Early iPad 2 review round-up

Early iPad 2 reviews

The early iPad 2 reviews are in and as expected it's getting its fair share of "evolutionary not revolutionary" and "a good thing even better" takes. We've already told you what key features might make you want to upgrade from iPad 1 to iPad 2, or to consider an iPad 2 as your first tablet. To hear what everyone else thinks, follow on after the break...

  • Joshua Topolsky: It might frustrate the competition to hear this, but it needs to be said: the iPad 2 isn't just the best tablet on the market, it feels like the only tablet on the market. As much as we'd like to say that something like the Xoom has threatened Apple's presence in this space, it's difficult (if not impossible) to do that. Is the iPad 2 a perfect product? Absolutely not. The cameras are severely lacking, the screen -- while extremely high quality -- is touting last year's spec, and its operating system still has significant annoyances, like the aggravating pop-up notifications. [Engadget]
  • John Gruber: The iPad 2 is a solid second-generation iteration. Easier and more comfortable to hold, noticeably faster, equippable with foldable covers that are both literally and figuratively magnetic. Like last year’s iPhone 4, it seems like technology from the near future. [Daring Fireball]
  • Vincent Nguyen: On most levels, then, the iPad 2 over-delivers. By boosting speed and graphics performance while simultaneously slimming down the chassis and preserving battery life, Apple has maintained its core strengths and extended its lead in what are arguably the toughest areas rivals faces. Sure, a Retina Display would have been great, and high-resolution camera, but it’s relatively straightforward to drop those into the next iPad; it’s a whole lot more difficult to make a super-thin tablet with 10+ hours of runtime. [SlashGear]
  • Jason Snell: For Apple’s competitors in the tablet-device market, the iPad 2 is a bucket of water to the face. After more than a year of struggling to catch up to the original iPad, here’s a new model that addresses many of the iPad’s deficiencies, dramatically improves its speed, and doesn’t cede any ground on price, features, or battery life. The iPad 2 raises the bar Apple set a year ago—and it’s time for the rest of the industry to scramble again to catch up. [Macworld]
  • MG Siegler: In terms of the other competition out there that doesn’t begin with a lowercase “i”, it’s becoming clearer by the day that most don’t yet stack up well against the iPad 1, let alone iPad 2. I’ve only played with a Xoom for a few minutes, and I was generally impressed, but apparently it’s very, very buggy. Just listen to Jason talk about it here. The tablets from RIM and HP aren’t out yet, and the pricing details around them don’t sound too promising. Further, the app support support for all the rivals isn’t too promising right now either. That’s one of the iPad 2′s greatest advantages that doesn’t show up on a spec sheet. [TechCrunch]
  • Ed Baig: The iPad 2 doesn't deliver everything on your tablet wish list. But when it comes to the ever-evolving state of the art, iPad 2 is second to none. [USA Today]
  • Walt Mossberg: As new contenders move into the field, Apple isn’t likely to keep its 90% share of the booming tablet market. But the iPad 2 moves the goal posts, by being slimmer and lighter, boosting speed and power, and holding its price advantages, available apps and battery life. As of now, I can comfortably recommend it as the best tablet for average consumers. [WSJ]
  • David Pogue: Thousands of news and entertainment Web sites still rely on Flash, and the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch simply can’t display them. But you know what? The iPad will still dominate the market, because it dominates in all the most important criteria: thinness, weight, integration, beauty — and apps. [NYT]

We'll add more as they go live.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Early iPad 2 review round-up


Frames were also a standard at one point. And annoying flashing GIFs.
SOMETHING had to come along to force them to move along. Maybe Apple is the final knife blade to make Flash go buh bye.

Support for those formats from OS makers didn't just cease one day, leaving just white space or a little box where there should be content and Internet users unable to fully experience the web in the translation period.

Some are disappointed with the camera's? Huh It's a tablet computer. I'm I supposed to ditch my Nikon D3100 if there were a 8 mp camera in the back of this thing. Am I going to walk around and take pictures with this thing. Come on

I hear you there. I think for any kind of photo needs, it will be fine. Otherwise, yea, I'm going for a pocket camera minimum.
However, I wish it had a higher pixel count so I could use it at the library for research (snap photo of a book and OCR). I'm doubting it will have enough rez to pull that off. It's not going to stop me from buying one though. :)

It shoots about the same quality HD video that the iPhone 4 shoots. Which is an acceptable quality from a handheld device the size of a cell phone.

there are cameras on this thing for FaceTime is already more than enough for normal consumers... i don't care for 5MP or 8MP cameras...
can't wait to get iPad 2.

Folks will look to the cameras as a weak point, but really? FaceTime is a novelty. Sure, it can be very useful at times, but it's far from essential.
iMovie looks cool, but there needs to be a simpler way to get images and videos on your iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4, onto the iPad.

does the facetime app test internet connection speed? if not, that means you can fool the ipad into thinking you're on wifi by connecting to mobile hotspot and using facetime over 3G without jailbreaking. does anyone know?

Yes you can def trick it by using mobile hotspot and use FaceTime on the go with your iPad.

I don't think that FaceTime checks connection speed at all. I've used FaceTime on my jailbroken iPhone 4 on Edge before. If Edge was enough then 3G will be all good!