iPad 2 Hands On

The iPad 2 is here! You've run down the specs - including the 2x as fast A5 processor, the lighter 1.33lb weight, and the crazy-thin .34 inch "thickness." You've considered whether it's worth it for iPad 2 owners to upgrade. You've taken a look at what's new in iOS 4.3. Heck, you've even read up on how to transfer your data from your original iPad to the iPad 2. What's left to do? Check out TiPb breathlessly unpacking and examining the real deal.

If you waited in line today and picked one up - congrats! If you are wondering what we think of Apple's latest, here's the short version: it's a thinner, lighter, faster iPad with a couple of cameras. That may sound anti-climactic - but after using the iPad 2 for just a very short while we're starting to suspect that it's anti-climactic in the same way that "the iPad is just a big iPhone" was anti-climactic in 2010. In other words: it's an experience that can't quite be quantified but gets under your skin in the same way the original iPad did. There's "nothing new" here to most people, but the execution of all the little details adds up to something pretty special.

As far as the hardware is concerned, we're impressed. Looking at the spec differences between the iPad 1 and the iPad 2, you might be tempted to say that there's not much improvement here. But .5" vs .34" only tells part of the story. The full story is that the tapered back of the iPad 2 makes it feel thinner than any device this size has a right to be. It's kind of amazing. Unfortunately, we can't quite say the same for the weight - while the iPad 2 is lighter, it's still not something you're going to happily hold at arm's length unsupported for any appreciable length of time.

A full photo gallery is after the break and video is coming right quick - keep it locked to TiPb as we unpack our thoughts and impressions of the iPad 2 this weekend and, heck, for the months to come.

[gallery link="file" columns="2" orderby="title"]

(Full disclosure: this white iPad 2 is for @CrackBerryKevin, who plans on putting the thing head-to-head with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook when the time comes. He also opted for the "CrackBerry Orange" SmartCover. He's a BlackBerry user at heart, but it's hard to resist the iPad 2, innit?)

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Dieter Bohn

Dieter Bohn is former editor-in-chief of Smartphone Experts, writing across iMore, Windows Phone Central, Android Central, and more. You can find him on Twitter (and everywhere else) @backlon.

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Reader comments

iPad 2 Hands On


Same here. waiting for iphone 6 and ipad 3. also, as to the hands-on. Why would you want to hold something that big at arm's length for any period of time anyway? Until components get that much lighter, a device that does all of this and is 9.7" is going to be at least 1lb..at LEAST lol

We are waiting for the iphone 5 here. As it is update so quikely that some of my friends do not want to buy it and waiting for the "Iphone latest" with iphone 4.

Question. I have iPad 1 with unlimited data plan with AT&T. Was told I can move this plan over to ipad2. Any clue as to how to do it? Will not allow me to do so in Settings, and am afraid if I cancel the plan on ipad1 I will lose it.

Thanks for putting into words what I was feeling. Yes, I know it's an evolutionary, not a revolutionary, upgrade but I feel very satisfied with my purchase anyway.

I never had an iPad 1, and this thing suits me fine. It is waaaaay better than any Droid tablet I have used.

Just got my 32 gb white iPad I love it this is my first iPad so excited I have the iPhone 4, apple tv and a Mac book but this will be so much easier to carry around campus than my Mac.

I'm almost finished setting it up lol it's tiring or maybe I'm tired from standing in line for nearly 3 hours. In any case I love my new iPad. :-) Got the black 64 gig wifi loaded with 42 gigs to spare. Apple sold out at 12 oaks mall in Michigan. The hdmi cable rocks.

I am going to get an iPad but dont know if I want black or white. Has anyone found the white annoying with the screen or is it just the same as the black? Do you see any thing different from the black?

I debated back and forth on color right up until I made my purchase. The white is very clean and for example blends in seamlessly with the tipb page. I don't think you can go wrong tho.

Has anyone noticed if their iPad 2 is charging from their computer when plugged in to sync? Mine doesn't. It only charges when plugged in from the AC outlet. It may be due to the new battery. I have a 24-inch iMac

I was aware of that. I own the original iPad, and my iMac does provide enough power for it. However, it looks like the newer model needs more power than the original iPad.

Weird update. My iPad 2 now charges normally. I wonder what may have happened earlier. It was syncing but showing a "not charging" legend and now it charges like it should.

Went to AT&T at 4:00 I was first in line. Got out at 5:30  They only had 5 iPads (black 32, white 32, two black 16, and one white 16) (all 3G) AT&T lowered my plan a little to help offset the 25 data plan and threw in a pair of speakers for free. LOL never waiting at apple again 

You should play the lotto tonight. You have amazing luck. I was only in line for 2 hours but still felt like forever!

I did get lucky! I think if AT&T would of had more it would have been the best place to go they were very pleasant to deal with.

This hands on has me excited for when mine is delivered. Oh and I didn't have an original iPad cause I wanted iPhone 4 so now its time for my tablet to arrive!

Ehhhhhhhh not enough bumped specs to make me wanna upgrade. I still think it's silly that the world is swooning over this product again like it was JUST released, when only a few things have been changed. Though it is amazing how thin it is. I'll stick to my original iPad and iPhone 4 for now.

I went to my local best buy. They only had three iPad 2s left (White). I got one of them. I was very lucky!! They had a 32gb and a 64gb. I took the 3rd ipad. Thank you best buy!!!!!

I returned my Moto Xoom. Sold my iPad 1 32GB WiFi. Bought the new MacBook Pro 17" with the 2.2 Quad Goodness. I also think I'll hang out with my wife's 32GB 3G v1. I know v2 is also magical, but will wait for v3. I'm currently playing with my MBP174Core.

That's great. For me, the iPad is a laptop replacement. I had the first and now I have the 2nd. For any work or hardcore duties I built an i5-760 machine that runs like a dream. One thing that surprised me is that iPad compares favorably when browsing the web to my computer. Which is saying a lot considering how fast my desktop is. Instant on is so important to me. I do love those MBPs though.

Is it worth it to get the 3g or wifi and for the iphone 4 who has better service in central nj, desciding on what to get on verizon or at&t thanks

The 3G model is worth it if you are not at home often and where you go there is no WiFi service. As to what network, you should test the places you frequent the most to see whether Verizon or AT&T has better signal. If you travel abroad, AT&T is your only option, since Verizon has fewer to none compatible networks outside of the US.

My 32GB black wifi iPad 2 has the little yellow bleed out in the lower left corner. The screen has to be all black to notice it, I noticed it when I was watching a movie, and now it catches my eye EVERY TIME! anybody else have this issue...?

I've read elsewhere that the same yellow bleed sometimes appears on iPhone 4 screens but, as it's caused by glue not quite fully dry, it disappears within a few days.

What ever happened to all of the Roid Trollers?...
Think they are playing with their Xoom? They seem to have vanished

I would love to have an iPad 2 but buying a new laptop was so much more important use of my tax return. Maybe someday I can win one or come across some money. 2011 tax return could probably purchase an iPad 3?

Already have an iPad 1 so at the moment I don't really see the need to replace it for an iPad 2. I think I'll wait for the next iPad before replacing it...

Wow, what a crappy camera you used for recording this video. Auto-focus is really annoying. Set it right and turn the auto-focus off when doing these reviews. Constantly trying to adjust the focus (totally unsuccessful) makes my eyes hurt.