I Was Not Impressed With iPad 2 | Why Get an iPad 2 ?

At first I was not impressed with iPad 2.  Mostly because of the hype that surrounds an iLaunch and the rumors leading up to it.  In fact,  I kind of felt as if I already knew all about the iPad 2, so the only thing left was holding out for some completely astounding and shocking feature no one knew anything about.  But that didn’t happen.  So what we got was exactly what we all knew about.  And yet, as I type this I cannot wait to get in line and get mine.  Here’s why get an iPad 2.

Why Get An iPad 2

why get an iPad 2

As I’ve read all of the reports now on the bigger blogs about their thoughts on the iPad 2, I figured I’d add my 2.5 cents.  The fact is, I was really not impressed with the iPad 2 and mostly because of the massive hype.  You would have thought that the iPad 2 was going to literally turn water into wine.  Well, after the hype and the videos and the articles, I finally had some time to absorb what the iPad 2 is all about.

And now I want one. Here’s the reasons behind this decision.  Read this because it may benefit you too.

Hardware Features

One of the things I’m most looking forward to is that the new iPad 2 is lighter and thinner.  Now this might not seem like a big deal but actually it is.  I love the current iPad but most people generally agree it gets a little heavy after holding it for awhile.  So a lighter, more sleek iPad 2 will definitely be welcome in my hands.  Additionally, the shape has changed slightly and I feel this will make it easier to hold.  When you figure it’s 33% thinner and 0.2 lbs lighter, that seems like nothing but those that have actually held one say it’s very noticeable.

The fact that this as the A5 chip is also driving my desire to want one. Why get an iPad 2? Well, it’s simply going to be faster, more responsive, and able to handle larger and more complex apps.  This is a great thing because as time moves forward, we will find more and more reasons to use our iPad’s and the horsepower under the hood needs to be able to provide a great experience which the iPad 2 can definitely do.

The design is driving the desire.  Apple knows that good design will drive out desire to want an iPad 2.  Well, it worked on me because I think the design is absolutely stunning.  Just look at it and tell me you don’t want to hold one and start using it.

While the hardware features are great, that’s not what is really impressing me.  But here’s what is.

Facetime

I did not realize this but the Facetime feature is amazing.  Imagine that all you need is your wireless network and two iPads to be able to see  your friends or family anywhere and at anytime.  This is groundbreaking and should not be underestimated.  Sure, there are webcams and they have been around for ever but this is different.  The ease of using Facetime makes it a much stronger feature and quite frankly means you don’t need to be tied to your computer just to have a videoconference.

This can bring families together. It can mean that if you are traveling for an extended period of time you will be able to still feel “at home”. It also means you can see your kids at college or see your aging grandparents more frequently.  How about a preschool which gets an iPad 2 and then shows the parents how their son/daughter is doing or to say “hi” during the day? How cool is that?

Facetime on the iPad 2 is a feature that can bridge that gap between impersonal phone calls and being able to see each other on a beautiful 10″ display.

iMovie

Perhaps this is just me but I think this is a really great feature that makes the cameras something very useful on the iPad 2.  It’s not just about the back-facing camera, it’s about what you can do with it.  Tying this to iMovie was brilliant. It immediately puts that camera to use and let’s people actually create something.  Did I say create? Yeah, the iPad 2 gives us even more ability to make things instead of just consume things.

The HD Mirroring

With the new AV Adapter, you can now do mirroring.  This is amazing for teachers, presenters, and anyone doing training of any sort.  Mirroring means you can show your iPad screen and anything you launch right up on a big screen projector or TV via HDMI.  This is a killer feature for showing off apps and teaching.

The Smart Cover

If there was only one thing I loved more than the design of the iPad 2, it would have to be the Smart Cover.  This thing is genius.  It turns the iPad 2 on when you open it and turns it off when you roll it back.  It is thin, attaches in seconds, and can be used as a stand in either landscape or portrait mode.  Apple got it right with this cover and I can’t wait to have one on my iPad 2.

The Quality

Apple changed the structure of the iPad 2 to be more unibody and thus even more sturdy than the current iPad (which is definitely not flimsy).  This means there will be more people out there carrying it around, and because it’s also lighter, that is all the more reason to take it with you.  There is a debate about the size of the iPad being too big but with it thinner and lighter and more sturdy, perhaps this means it’s easier to take just about anywhere.

So when you put this all together, the hardware, facetime, imovie, the smart cover, and the overall quality then you start to see how Apple really did create the desire to either get one for the first time or upgrade your current one.  Are these groundbreaking features?  No.  But look at what you can do using them and you start to see how it’s very easy to not only be impressed with the iPad 2 but why you might just want one right now.

Your thoughts are encouraged!

Originally posted 2011-03-04 10:42:00.

Comments

  1. Seems weird but what pushed me over the edge was the Smart Cover!

    Ever noticed when you buy a new car that the thing that pushes you over are the $500 or $1000 worth of “extras” they throw in, even though you just dropped $30K on the car itself? The Smart Cover is like that for me.

    Can’t wait to have it in my hot little hands. Thanks Shane!

    1. Shane says:

      Hi Marlene!

      Great to see ya. Now that you mention it…yeah, that has happened to me…there is a theory somewhere about hot button marketing and Apple has pushed just about every button with this one…lol. It’s strange but even though I have one now, I feel like I’m getting something totally new all over again…

  2. Yep, that’s pretty much what it comes down to for me too.
    Too bad no one guessed it would be thinner and that there weren’t any mockups beforehand… then it would have been a happy surprise too!
    I’m getting a 32Gb 3G model for me and a 16Gb WiFi one for my mother… hopefully I can talk by siblings out of a few bucks to help.

    question: Have you read any feedback on how it does after being held for awhile? I know it’s 33% thinner but I didn’t think it was actually that much lighter.
    Though I’ve seen no image of the Smart Cover folded all the way back along the backside, such as you might do if you opened it and were holding the iPad in your hands or lap to use, but I assume it does that well.

    1. Shane says:

      Hi there. I think with the smart cover the idea was that you could easily remove it for holding the iPad. The one thing about the iPad I love is how it feels to hold it and I hate having to put in in a case.

      With the smart cover you can actually attach it really quickly via the magnets and the remove it just as easy.

      I only heard one thing from those that saw it and they said that even though it’s only marginally lighter, it’s still enough to make a big difference.

      I’m getting the black 32gb wifi only model :-)

      1. That’s what I was hoping to hear about the weight. It wouldn’t surprise me if a marginal change could make a big difference.

        Though I understand it’s easy, it doesn’t strike me as a good solution to be standing (maybe you’re in line or something), decide you want use your iPad and find the cover won’t fold back and so you have to remove it and then you’re standing there with an extra item to hold while you’re using your iPad.
        I was observing in the video that when the cover is folded to serve as a stand holding the iPad at it’s highest angle for movie viewing, the nearest surface of the cover is actually folded back against the back of the iPad. I hope this bodes well for being able to fold the whole thing back. The only thing they might have overlooked, or not been able to do, is have a little magnetized area back there so that it would help hold it securely. That’s ok though.

        Yep, I guess I’m still considering the WiFi version for myself but I suspect I’m going to play it safe and get the 3G in case I really want to use it.
        Now I’ve got to figure out if it’s most economical, and easy to activate, to get the iPad 2Gb/1mo plan or do the Personal Hotspot from my iPhone.

        1. Shane says:

          Yeah I think that the Smart Case will be for those users who use the iPad for casual use or viewing of content because you are right, when you fold it back, there really is no convenient way to hold it and if you take the Smart Cover off, then you end up holding something else….I’m definitely going with the WiFi only and then if I truly need Internet I’ll go with the hotspot feature :)

          1. QueenOfWax says:

            Okay, this is the topic I was looking for. I was trying to decide which model to get (WiFi only or WiFi + 3G). Am I understanding it correctly, that I can use my iPhone4 to activate a hotspot that will always make the internet available to my iPad 2? So there really isn’t any reason to pay the extra $130 for the +3G model? And since I’m grandfathered in on the unlimited data, it won’t cost me anything extra per month either?

            I’m sure I’m missing something, and this can’t truly by possible or efficient?

            Any thoughts and/or observations are welcome!

            1. Shane says:

              Hi there shelle!

              Thanks for the great comment….you are correct about the hotspot, or tethering. However one thing to keep in mind is that AT&T charges $45 for that option. Which is slightly more than just getting a $25 3G data plan but you are right in that you end up buying the higher priced iPad.

              Either way I think the cell companies are making too much money off us :)

              1. David says:

                Or, if you don’t want to pay the $45 a month for your iPhone to tether (which is insane :O), you can always jailbreak :D. That’s what I did and now I can turn my iPhone into a hotspot for everyone to use! I would only do this if you have the unlimited plan from ATT. Unfortunately they don’t offer it anymore, but if you are grand-fathered in, yay for you!
                I personally am getting the 64GB WiFi only model when it comes out, then just tether it to my phone.

  3. Robert L. says:

    Will HD mirroring only work on iPad 2? I looked at the specs on the accessory and it looks like both but cannot find a definitive answer.

    1. Shane says:

      Hi Robert –
      I’ve been looking too and cannot seem to find it either….I’m thinking it’s both as well but it could also be some special function in the iPad 2 that sends out it’s entire screen…or…it’s just simply the adapter that is giving this ability and it does not matter what iPad it is.

      1. Robert L. says:

        I am thinking it is new iOS and adapter on either. If not I will have to break down and trade up sooner. This is a huge deal for me.

        1. Robert L. says:

          Found answer but put it on your iPad 2 digital AV adapter post.

        2. Shane says:

          So someone said to me that they think it won’t actually show the screen on the original ipad but it will just do video out (like the current adapter does now) – I’ll email you Robert when I can confirm something!

  4. Sean says:

    Shane,

    I want to pick mine up, and not order online, so that I can have it on Friday. I am thinking of going to Best Buy, or Wal-Mart, and not to the Apple Store. I am hoping that the lines will be shorter at the retailers than they will be at the Apple store. On the other hand, I hear that the Apple store will have more in stock, which decreases the likelihood that they will run out before I get mine. What do you think?

    1. Shane says:

      Sean,
      This is interesting you would say that….when I was reading last week about how Apple can keep the prices so low on the iPad, it is because they can sell in in the Apple stores and not have to pay anything – but when a 3rd party is involved then they have to pay. Because of this, they actually do send less stock to the other stores (I believe) and thus I’ll be going to the Apple store…..besides….there is some odd geekiness rush from standing in line with strangers and waiting all day :)

  5. Sean says:

    I think it’s going to make for a long day, since they won’t go on sale until 5pm. It will be interesting to see if the lines are really long, or if a lot of people who already have the iPad 1 will hold off on buying this one.

    1. Shane says:

      Yeah…it’s gonna be a long day…wear comfortable shoes, have a charged iPhone (or other phone like an HTC) and bring snacks….i’m gonna arrive at 1pm..what about you? Where are you located?

      1. Sean says:

        I am in the Atlanta area, and I don’t get off until around 5 pm. I wonder if there is some type of app that can be downloaded that gives an update on the lines? That would be pretty cool.

        This is Apple’s second tablet, and some of the other major players have not even delivered their first one yet. I read today that Microsoft’s tablet won’t be out until late 2012. I wonder how the other companies feel with Apple getting all of this attention?

        1. Shane says:

          If that app exists Sean, I will find it and let you know!! I would not worry too much though – it sounds like they will have plenty on hand but perhaps you will be “sick” that day ;)

          I think Microsoft doesn’t care because they will try to introduce their tablet and it will do fairly well but it won’t dominate….actually I feel that they are so far behind in just about every technology they don’t care anymore…what do you think?

  6. Kathy says:

    I want to get my ipad2 on Friday also. I just can’t wait, like a kid the week before Christmas. There are no apple stores in MA so I will have to go to Best Buy, which is ok because I can charge it and pay no interest. Is it only going to be for sale after 5pm? I hope not, I was hoping to get my little hands on it first thing. Oh…….I am getting the smart cover too, not sure which color yet, decisions, decisions!

    1. Shane says:

      Hi Kathy!

      I’m the same….I can’t wait…well my guess is that Best buy will have to wait until 5pm like everyone else, however, since you don’t have any Apple stores close by then you might want to call them and see what the status is and plan to get there early….wear comfortable shoes and bring snacks!!! I waited 4 hours for the first iPad…..

      yeah, I’m definitely getting that Smart Cover and I think I’m going with the black one!

  7. Cappy says:

    Hey Shane, just a minor correction that may make a difference to some people.

    You state: “When you figure it’s 33% lighter and more thin, that seems like nothing but those that have actually held one say it’s very noticeable.”

    It is actually 33% THINNER and is “only” 0.2 lbs lighter. If it was only 2/3 the weight, I’d definitely be in line. Just thought you may want to correct as it could potentially lead someone astray.

    1. Shane says:

      Oh yeah….that does make sense…now that I think about it…LOL. Thanks a ton. I think I need an editor :) I’ll correct that in the post so others aren’t confused as well!

  8. Doug Kanora says:

    As usual, a great review Shane. My 64GB is looking long in the tooth already and I just finished paying for it. Oh Apple, why do you do this to me constantly? Now I want an iPad 2 so badly it hurts. Guess I’ll find a suitable person to give my iPad to and take the plunge again. Thanks for the great short review Shane. Very informative as usual along with your heartfelt content. We all appreciate it.

    1. Shane says:

      Hey Doug! Thanks for stopping by…perhaps all I did was make you spend more money! Yeah, my 64GB one is looking pretty long in the tooth as well and luckily I found a great home already…you might want to try http://www.gazelle.com as it looks like they pay pretty well for used iPad’s

  9. Remy says:

    It surprises me when I read here that some people who spent 700$ for an iPad 1 less than a year ago, are ready to spend another 700$ for an iPad 2 that has the same shape, same operating system, slightly thinner and lighter, and 2 cameras. Personally I got an iPad 1 and an iPhone 4, and I just see no reason why I should go get an iPad 2. I already have a very nice camera with my iPhone. For me one of the things that makes the iPhone interesting is to have a decent camera all the time in your pocket, which does not apply to the iPad 2 because you can’t put it in your pocket. I suspect the ipad2 back camera is not nearly as good as the iPhone4 one, and it does not have flash. And I find it a bit weird to take pictures and videos with an iPad. The only interest of having cameras on an iPad is to do FaceTime, which I can do with my iPhone 4.
    In addition, unlike the iPhone4, I have the feeling that there are still a lot of thing that can be improved on the ipad2: retina display, better camera for pictures with autofocus, flash, iPhone4- like form factor (you will agree with me that the iPhone 4 form factor make it look like an expensive jewelry). As for me I will wait for the release of ipad3 or even 4 before I can think of upgrading. As for now I am very happy with my iPad, I use it mainly for reading .pdf and .chm medical books, reading my mail and playing some games when I am tired reading.

    You people really seem to be some sort of “apple addict”. That said it is your money, free for you to spend it as you like.

    1. Shane says:

      Hi Remy – thanks for stopping by.

      Yeah, Apple has this strange ability to get us back to the store :)

      I agree, there are certainly more improvements that need to be made but one of the things that does make a difference is that it is lighter (which I love) and it is a little thinner and you can use that great smart cover…but…the two killer features are mirroring and facetime…with mirroring you can do some pretty cool things and with Facetime – it’s going to be great for families and those abroad…so all in all, you are right, nothing earth shattering here but you don’t have to be an apple addict to be a gadget freak :)

    2. David says:

      Well, I didn’t get the original iPad in the first place, so I am going to get this one :P. It isn’t as feature packed as I would like it, but i can’t wait any longer. I guess I am going to be waiting in line on Friday :D.

      1. Shane says:

        Hey david!!!

        Thanks for the comment man. Ok so since this is your first iPad…..what kind of articles would you like to see?

  10. Jim says:

    Respectively disagree with you Shane. Thinner is nice but the weight difference is negligible. I don’t get the knock on the iPad weight. You would think we are a population of Sponge Bobs who’s arms can’t lift anything heavier than a saltshaker. I’m used to lugging around a 17″ MacBook Pro. Now that’s heavy. I found my iPad to be a feather weight device.

    You are right about the iPad 2′s dimensions. Much thinner. Nice. And yes the CPU is beefier. That’s to be expected.

    However the cameras suck. One of them is the absolute bare minimum one would expect in an iTouch. You still can’t input any content unless you are tethered to iTunes or WiFi. So anyone gone for the weekend and Wifi is poor or non-existent is stuck again. What’s wrong with a small mini-USB input for a thumb drive? The drive space is still stuck at 64Gb. And what’s up with the bizarre convertible cover (including Apple’s weird video? I bought the iPad cover because it protected the vulnerable back fro scratches. I could care less about the front which seems almost indestructible anyway.

    Now, all of this is not just me and my off base wish list. MacWorld editors listed the same wish list and we were left at the alter. No, I will buy one, but this is definitely iPad 1.5 and most iPad fans are still in flashbulb exploding mode.

    1. Shane says:

      Jim. Thanks. Disagreement is a good thing! I saw that article as well and I’m divided. I agree that the storage is tha same but I rarely run into anyone that is actually using all of it… However I know that it does need to increase.

      The tethering to iTunes is true and I do feel that will get worked out over time but those that held one from engadget did say the weight was noticeably better.

      I think what really caused me to write this was FaceTime and mirroring. These two features, are remarkable for so many things and it want until I started imagining all you could do that I really wanted this version 1.5 :)

      1. Jim says:

        BTW, loved your article on making the iPad work for you while on vacation. I was quite amused as that’s the sort of thing I would plan and work on to prep for a holiday. Except I am not as technically astute as you are. But the timing of your article was perfect. I had just returned from a 12 day free cruise with a buddy who lectures on board (nice work if you can get it). The ship’s WiFi (satellite-based) was slow, flakey, and expensive. Fellow iPad shipmates drove the IT guy nuts with our log-in issues. I couldn’t log-in to the staff WiFi (much cheaper) because IOS 4.2 refused to let go of the passenger WiFi. We tried everything to get it to stop flipping over to the main passenger site. Finally the IT guy mumbled something about their being Flash on the staff server setup. Curses.

        So I wanted to draft all my email messages offline and then transfer them over to my buddie’s PC laptop for uploading (his access to staff WiFi worked fine). No way we could do it. I thought of trying to connect with his iTunes but he wasn’t too keen about me messing with his laptop with all his PowerPoints loaded. If there was just some way to transfer my little text files onto an SD card or thumb drive life would have been simple. For a few minutes I was cursing the stubbornness of Steve Jobs. Oh well, at least none of this was work-related. I just walked up to the top deck a had a few more beers. Someday, the iPad will cry out, “Freeeeedom!!!”

        Really enjoy your articles.

        1. Shane says:

          Hi Jim,
          I totally see your point but one thing I’m seeing and actually using is cloud storage….I used to use USB sticks, external drives, etc. but I have zero need for that when all I need is access to the internet and my public Dropbox and anyone can put files there anytime they want and then I have full access to them….Drop box gives me 2GB free + I have Google Docs so I have 25 gigs of storage there.

          It’s funny because I was just in the store and overheard a conversation where two people were talking about the iPad and the androids and they both said they wanted to stick with iPad because it is more controlled and thus they know it will all work….they had bad experiences with other devices crashing and getting clogged with malware, etc….I do see the point where people want to do stuff how they want but once they realize there are other ways to do it, then usually it’s ok. You can get Flash on your iPad using the SkyFire browser ;)

  11. Ben says:

    Hey Shane, thanks alot for this post! I’m 16 going on 17, and have saved up a considerable amount of money over a while and am considering buying the iPad 2 for my own little birthday present when it comes out up here in Canada! I currently have a first generation iPod Touch, and the black limited edition MacBook, and am wondering if it is really worth it to buy this new Apple product. I have to admit, I am quite an Apple fanboy and tend to get carried away with their products, but I can just see so many different possibilities in having this new device! I love music and Garageband for iPad looks spectacular, as well as the new cameras for HD video and pictures. So i guess my question to you is should i really look into picking up the 32GB iPad when it comes out, and how much functional capacity does it really have for a 17 year old in high school? Thanks for your input!

    Regards,
    Ben

    1. Shane says:

      Hi there ben.
      Thanks a ton for the comment. I like my readers from
      Canada as I know Anton of tech folks in Calgary and they are all great!!!!

      That’s excellent you are considering the iPad…I too have an iMac, MacBook air, and of course the iPad…seems like a lot but really they all have their purpose.

      I am getting the 32gb as well since I have the 64 now but I barely use around 8-9 gb.

      If you want to store a ton of music and videos then just be careful because that can take up a lot :)

      As for being a student, yeah

      If you

    2. Shane says:

      HI Ben,
      My last comment got cut off since I hit send to quickly. For school, the iPad is a great tool for social networking, studying, and email/web surfing. Also, you can create some really great things with Keynote, etc.

      Here are a few posts I did specifically to show you some of the apps that I feel are great for students:

      http://www.tcgeeks.com/10-incredible-ipad-apps-for-school/

      http://www.tcgeeks.com/ipad-for-school

      there are tons of resources there that all deal with school specifically!

      Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll be happy to help out

  12. Ben says:

    Wow all of these apps look fantastic, although some are bordering on expensive, i’ll definitely look into them! Thanks a lot Shane, this has really shortened my decision making process. Cheers!

    1. Shane says:

      Ben…i’ll tell ya what….you get that iPad 2 and come back here…tell me which of those apps you want…and tcgeeks will get it for ya :-)

      how’s that?

      p.s. thanks for being a reader!

      1. Ben says:

        Oh wow that would actually be amazing. Haha you’re great Shane, I’ll be back around the 30th of March with my new iPad :D

        1. Shane says:

          Sounds great Ben! I’ll see ya then :-)

  13. Sean says:

    Hi Shane,

    You have mostly focused on the iPad on the blog. What will be the next tablet that you will focus on? I know that the other tablets have been slow to come to market, so it will be interesting to see what the other tablet makers come up with.

    1. Shane says:

      Yes, it is going to be very interesting…but I suspect Android is next…part of the problem is that I need some help writing about the other tablets because there is so much going but the other challenge is getting good information to write about….whenever I try to find apps for android tablets I keep finding the same 10 that are out there…but I feel this will all change soon :)

      What would you like to see?

      1. Andrew says:

        Hi Shane,

        I love your site. Like Ben I am a student. A freshman in college and living in the dorms. Im in beautiful miami, fl. Anyways I am getting the Ipad 2 16gb Wifi. I am so excited that i was able to get a refund check back just in time. I have had the iphone 4 for a few weeks because of my previous employer. I thought it was ok not to bad. Anyways my dream has always been to own an apple product for its reliability and life span. I remember seeing old macs from like 2003 in elementary and still be working in mint condition now!!!! Its crazy. A PC would have crashed and burned a few times by then. Anyways never had an ipad before so this would kind of be my first. Dont know if i should order online @ apple or @ the apple store though. Anyways, I really would like to help you write about the other tablets. Think it would be an interesting experience. Always been a gadget freak just havnt the resources to keep up!!! LOL

        1. Shane says:

          Hi there Andrew!

          Thanks for stopping by. I agree with you 100% about the quality of apple products vs the others. I’ve seen people keep their macs for years and years and they still start up like new. I’m so hppy you are getting your first iPad.

          I like getting mine at the store because I love being around the excitement of it all but some people dont like sanding bin line for hours and hours….if you dont like lines and crowds then yeah order online but if you don’t mind the lines then definitely get it on friday :-)

        2. Shane says:

          Andrew. Have you written about tablets before?

          1. Hey Shane,

            Ive havnt written about tablets specifically but I have written articles before. I love writing when it comes to researching information. I have researched about everything from cell phones to computers both desktops and laptops on my free time. I loved to have the opportunity in helping you research the info.

            1. Shane says:

              Andrew – that is so awesome.

              Do you have a sample of an article? I’d love to see one :-)

              1. Shane. I am more inclined to researching though. its just something i like to do. As for the articles I havnt really written any for electronics so to speak. Thats where i would like to help/learn. Most of my stuff was lost when my previous computer crashed. :(. But if you give me a topic i can write one for you. Thats one of the main reasons im getting the ipad!!!

                1. Shane says:

                  Hey Andrew….is it ok if i email you at your email address?

  14. mido says:

    @i cant believe this!! me and my sister just got two i-pads for $42.77 each and a $50 amazon card for $9. the stores want to keep this a secret and they dont tell you. go here, http://www.bidsbug.com

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