Now that Apple have revealed, from their very large sleeves, the iPad 2 and after managing to get a bit of rare hands-on time with it, is it worth upgrading? If you’re thinking of buying an iPad, is worth waiting for the powerful iPad sequel, or the now cut-price original? For most of us, £100 isn’t chump change. We take a look into what Apple’s new flagship tablet can offer us over the original iPad.
We were surprised at how much more we’ll be getting from the new iPad. We expected a similar tablet innards stuffed into a slimmer iPad, and perhaps all given a price-cut, but they’ve surprised us with the processing power jump from the original iPad. Now with Apple’s latest A5 dual-core processor, everything should zoom along, and look sumptuous, even if there’s no retina screen just yet. From Recombu’s hands-on testing, it feels lighter, and with it’s thinner profile, gives it a greater feel of portability over its older brother.
The iPad finally gets a camera in this edition, with two cams; one rear-facing, and a VGA front-facing one ready for Apple’s FaceTime software, and its new photo-booth. It’s possible to record 720p video on the rear-facing camera, but it’s hard to see how functional it will be to film video on a tablet.
Streaming those video-calls will get help from a new graphics chip, which makes the iPad able to play full HD video- through a new HDMI-compatible cable. (The cable will also be compatible with your iPhone 4 and original iPad.)
This new graphical power should cure some of the more intensive gaming apps from stutter- we’re looking at you, Infinity Blade and Back to the Future. We’re sure that it won’t be long until app developers start making even more graphically luscious games and apps for the new iPad.
A year later, and the iPad is still the tablet to beat. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab was the closest that’s come to a competitor, but still didn’t match the experience people had using an iPad.
With its (while stocks last) price cut, it’s now an extremely competitive price, especially for a product that’s currently dominating the tablet market.
Processing speed may not match the sequel, but using both tablets is very similar. The differences to weight and thickness are noticeable but not huge- and both give a great web browsing experience.
Both have a similar battery life, and, at the moment, offer a similar range of apps and multimedia wares from iTunes.
If web browsing, casual gaming and emails are what you’re looking for, we’d say there’s no need to pay more for the iPad 2.