Apple maestro Steve Jobs finally put the tech world out of its misery with the official unveiling of the long awaited iPad 2 and, as expected, there were some pretty impressive features on display on the new device.
As well as across the board improvements on the original iPad, there’s the usual soupçon of Apple industry and invention, which will doubtless make the iPad 2 the device by which all other tablets will be measured in the coming months.
But just how good is this new piece of hardware from Apple? Well, we though there was only one fair way to judge, and that’s to pit the iPad 2 against the tablet that re-ignited the world’s love of slate computing, the all conquering iPad.
Apple’s original iPad features a stunning 9.7-inch LED- backlit IPS display, operating at a resolution of 768×1024 pixels, capable of some pretty impressive performance. Colours are rich, contrast is spot-on and detail is pin sharp.
In short the iPad’s screen is an impressive piece of tech. We were expecting Apple to wow us with some larger scale Retina Display goodness on the next generation device but strangely the boffins at Cupertino decided to keep the same display as the older device.
Don’t get us wrong, we get the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t try and fix it’ ethos but we were a little disappointed not to see some progress in this area.
Winner – Draw
Straight off the bat it’s easy to see where a lot of the development time has gone with the new device. Sporting a new dual-core Apple A5 processor, clocked at 1GHz (which offers twice the general performance and up to nine times the graphical performance as the original device) the iPad 2 will have more than enough power to deal with anything you throw at it.
There’s no word on RAM yet for iPad 2, but we fully expect more than the 256MB which is offered by the original iPad. Both devices come in 16, 32 & 64GB flavours, and the 10 hour battery life and one month of stand-by is retained by the iPad 2. So while it isn’t a drastic overhaul, the new device definitely packs more of a punch.
Winner – iPad 2
The iPad is no bulky device, weighing in at a lightweight 730g and measuring 242.8×189.7×13.4mm, you hardly feel like you’re carrying anything when you’re using it.
It’s crafted extremely well too, with top quality materials used throughout, resulting in a light, well balanced tablet.
iPad 2 takes the same high quality, minimalist approach to design but shrinks things down even further, taking the iPad 2 down to a super-skinny 241.2×185.7×8.8 mm and weighing only 607g, which may not seem a lot on paper, but the improvements will be pretty noticeable when the device is in the hand.
Winner – iPad 2
This is another area where Apple has decided to stick with what it knows, as both devices pack in the same 10-hour life span on a charge, and more than a month on stand-by.
Which is a pretty impressive statistic when you compare both devices to competitors in the tablet field, devices like the highly rated Motorola Xoom which is able to match the 10-hour battery life, but can only muster 14 days of stand-by.
Winner – Draw
As you’d expect from a device with twice the power and up to 9 times the gaming performance, the iPad 2 is a pretty immense entertainment device.
As well as the additional horsepower you’re treated to gyroscopic sensors for more accurate game control, front and rear-facing cameras for 720P video capture and FaceTime calling plus mirrored HDMI-output, meaning you can play your games, watch your movies and surf the web on your big screen HD television, no set-up required!
The original iPad is no slouch in the fun and games department though, with access to the same huge library of apps as the iPad 2, and the same impressive display which does even the most visually striking movies and television shows justice.
Winner – iPad 2
Unsurprisingly it’s a fairly comprehensive victory for the iPad 2. The new device has taken on all of the impressive traits of its litter-mate and expanded on them, resulting in a device which we predict will ably hold on to Apple’s 90% tablet market share.
It may not be the huge, game-changing device that some parties were predicting, but it packs in enough new tech to warrant an upgrade.
It isn’t all doom and gloom for the original iPad either though, as the arrival of a new and improved devices usually pushes the price of hardware down nicely, and we confidently predict that the original device will see something of a resurgence as it’s opened up to sections of the market that might have been precluded from ownership previously, by the high price-tag.
One thing’s for certain whichever way you look at things though; Apple’s going to have a huge hit on its hands with the iPad 2.