Apple iPad 2, How Does It Stack Up, First Review + Comments
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Apple is tipped to sell 600,000 of their new iPad 2 in its debut this weekend in the USA. The device goes on sale in Australia on March 25th, so how does it stack up?

Despite what Apple is claiming about the Xbox 360 Kinect, the iPad line is the fastest-selling technology product in history based on value, claim analysts.

Brian Marshall, an analyst at Gleacher & Co, has predicted more than a half-million in unit sales, is one of several who expect the iPad 2 to outpace its predecessor. Apple sold 300,000 of that version in 24 hours.

So how does it stack up?

Engadget claims that the iPad 2 has seriously raised the bar on sleek, sexy computer hardware. Describing the device as sleek they said that the new iPad 2 is slightly shorter than the previous model (at 9.5-inches tall), but also slightly less wide (just 7.3-inches versus the iPad’s 7.47-inches). It looks and feels amazingly sleek when you hold it.

They claim that it’s an incredibly handsome and svelte package. Pictures don’t quite do the iPad 2 justice — it feels really, really great in your hands. Not only does the construction give it a feeling of heft and permanence, but the thin profile combined with the new, tapered edges make holding the device a real joy. Apple is known for its industrial design, and they didn’t just chew scenery here; the iPad 2 is beautifully and thoughtfully crafted.

The Engadget reviewers claimed that the most dramatic change is the weight. At 680 grams, the iPad 2 is 80g lighter than the first iPad. That is about the same weight as a juicy red apple (curious, eh?). Yet, in using the device, it feels strangely lighter than it really is.

Overall, the new design is the major perk. It’s fantastic.


Tech Radar in the UK claims that the new iPad 2 is ‘twice as fast’ as the original iPad, running the brand-new dual core A5 CPU built by ARM. In practice, it might not be that obvious that the processor is faster. Many apps, such as the Safari browser and the iPod media app, start about as fast as the original iPad.

They said “Curiously, the iPad 2 screen is the same size and resolution as the original model, running at just 1024 x 768 pixels”

The Motorola Xoom, at 1280 x 800 pixels, is notably superior — especially for viewing videos, flicking through high-def photos, and using the Android 3.0 interface itself. That’s one of the early findings with the iPad 2, that the screen itself is almost indiscernible from that on the iPad. They said, that the iPad 2 ‘s screen still has a better viewing angle than the Xoom or Samsung Galaxy Tab 7-inch.

When it came to performance several organisations have taken a hard look at the new A5 processor housed in the iPad 2.Among them is  Anandtech, iFixit, iosnoops, and UBM TechInsights

Anandtech said that the ARM, CPU was  healthy 50 percent faster than the A4 in the original iPad. But a boost in raw “clock” speed is not the reason, according to iosnoops. “The new Apple A5 processor…may offer twice as many cores as the Apple A4 processor featured in the first generation iPad [but] it appears that each processing core is actually clocked at a slower speed,” said the review site.


iosnoops continues. “While doing some early iPad 2 benchmarks, the team discovered by chance an interesting tidbit: the A5 doesn’t run at 1GHz like the Apple A4, but is instead clocked around 890MHz (the speed of the A5 does not seem to be constant, and varies depending on the apps running on the iPad 2).”

Whatever the case, the iPad 2’s performance is considerably better than the original iPad. “The iPad 2 is much faster. Web pages load quicker, the OS is more responsive, and applications even launch faster,” said Anand Shimpi, who heads up Anandtech, responding to an e-mail query.

That said, it should be noted that the Motorola Xoom (with an Nvidia processor and graphics) surpasses the iPad 2 in some browser benchmarks, according to Anandtech.

Tech Radar has given the iPad2 4/5 they claimed that the lighter design, A5 processor, cameras, gyroscope, and other enhancements increase the value over the original iPad — at the same price. But the original iPad is now $160 cheaper and Apple has had a year to innovate further. But despite that, in actual real-world speed tests, the most common apps don’t perform any faster.