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iPad 2 Review

The iPad 2 has arrived, and with it, the tablet computer that has redefined the genre is getting a very interesting update. Thinner design, dual-cameras, updated OS, new accessories… with the same pricing structure. For some, it is the update they’ve been waiting for: the iPad platform won’t change for the next year (is it really so?). For others, the thinner design and the video chat capabilities make it a must-have device. Some first-gen iPad might even want to upgrade, eBay showed signs of iPad flooding last week. The question is: is iPad 2 as good as it seems? Is it really for you? And if you already own one, should you upgrade? We go over all these points – and much more- in this iPad 2 review.

What’s New?

 External Design (even slicker): iPad 2 makes everything that was good in iPad, great. It starts with the thinness: iPad 2 is a lot thinner than the first iPad. Granted, there was some empty space in the original iPad shell, but still, iPad 2 is unbelievably thin when compared to its competition: the most recent Android and WebOS tablets. Apple has done a very good job at optimizing the internal space to create this uber-thin device. The addition of the cameras and the new speaker design are among the visible signs of change. Other than that, iPad 2 feels very much like the first iPad.
Performance (very good): Thanks to its new A5 chip, the iPad 2 is faster. This is particularly noticeable when manipulating the web browser.  I expect the iPad 2 to be faster for both single-threaded application and multi-threaded ones. It’s a dual-core processor, but each of the cores should be more efficient than the previous circuitry used in the original iPad. That’s perceptible performance.
Cameras (below-average): That was probably the #1 request from users. The cameras (front and back) are there, but I’m disappointed by them because the image quality is poor. Even in a well-lit room, images shot with the back camera are noisy. The front camera is even worse.
There are two reasons for that: First, Apple’s goal is to use the cameras for FaceTime, its video-call application. Still photo quality seems to be unimportant (or too expensive) at the moment. That’s too bad because in such a relatively large body, there was probably a way to use much better optics.

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