The iPad 2, long awaited sequel to the original has finally been announced to the world. The thinner, lighter and altogether slightly more attractive device has been at last shown to us by Steve Jobs.
There was some speculation that Jobs would not make an appearance at the keynote, given his health concerns recently and indeterminate leave of absence. However he carried the launch quite well, as if he had never been away. Many commentators have been concerned that Apple is being increasingly seen as more Jobs and less products, that he is the main selling point of the brand. Some have suggested that this launch would have been the perfect opportunity for Apple to introduce a new successor to the Hardware throne.
The focus of course is the new iPad, taking on the mantle of the most popular portable computer in the world, not only creating a new tablet market but also revolutionizing the way we consume media. Ten years ago people would have considered reading a newspaper or magazine on a pad to be the stuff of Star Trek, but now it’s happening every day.
So what’s different about the iPad 2, from its predecessor? Well the two most noticeable changes are the size (33% thinner) and the weight (33% lighter). To be honest, there’s not a whole lot else.
I like the new iPad, but it isn’t making me wonder what I’m missing by using the iPad 1. There’s a few nice touches, which we all expected; two cameras both with video capability, Gyro, accelerometer, compass (for better gaming), Video mirroring and the new A5 Chip.
These are all impressive updates, there’s no mistaking that – however it still leaves us wondering whether this is just a go-between, similar to the iPhone 3GS, whetting our appetites for the bigger upgrades to come.
A quick look at the specs show us that in many ways the iPad 2 is very much so superior to the iPad 1, the new A5 chip is faster, and the better processor means that the entire device is up to nine times quicker than the original.
A snazzy feature, which has definitely caught people’s attention, and is well worth mentioning, is the cover. The new screen cover is magnetic, as you bring it to your iPad, two hinges pop out from the side and lock the cover in place. Once it’s folded over the screen, the iPad goes to sleep which is quite neat!
Overall the iPad 2 is a welcome update, but all indications are that the iPad 3 is still the one to watch.
iPad 2 will be available in Ireland from the 25th March