Bryce’s iPad 2 Review

Apple iPad 2 MC769LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi, Black) NEWEST MODELFaithful readers remember my initial thoughts on the iPad 2 when Apple announced it a while ago. In short, I wasn’t blown away by the specs, and I decided not to upgrade this round.

Well . . . times change. What can I say? Since Denisa’s going to be taking the kids to Europe solo (on the way there), she wanted some hefty backup for the plane rides. Specifically, she had her eyes on my trusty iPad. My Precious. The thing that never leaves my side these days. And after some internal debate, I said I couldn’t give up my iPad–unless I had a newer model to fall back on. Long story short, I bought an iPad 2 and bequeathed my old iPad to Denisa. (Which makes me start to wonder if these “bad teeth” of hers aren’t really just a way of her getting what she wants: a trip to Slovakia and an iPad. Hmmm . . . )

The good news for you is that I’ve upgraded, and I can tell you whether it’s worth it or not. Ready? Here we go.

  • The cameras. This was the biggest point against the iPad 2 from the reviews I’d read. It was one of my big hangups in upgrading. The cameras weren’t supposed to be very good. Now that I’ve used them, I’ll say this. If you’re in poor lighting conditions, the cameras are pretty bad. If you can up the light, the cameras are completely fine. I haven’t printed pics taken with my iPad, but I’ve posted them to Facebook (along with video), and it works like a charm. Yes, I feel like a bit of an idiot, using something so big to take a picture or film something, but at the same time, it’s kind of bizarre to have that much screen to frame the shot. It really feels like doing something other than taking a picture. The cameras are great for posting things online, and I love not having to get cables out to transfer pics from my camera to my iPad. If you want a camera–and don’t need a super deluxe camera–then don’t listen to the naysayers on the iPad 2. It works fine.
  • The speed. I didn’t think I’d notice that big of a bump. Yes, it’s supposed to be faster–but it’s *faster* and more reliable to boot. A lot of programs that took a while to load on my old iPad now breeze through things with nary a bump. (I’m looking at you, Friendly.) The games work better, Pages is great, browsing is faster–I notice it all the time, even now–after having used the new iPad for a few weeks–I still see speed increases. It feels faster, and that’s a very good thing.
  • The feel. The case is pretty darn cool. The iPad itself is significantly lighter. Now that I’m freed from the bulkier Apple case, the whole thing is much smaller. It easily fits places the old iPad had to squeeze into before (pockets in my laptop case, for example). Again, the overall effect feels like a significant upgrade.
  • The battery. Honestly, I’d say it feels like the battery isn’t quite as much of a trooper as the first iPad. It still lasts a long time, but seems to dip faster. That could be just because the battery life of the first one was such a surprise, however. No complaints about the battery–it just *feels* a bit shorter.
Summation. If you don’t have an iPad, you really ought to get one. Just so we can be Gamecenter Friends (seriously–add me. My name is M34NDR. I want to see how many games you have, and if I have more achievements than you. It’s all about proving my virtual worth.) If you DO have an iPad 2, I’d have to say upgrading is probably not worth it, with one exception. Are all the improvements worth another $500 of your money? Even if you sell your old iPad, it’ll still probably set you back $200-$300, easy. And I don’t think it’s worth that.
On the other hand, if you have someone in your family clamoring for an iPad, then there’s certainly no reason to wait for the iPad 3. AND–if you can count your iPad purchase as a business expense, then it’s a no brainer. Totally worth it. (I’m looking at you, Joshua.)
In any case–those are my thoughts. Any questions? Need any clarification? Ask away.

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