So here is the review of my iPad 2. A lot of people were wondering why I chose this instead of an Android tablet, well that will be stated below. So read on to find out my take on this device. First let me get this straight, I am no Apple fan boy who follows the crowd. My true followers will know that. I am here to just give my view on tech and what I personally think. I do not favour any Android or iOS. I try to be unbiased.....
WARNING: There are a lot of images to feast your eyes on! ;)
- Good price compared to other tablets
- Light compared to other tablets and compared to the previous generation iPad
- The thinnest tablet out at the moment (however when the new Samsung tablet comes out it should be thinner)
- Quality apps
- Ridiculously quick with everything
- It is bloody good looking
- Battery is great
- Cameras are absolutely SH*T
- There is no customization compared to Android if you haven't jailbroken (the only think you can customize is your wallpaper)
- Screen could have at least been ramped up to 720p
- No easy to way to transfer files
- Having WiFi issues
- 9.7 inch LED backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
- 1024x768 pixels screen
- 1Ghz dual core chip
- Rear facing camera, can record in HD (720p) at 30 fps
- Front facing camera
- Up to 10 hours battery life when surfing web on WiFi
- 3.5mm stereo headphone jack
- Built-in speaker
- Three axis gyro
- Ambient light sensor
Well I chose to go for the 32GB version, WiFi only. The price was right for me and it was enough space for me. The reason I didn't go for the 3G version was because I can make my Android phone into a portable hotspot, making it easy to access internet on my iPad.
The back is made out of aluminium however when tapping it, it sounds like plastic. I think what Apple have done here is just thinned it down a lot compared to the last generation. This has contributed to thinning the device down. However the back does get dirty easily and can scratch real easy. I recommend getting a case which covers the whole device if you want to keep it clean and scratch free. The "Smart Cover" is a waste of money, take it back!
From the picture above you can see how it compares to the normal pencil. It is crazy how Apple have made this thing so thin.
Sound quality from the built in speaker is remarkably quite good. Obviously it isn't going to match up to your Harman Kardon speakers, but it's good for a device like this.
The volume button and switch have been raised and made sharper. I think this is a good improvement compared to the last generation, even if it is a small thing. It helps catch the buttons on your fingers, slightly helping in the process of actually pressing them. Like I said it may be a small thing and irrelevant but I find that it actually helps. The switch can also be changed to either mute the device or rotation lock. This is all that is placed on the right side of the device. There is nothing on the left side.
The mic is located at the top. I must say mic quality is great. Using it for Skype calls is great and many of my contacts have said that the quality is great and my voice comes across very clear.
The headphone jack is located at the top. Another example of how thin the device is. Also the quality of sound is good as usual. Obviously it will not match up to some professional MP3 players. So you're better off having music at a maximum bit rate of 128kbps. You won't hear much of a difference, if any, if you're music is at 320kbps.
The sleep button is also located at the top. This button has also been made sharp so your finger can grip it easier.
The cameras are bad, real bad. Apple have let themselves down here, I don't understand why they put sh*t cameras in this thing. I'm never going to use the cameras except for Facetime and Skype so it does not bother me too much. And I have a proper camera to take pictures with. However, I know it will bother some others. I did see on YouTube though that someone recorded a short movie with the rear facing camera and it actually came out quite good, I was quite surprised. I would link back to it if I could find it.
What I have found with the iPad 2 is that it has now become my main source of media and news. I use it a lot and I mean a lot. It's great for keeping up with the news, listening to music, watching movies and for using Twitter. Using it is just wonderful and smooth, making everything actually pleasurable. I used to use my HTC Desire for all of this but I found the screen to be too cramped. It's now great being able to use the huge touchscreen on the iPad to do all this. It can also render out videos up to 720p so quality is great. There is one problem with the screen and that is reflection. The screen reflects everything, it's like a big mirror. It makes watching movies in outside very hard and you can barely see the screen in sunlight.
Other than the reflective issue with the screen, it is great. I do wish it was it was at least HD but I can see why Apple did not do this, it would affect all their apps. Other than that, I am happy with the screen quality. Viewing pictures is a pleasure, colours are very nice and saturated.
The battery life is amazing. I can easily watch a movie or two, listen to music, read the news and get work done it within a day. I haven't done an extensive test on battery life but with my heavy use it has faired very well. Saves me having to worry about battery running out on my HTC Desire.
The device is lighter than the previous version and this weight loss can be felt. However, I still think it is quite heavy. Holding it for long periods does start making your arms ache so I've always found myself resting it against something.
Apps on this thing are great. The quality of apps are brilliant and the design of them is beautiful. This is one of my most favourite things about the iPad. Using apps is pleasurable and fun, a lot of eye candy. Admittedly Android has quite a bit of catching up to do here.
Overall I am actually very happy with it. I'm glad I bought it when I had the chance. My Android phone is now hardly ever used. I just use my iPad for everything because I can carry it around with me everywhere. I think it is all about consumption. I do a lot of reading on it too, the big screen really makes use of it. Watching movies on it is a pleasure and a lot better than on my Android phone. Viewing pictures is great, the colours very nice and saturated. The apps are great in terms of quality and fun to use, they just work. I have only come across one app which has not worked and that was because the developer did not code it properly to work with the dual core. The dual core 1Ghz processor makes everything ridiculously quick, it's great. There is hardly any lag unless you're browsing a website with loads of images or reading a PDF.
However, one problem I have been having with it is WiFi. Ever since I updated it to iOS 4.3.1 I have been having WiFi issues. If I leave it for a while, without using it and the come back to it, the internet will just not work. I have to end up going to settings, disconnected from my router, then reconnecting. I don't have a clue why it is doing this and how to fix it. I hope Apple come out with a fix for it soon.
Why I Chose The iPad 2 Instead of an Android Tablet
The main reason as to why I chose the iPad 2 instead of an Android tablet was because of apps. The iPad has been around nearly a year longer than Honeycomb so it has built up a huge collection of apps. This makes the user experience of the iPad a lot better in my opinion. Honeycomb has only just come out and before purchasing my iPad I found that there were only 12 apps specifically designed for Honeycomb. Also if I did go for an Android tablet it would have to be the Motorola Xoom. However, the Motorola Xoom came out after the iPad 2 here in the UK. Also the Motorola Xoom was too heavy and thick for my liking. I mainly just wanted user experience and all the apps available for the iPad so that's why I went for it.
However, next year I will most definitely get an Android tablet. Hopefully Honeycomb will have a lot more apps and it will have been developed a lot more.
If the Honeycomb source code gets released and somehow someone finds out how to get it working on an iPad I will definitely try porting it onto my iPad.
Give Honeycomb another year and it will start to develop rapidly and then dominate within the next 3 years.
I personally think Android will still win this war.