Why you should buy an Apple iPad 2

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Apple’s iPad came, delivered and made the tablet a mainstream consumer product. Other companies had tried before, most notably Nokia, Acer and Microsoft, but none were as successful as Apple.

And with the iPad 2 officially getting released in stores tomorrow, here’s our definitive guide on why you only need to buy the iPad 2.

Price
First and foremost, price. Apple’s iPad, at least the 16GB Wi-Fi only version, costs just £399, making it distinctly cheaper than a lot of its fellow competitors. The HTC Flyer (£600) and the Motorola Xoom (£450) illustrate this point profoundly – and this is Apple we’re talking about here. Anybody else feel slightly weirded-out by an affordable Apple product?

Looks
Not only did Apple up the hardware with the iPad 2 but it also did a serious number on the look and feel of the device. Not only is the iPad 2 significantly thinner than the first-gen iPad, it’s actually thinner than the iPhone 4.

Apple also shaved a hell of a lot of bulk off of the iPad 2 as well, it weighs just 607g – down from 730g. All in all, the iPad 2 is a clear step forward from Apple – it’s thinner, faster and lighter. What more could you want?

Improved Power
As we said, Apple has also upped the hardware in the iPad 2, which features Apple’s new A5 dual core processor and twice the RAM of the original iPad at 512MB.

We’ve tested the iPad 2 extensively since we first got our hands on it last week and it’s fast – very fast. We’ve tested iMovie, Garage Band – the works – and nothing can seem to stop Apple’s new A5 processor. It’s also seen off the Motorola Xoom in a multitude of benchmarking tests as well.

Once again, Apple is well and truly on the money with it’s Apple A5 processor.

Cameras
The iPad 2 finally brings cameras to the mix, as well as Photo Booth, FaceTime and iMovie. So not only are you free to take snaps and video chat, but you can also edit pictures and videos within the iPad 2’s dedicated media applications – something you simply won’t be able to do on the first-gen iPad.

The spec of the cameras, if we’re honest, does leave a little bit to be desired. The Xoom and PlayBook, for instance, have higher resolution cameras, which may be attractive to some users – people do like photos, after all.

Having said that, we weren’t particularly bothered about the resolution of either of the cameras when we tested the device, both performed admirably and served their purpose.

Apps
This one is obvious – Apple rules the app market stakes. It has more apps than Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Phone 7. But it’s not just apps in general, Apple also has a massive advantage over Android 3.0 with the sheer numbers of dedicated tablet applications it has on its App Store – now somewhere in the region of 65,000.

So if you’re serious about your apps, gaming and want the biggest selection possible, the iPad 2 is the only really logical choice.

Updates
As any Android user will tell you, getting your Android device updated to the latest software, without ROM flashing it, is sometimes a very arduous and annoying process.

Just look at all the device’s languishing on Android 2.1 and Android 2.2 even though Android 2.3 is now readily available.

We’d like to think that this won’t be the case with Android 3.0, but once you get networks involved, you never know – you could be waiting months for Android 3.1, and nobody wants this.

This does not happen when you’re dealing with Apple. Its platform is unified, so when it announces and releases an update you can pretty much get it straight away, which is exactly how it should be.

And with iOS5 on the way, it’s certainly an exciting time to be an iOS user.

In summary…
The iPad 2 is both thinner and lighter than its predecessor.
The iPad 2 is thinner than the iPhone 4.
It’s got Apple’s A5 dual core processor and 512MB of RAM.
Apple’s A5 GPU performance is reported to be seven times that of Nvidia’s Tegra 2.
Apple has 65,000 dedicated iPad apps and counting – a lot more than Google.
iOS5 is on the way, and there’s no delays with Apple software updates.   

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