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Surprise! 10 Ways iPad 2 Feels Different

Unexpected Possibilities

For gadget fans who value self-expression at least as highly as media consumption, the original Apple iPad felt a bit like a straight-jacket. At least, that’s why I didn’t buy one. My abilities to type quickly and share easily are the main tools I use to communicate with the world both in my job, and in the rest of my life. Computers have always helped me to communicate better and faster. I didn’t want one that slowed me down, and when I tested out the original iPad, it definitely slowed me down.

Perhaps it’s just the passage of time and evolution of applications since the launch of the original iPad, or maybe it’s the improvement in specifications and features in the second version, but it seems that the iPad 2 now holds more appeal for the creators and communicators of the world. Of course, there are still aspects of using the iPad 2 that make me cringe, but there are far fewer than there were about a year ago. The difference in experience between using the iPad 2 and original iPad is significant enough that I felt surprised often during the testing period, even after reading all about the gadget. I think this difference marks a crucial development in the evolution of tablet computing, and has more to do with how consumers feel about using the product to communicate, create and experience things than it has to do with specs like the screen resolution.

Read on for ten things about using the iPad 2 that surprised me—in good ways and bad ways.

  • pocketdrummer
    It's interesting to see that Apple is actually morphing OSX into a more iOS style. It still doesn't change the fact that this is a severely underpowered, mostly useless system. On-Screen keyboards are junk compared to a physical keyboard, it's too big for a pocket, thus it competes with small/thin laptops that can do FAR more than Angry Birds and flash-less websites.

    I'm still not sold. I'll save the money I'd waste on this and put it towards something worthwhile.... like a real laptop.
    Reply
  • Maziar
    One thing I like the most about iPad 2 is it's GPU.According to an early preview from anandtech, it's 3-7x faster than iPad 1 and faster than any other tablet on the market today(including Xoom)
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4216/apple-ipad-2-gpu-performance-explored-powervr-sgx543mp2-benchmarked
    Reply
  • "While the video camera does record HD video, the resolution isn’t great."

    It either does record video in (an) HD resolution or it doesn't. Or is this some special, Apple kind of HD video with a "not so great" resolution?
    Reply
  • aleh1811
    Maybe It's me, but I didn't feel this article targets the demographic group that usually reads this site. I don't consider the color a very important feature, the responsiveness of the screen (And therefore the on-screen keyboard) may be relatively important but there's not any type of real comparison, just the subjective view of a single writer. The "feel" of holding it also is quite subjective and doesn't seem all that relevant either. And I don't see how this tablet works better with people who "are good listeners and good talkers". Is there any feature that would somehow loose practicallity among people who expierience difficulties communicating?
    Reply
  • Tomsguiderachel
    aleh1811Maybe It's me, but I didn't feel this article targets the demographic group that usually reads this site. I don't consider the color a very important feature, the responsiveness of the screen (And therefore the on-screen keyboard) may be relatively important but there's not any type of real comparison, just the subjective view of a single writer. The "feel" of holding it also is quite subjective and doesn't seem all that relevant either. And I don't see how this tablet works better with people who "are good listeners and good talkers". Is there any feature that would somehow loose practicallity among people who expierience difficulties communicating?Which site are you reading? This is Tom's Guide. Welcome! :)
    This was definitely a subjective article, not a benchmark-driven one. You won't find performance testing on Tom's Guide.
    I'd love to answer your last question in this comment but I didn't understand it.
    The point I was trying to make is that the iPad 2 is more useful both as a "creating" tool and as a "consuming" tool. Hope that makes sense.

    Thanks for reading.

    Rachel Rosmarin
    Reply
  • Tomsguiderachel
    markosan"While the video camera does record HD video, the resolution isn’t great."It either does record video in (an) HD resolution or it doesn't. Or is this some special, Apple kind of HD video with a "not so great" resolution?It captures 720p video. But when uploaded to Youtube or even played back on the screen of the iPad, the quality isn't great. So, while the resolution is technically 720p, it looks grainy and the camera doesn't respond well in low-light conditions, in my testing experience. I will change the line in the article to reflect that, thanks for the comment.

    Rachel
    Reply
  • Tomsguiderachel
    pocketdrummerIt's interesting to see that Apple is actually morphing OSX into a more iOS style. It still doesn't change the fact that this is a severely underpowered, mostly useless system. On-Screen keyboards are junk compared to a physical keyboard, it's too big for a pocket, thus it competes with small/thin laptops that can do FAR more than Angry Birds and flash-less websites.I'm still not sold. I'll save the money I'd waste on this and put it towards something worthwhile.... like a real laptop.There's no way the iPad 2 replaces a laptop in any real way. In what way is the iPad 2 underpowered? I'm wondering what you're comparing it to, and I'm guessing you're comparing it to a laptop. I'm comparing it to netbooks/slates/and smart phones. And I agree with you on the keyboard--that's been my feeling for years, but I do have to say that typing on this onscreen keyboard has been my best on-screen keyboard experience thus far, and I've tried a lot of them. However, I'm not comparing the iPad 2's virtual keyboard to a physical keyboard--that's just not a fair comparison.

    Thanks for reading,
    Rachel
    Reply
  • Tomsguiderachel
    MaziarOne thing I like the most about iPad 2 is it's GPU.According to an early preview from anandtech, it's 3-7x faster than iPad 1 and faster than any other tablet on the market today(including Xoom)http://www.anandtech.com/show/4216 enchmarkedHi Maziar,
    It definitely feels faster than the iPad 1, and I'm going to compare it to the Xoom today but I have a feeling in most situations the iPad 2 will wipe the floor with it.
    Reply
  • whewwhoo
    I like how this article is solely based on what we could find out for ourselves by walking into an Apple store. Which is, ironically, what the author seems to have done.
    Reply
  • Tomsguiderachel
    I have the iPad 2 right here with me. What would you like to know? What else should an opinion article be based on other than my experience testing the product?
    This is NOT a review.
    Reply