapping" on a touch sensitive screen. Mouse is for clicking". And you don't have a mouse here.)

iPad2 Case or Cover that Serves as a Stand

Therefore it is a good idea to protect your screen, especially when carrying it around. Keep in mind that the iPad does not come with an protective cover or case. But nearly everyone who has an iPad has a cover or a case. You have to purchase those separately and there are a wide variety to choose from. The best ones to get are the cases and covers that also serves as a iPad stand, most of which can be found on Amazon (shown on the right). You want a case that does not allow your iPad to slip out but still provide good access to the iPad controls.

Bear Motion makes an professional-looking carry case that can serve also as an adjustable viewing stand. Apple has an carrying case complete with Apple logo on it which can angle your iPad for typing.

The iPad back is very sturdy, so if you just want a cover to protect the screen, that should be fine. Apple makes the Smart Cover (available in different colors) which is designed to hook up to the iPad and act as both a typing and viewing stand.


iPad2 cables and charger plug

Apple takes a simple, elegant, and effective approach in its packaging.

After taking the iPad2 out of the box, you see the charger plug and the words ...

"Designed by Apple in California"

in a small packet.

The packet has a thumb hold that simply invites you to pull it out. After pulling out the packet, you will find the cable that is used to connect your iPad to your computer for syncing and is used to connect your iPad to the charger plug for charging.

But where is the manual?

There is no manual in the box. But if you open up the packet, you will find an instruction card and an "Important Product Information Guide".

The front of the instruction card simply shows you where the buttons on the iPad are. The most important button is the button on the top edge of the iPad on the right.  This is known as the on/off/sleep/wake button.   To turn your iPad on, hold that button down for a second or so until you see an Apple icon display.  If you are turning on your iPad for the very first time, you may see an picture showing you how to connect your iPad to your computer's iTunes.   Apple wants you to download iTunes on your computer and connect the iPad to your computer as the first thing you do.

That is why on the back of the instruction card are some simple instructions to (1) download and install iTunes on your computer, (2) Connect iPad to computer, (3) Sync, and (4) charge.  You should charge your iPad by using the power adapter to your wall socket. This is the best way to charge your iPad.

The iPad manual is actually online at -> Support -> iPad -> Manuals" and then select either iPad2 User Guide or iPad User Guide.  You can also view this in Safari's bookmark.

Getting Started with iPad2

The iPad is pretty much ready to go right out of the box. Just turn it on. It already knows the time and day as can be seen from its Calender app.

Because iPad is typically an internet-connected device, one thing you might want to do is to set up connectivity to your WiFi home network. Tap on "Settings" from the Home screen and then go to "Wi-Fi". It will detect the available WiFi networks. Find yours and enter the password to your WiFi network. This is typically your WEP or WPA key of your WiFi network.

After you get connected to the network, the next thing to do is to set up your email. Go to "Settings -> Mail -> Add Account" and you will see the popular email services that you can connect to including Microsoft Exchange, mobile me, Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL. You pretty much just put in your name, email address, and password.

Linked here is tutorial to setup a more complex domain name email.

Also you should clear the default iPad signature which inserts "Sent from my iPad" at the bottom of your outgoing emails.  See tutorial on clearing the iPad signature.

Reseting Your iPad

Perhaps you already are using an iPad2 and want to sell it on Amazon or eBay.  Make sure you delete all your personal information and reset your iPad back to factory settings first.  The iPad2 makes it easy for you to do so.

Just click "Settings" on the Home screen and go to "General" and then "Reset" and then tap "Erase All Content and Settings".


This article was written at the end of March, 2011. This is only opinion at the time of writing. Author may receive compensations from the display ads and links on the page.


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