If you are looking for purchase advice, the overwhelming majority of media is providing reasons why not to buy the iPad 2 (yes, we provided that advice as well as there are plenty of reasons why you should consider buying a different tablet.) The reality is, however, that there are good reasons why you would want to buy the iPad 2. The bottom line is that it is a damn good tablet.
1. You don't have an iPad yet
If you haven't purchased an iPad yet and you have the funds available to pay more than $500 for such a device, then it's somewhat obvious that you would be looking to get the newer product, rather than the older device. This is mainly a financial decision and if you don't mind spending the extra dollars over discounted gen-1 iPads, you may enjoy the fancy new look of the iPad 2. Current iPad owners contemplating an iPad 2 purchase may also consider getting rid of their original iPad now and sell the tablet while the demand for the iPad 2 is strong and keeps iPad prices at a higher level. Don't expect to get much dough for the old iPad once iPad 2 supply has caught up with demand.
2. You have an iPhone 4/Mac/iTunes Account
At this point, you could be thinking whether it really has to be an iPad 2? Maybe you should get an Android device? The fact is that tablets feel cozy in their ecosystem that is growing around a technology platform, which would be iOS in this case. The iPad 2 will provide you with the latest iOS version and a few new features. An Android tablet does not make much sense if you own an iPhone and/or a Mac as the value of these devices is in the platform. On the other hand, if have an Android phone and you buy an iPad/iPad 2 you should not expect to be able to take advantage of the full value potential. An Android tablet may be the better choice in the long term.
Perhaps that is just me, but I look at tablets that are about to be released and I am wondering whether those guys are joking. $800 for a rival tablet? Huh? You may be spending just as much for an iPad 2, if you climb up the spec ladder and choose a much more capable model than the $499 entry-level device. However, the iPad 2 provides more room to purchase a device that fits your wallet and not just the requirements of a manufacturer's balance sheet. Don't mistake the iPad 2 to be a bargain device - it is an expensive toy on the lower end. But Apple doesn't force you to choose a one-size-fits-all tablet. If you need more choice, you can personalize your iPad 2 with colored covers, which would be my personal top reason to get the iPad 2 and not the original iPad. Choice is hidden value we tend to forget.
4. The Processor
This is one for geeks that provides some sort of investment protection (if you really buy this kind of argument.) We haven't seen any benchmarks yet, but we have heard plenty of reports that the iPad 2 is fast. Two cores tend to be faster than one, if applications support multithreading. There could be applications that tap into the horsepower and provide a much smoother user experience. And hey, two cores are twice the bragging rights of just one core.
The software and available applications are a big deal. 148Apps.biz tells us that there are currently more than 358,000 active apps in the App store. We know that there are tens of thousands of dedicated iPad apps. Compared to Android, there is an obvious application advantage. The new iOS software upgrade delivers Facetime, which won't work in the original iPad (well, duh! The old iPad does not have cameras) and there's now a personal hotspot feature that works with the iPhone 4. In the end, the iPad 2 itself will get boring pretty quick - it's the apps that will allow you to get value out of the device. At least for now, the iOS platform has the app advantage and future apps may be catering to higher performing processors.
Tablets like the iPad 2 are still luxury items and purchases are often guided much more by emotions than by cold reasoning. However, it does not hurt to think about the value proposition and which tablet would do the most for your needs, before you run out and purchase an expensive device simply because it has an Apple logo on it and Steve Jobs tells you that it's magical.