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The Ipad 2

On Friday, Apple finally released their much-anticipated follow up to the Ipad, the Ipad 2.  At this point, you've probably got two questions:

1) How does it stack up to the original?

2) Is it worth buying? 

Well, let's have a look. 

The Look

This is one element of their products hat Apple's never had any trouble with. Let's face it, Apple products...they just look good. The Ipad 2 quite naturally continues this trend. It's a pretty little piece of hardware, in glossy black or white with silver trim. Apple's curved the edges, which not only makes the Ipad 2 look better, but increases ease of use- something which Apple's made central to its products since day one. To put it simply, the Ipad 2 pretty much looks how one would expect an Apple product to look. And the truth is, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

The Ipad 2's quite compact,  as well- It weighs in at a paltry 1.3 pounds, and measures at  9.5 inches tall, 7.3 inches wide and (now here's the kicker) only 0.34 inches thick!(Engadget). It's smaller and sleeker than its predecessor in every way. The mere fact that this system is able to run is actually pretty impressive- measure out the thickness and you'll see what I mean. Oh, and it weighs about as much as a piece of fruit. 

So that covers the physical look of the Ipad 2. What about the digital look? The 9.7 inch screen runs in 1024x768p, and gives a crisp, clear image. The interface not only looks good, but like with all Apple products, it's intuitive and easy to use. The only gripe people seem have here is that the Itunes Store, Apple Store, and Ipad Games Center are always on the first page- no moving them. Seems a touch overbearing. Other than that little quip, the interface is great. (Ubergizmo

The Specs

The Ipad 2 isn't going to break any performance records with the hardware it's packing. Just the same, it's nearly twice as powerful as the old model, which feels sluggish by comparison. If you want specifics, Apple's tossed in a new 1 gigahertz A5 dual core processor to the Ipad's single core A4, and 512 megabytes of RAM to the Ipad's 256. It comes in a 16, 32, or 64 gigabyte variety- all flash memory, naturally(Wikipedia)

The video card's a PowerVR SGX543- customized for the Ipad's architecture. Still not going to win any competitions in terms of raw power, but again, it's a huge boost from the original- we're talking somewhere around nine times faster than the Ipad's graphics card, the SGX353. (OSXdaily).

The battery's awesome, too. Apple's made sure that all of their hardware is efficient as far as power use goes, giving the Ipad 2 a battery life of between nine to ten and a half hours of continuous use. That stomps anything their competitors are capable of doing straight into the floor. (Engadget

Raw power aside, this thing's absolutely packed with additional features- Wi-fi capability, two cameras (VGA and 720p, respectively), internal motion sensors, a digital compass, a GPS....you can view the full list of goodies the Ipad 2 packs into its tiny frame here

Word is the 720p camera isn't particularly high-quality, but other than that...there really haven't been any complaints about the newest Ipad's performance. 


Final Word

It might interest you to know that I'm not really a fan of Apple, or their products. That knowledge should drive what I'm about to say next even further home: The Ipad 2 is the best tablet on the market, hands down. It beats its predecessor in pretty much every way imaginable, sports a great look, incredible battery life, and impressive durability for its size.If you're buying a tablet PC...buy this one. 

The Ipad 2 starts at $499.00 on Apple's website.