iPad 2 is finally here. The device was presented by the legend himself, Steve Jobs, yesterday. Unlike what Steve Jobs claimed, the device won’t be shipped to our doors on March 11th. Indeed, that’s the first day one can order iPad 2. Considering that many experts made a big deal out of lack of long lines in the front of Verizon stores for Verizon iPhone, Apple seems to have decided to make people wait till the official release date instead of accepting pre-orders.
iPad 2 did not get a SD slot or a retina display. But Apple did not have to go out of its way to make revolutionary changes to its tablet considering that its rivals are just not doing a good job challenging the original iPad. Apple made enough changes to keep iPad going strong for the next few months (before announcing iPad 3). iPad 2 does have a more compact design and 2 cameras. It will have an A5 processor inside and much faster graphics. The good news is Apple did not have to sacrifice battery life to achieve this. The device will run iOS 4.3.
iPad’s new smart cover is pretty impressive too. The case for the original iPad was decent. But Apple seems to have focused more on coming up with a cool case rather than trying to bury iPad competitors with an out of this world tablet. iPad 2’s new design does make it much more convenient to handle and is a huge improvement over iPad 1.
iPad 2 is not without its weaknesses. For starters, it seems to have only 512 MB of RAM, which is half of what Xoom has to offer. The fact that Apple did not add a much better display to iPad 2 is somewhat disappointing. Thunderbolt, NFC, and 4G support are missing as well. As the Wall Street Journal put it, iPad 2 is not a game changer that iPad 1 was. Apple competitors will still have a difficult time coming up with an iPad killer but they are not hopeless.
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