Axew's iPad 2 review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by chris888222, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. chris888222

    chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

    Oct 11, 2010
    This review is going to lack images mainly because of the format quality. I just don't like it. :glare:

    Anyways, I promised this review awhile back. So here you go! :P
    • Words in bold (except for the starting, conclusion and should I upgrade) - mainly point out pros.
    • Words in Italic (except for the starting, conclusion and should I upgrade) - mainly point out cons.
    I apologize for any grammatical mistakes or whatever. In this review I will not cover on the power of the iPad.

    What the heck is this... I don't even...

    iPad 2 is a tablet computer designed by Apple Inc. It is the successor to the iPad 1 (or iPad first generation) and features a dual core A5 chip and cameras while retaining the same 10 hour battery life. It is also about 33% thinner and somewhat lighter than the iPad 1.

    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    Courtesy of

    Well... :unsure: Is it really that thin and light?

    I have to admit, the iPad is a fabulous piece of hardware. A dual core processor, 10 hour battery... But all this should make the tablet thicker right? Wrong! To my surprise, it is really thin. The tablet feels great on the hand and its convex back makes it easier to hold as well. It's really a pleasure holding the iPad and using it to browse the web.

    There have been complaints that the Apple logo keeps getting scratched on the original iPad and that the tablet wobbles on a smooth flat surface. These problems have largely been solved with the iPad 2. Mine doesn't get scratched and doesn't wobble (unless you deliberately press it hard by the sides).

    In contrast, the iPad 2 is still rather heavy. Holding it with only one hand will cause it to be sore after using for a long time (say, half an hour?). Sometimes, you really need to hold it with one hand (for not too long), so that's not very good. Nonetheless, it is still slightly lighter than the original iPad.

    Of course, different people have different perceptions on thin and light. :P

    Okay... Are speeds fast? :P

    Again, people have different views on fast. Of course if you want to compare it with a laptop/PC, it is definitely not as efficient.

    The iPad 2, despite reports claiming that it is underclocked to 850+ MHz, is noticeably faster than its predecessor. An example: The GBAtemp home page took about 8 seconds to fully load on the iPad 1, but only took 4 - 6 seconds on the iPad 2. Both systems have everything on the browser deleted - including the cache.

    A huge downside though, is that the browser lacks Adobe Flash and Java. At that time, Flash was still in production for mobile and HTML5 wasn't that advanced yet. Adobe Flash for the tablet would be cool and adds on to the pleasure of surfing the web on the bigger screen right in the palm of your hand.

    Let's talk about other speeds now. Menus load faster by a couple of seconds, the AppStore loads very quickly... basically everything loads pretty much faster than the iPad 1, largely thanks to the dual core processing :lol:

    Here's an online video on what I mean by the speed difference.

    The display? Awesome? :P

    Yes and no. The display looks awesome from a point that it is huge and easy to handle with. The display is also not awesome because of the low resolution. The iPad 2 does not have a resolution bump and retains the 1024 X 768 display at 132ppi. Compared to the iPhone 4, it looks like a whole league away. Still, I'd prefer a larger screen. The graphics aren't that bad either and most tablets have graphics around this range.

    Also, the display looks quite bad under bright conditions. I had to increase the brightness a lot when I am using it outdoors.

    How about battery life?

    The iPad 2, surprisingly, has very good battery. I clocked in about a whole afternoon of web browsing/games with Wi-Fi on, location off, 3G off and the battery dips to the 40% range.

    I'll be honest. This is the first Apple product which I do not need to change every single day. :P

    I heard that typing on the iPad has always been a pain :O

    Unfortunately, that is true. Typing on the iPad alone can prove quite a challenge as you need to really put it on the tabletop or use just a hand to type while holding it (as stated before, the iPad 2 is kinda heavy). Apple, somewhat fortunately, has came out with a solution known as the Smart Cover. The cover can act as protection for the front screen and make the iPad turn into a stand for movies and typing. But, this stand costs a hefty $39/$69 USD depending on desired material and there have been reports of color stain, especially on the white iPad 2. What more, the stand only works well on a tabletop. Holding on the hand just makes it a protection cover.

    Cheer up though, with iOS 5 and the introduction of the split keyboard, typing while holding is made much easier. The only downside this way is that the iPad 2 cannot be jailbroken, even tethered, until the jailbreaking team find a way. The iPad 2 has yet to be jailbroken easily (with the exception of Jailbreakme, which works only on iOS 4.3, untethered) since launch.

    iPad runs on iOS!? The same OS as the iPod/iPhone!?!? :O :O

    Yes, the iPad runs on iOS and not OS X. The latest firmware release of iPad is iOS 5.0.1 which is basically iOS 5 with battery fixes (There are certain battery consuming glitches on iOS 5) and possibly tighter security. iOS 5 introduces brand new features exclusively for iPad, namely multitouch gestures, split keyboard and tabbed browsing (no Siri though, even though it uses the same A5 chip) which greatly enhances the browsing experience.

    Just a side note: Multitouch gestures can actually be unlocked in iOS 4.3 (with or without a jailbreak) and iOS 4.3 is, up to date, the only firmware which can be jailbroken on the iPad 2.

    I want to take PREEEEEETY PICTURES on my new iPad 2!!! :lol: :lol:

    No no no no and NO. The iPad 2 may include two cameras - one front and one rear, but both cameras are of bad quality. Photos come out grainy on the big screen, and there is no LED Flash either. You'll be better off taking quality photos from the iPhone 4/4S/another device, and sending them to the iPad via various means like email, connection kit or iCloud, which gives 5GB free storage on iOS 5/Mac OS X Lion.

    On the other hand, video calling/facetime on the iPad 2 is awfully good. The bigger screen changes the experience altogether and it just feels so awesome, even better than chatting on a laptop personally. Downside though, facetime is limited to Wi-Fi, though there are various 3rd party apps for video calls.

    What a bummer, can you tell me about the connections? It should be good right? Steve said iPad was a post-PC device. :O

    Even though Steve did mention that the iPad was post-PC, the iPad 2 is literally shit when it comes to actual connections. It only has a proprietary 30-pin connector and nothing else. If you want HDMI output you need adapters if you want USB connection (which, by the way, is AWFULLY LIMITED to certain appliances, although some have said that external memory devices and keyboards work) you'll need another adapter known as the iPad camera connection kit.

    tl,dr: You need adapters and they are expensive.

    These adapters are very costly to purchase but sometimes just required to do certain tasks. For display however, you can use AirPlay on Apple TV and you can print wirelessly with AirPrint or any other Wi-Fi printer using third-party applications such as PrintCentral. (USB printers - by the way - do NOT work)

    Wireless connections, on the other hand, are simply good. Like mentioned above you can do a lot of stuff wirelessly. The iPad has two versions - Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + 3G, and both have very good Wi-Fi receivers. The 3G version supports A-GPS, 14.4 Mbps HSDPA as well as a compass.

    Should I upgrade?

    This is a question many ask. Should I upgrade to an iPad? Should I get an iPad? Should I replace my 5-year PC with an iPad?

    If you own an iPad (First Gen): You might want to consider. The iPad 2 is definitely faster than the original, more powerful than the original and definitely more efficient than the original. The iPad 2 has double the RAM as well, which work great for multitasking. Of course, you are fine with the original. The only things you'll miss are the cameras (which aren't that brilliant by the way) and the efficiency.

    If you own a 1 - 2 year old PC/laptop: Worth it if you only have extra money to bust. Get what I mean?

    If you have a failing PC/laptop and you're a casual user: It will be worth. The iPad is really portable, efficient in web browsing and has various apps to discover. You will not be typing/programming too much anyway, so it's quite worth the deal. But of course, if the laptop is only slightly more expensive, go for the laptop. It has much more features and stuff.

    If you have a failing PC/laptop and you're constantly using it to do stuff like gaming/typing docs etc.: No. The iPad isn't meant to be a gaming machine at all. It is meant to be a piece of tech in between smartphones and computers. For typing even, the keyboard dock for iPad is overpriced and typing it on the screen itself can be rather tedious. Just get a laptop/PC which already comes equipped with a proper keyboard.

    By the way, unlike certain Android tablets which have Polaris Office, Office does NOT come with the iPad. You'll need to buy iWork (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) it from the App Store. Each app costs $9.99.


    The iPad 2 is a great tablet from Apple. It's ultimately slim, lighter and has much better performance. Of course it does have flaws, which we hope that will be corrected in the next possible tablet.

    Main Pros:
    • Huge IPS Capacitive Touchscreen
    • Awesome browsing experience - very quick and handy with iOS 5
    • Best for the casual user
    • Not too expensive compared to other Apple products
    • Good battery life
    Main Cons:
    • Camera quality is poor
    • Smart Cover is a nice add-on, albeit expensive and does not come with the system
    • Adapters are needed for a better 'post-PC' experience
    Overall Rating for iPad 2: 8.5/10
  2. SamAsh07

    SamAsh07 GBAtemp Addict

    Jan 27, 2009
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Nice review! I'd give this an 8.5 myself (No I don't own it, have used it)
  3. chris888222

    chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

    Oct 11, 2010
    Aww thanks. :)
  4. wasim

    wasim ♫ Music addict ♫

    Nov 13, 2010
    Nice review

    The screen resolution which my PC use.
  5. rockstar99

    rockstar99 Hi

    Dec 3, 2008
    Good review but it's overpriced but eh.. all Apple shit is right?
  6. chris888222

    chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

    Oct 11, 2010
    Thanks :) and haha same as mine. :lol:

    IPS sucks under bright settings though.

  7. gtmtnbiker

    gtmtnbiker GBAtemp Regular

    Oct 16, 2008
    United States
    Nice review. I have an iPad 2 myself and love it. I used to use my laptop to read news/books/emails. It was heavy and hot so the iPad 2 is great for that stuff. Yes, typing is not that good but as long as you don't do a lot, it's ok.

    Gaming is fun on here. I've already played Plants Vs Zombies on the PC & DS but I bought it for the iOS. It's a great game. I'm also enjoying Breakout BOOM!.
  8. FlashX007

    FlashX007 GBAtemp Maniac

    May 3, 2009
    United States
    Your review is great however I want to debate as to if this is truly worth your money? I have been looking around and I have crossed both tablets and I have come up with the fact that the new tablet Sony has come out with is overall better than the iPad. Well I can't include everything as to why because in general there will always be Apple fans but Sony's tablet is worth the money. The new Sony Tablet S is amazing. It runs on Android OS yes but Android OS is completely customize-able which iOS fails in. The lack of customizing is a big difference non the less. Also the Android OS is almost close to offering everything the iOS offers or more or even more exclusive things but thats not why I suggest considering before buying based on reviews. The Tablet S is basically different in quality all around. The build and the design. It offers better visuals and its design is unique and quite comfortable. Also the cameras are bigger in megapixels so you will get better shots and videos with the S. Also the number 1 difference that will make me choose the S over iPad 2 is the fact that the S includes flash. Yes FLASH. This is a big difference for me but I just thought I would comment.

    Great review but I suggest you include more details such as the design and internal differences and much more. Keep up the good work though.
  9. KingdomBlade

    KingdomBlade Blade v3+ (I R SHMEXY)

    Apr 24, 2009
    In Vulpes' Fur
    Rockstar, just cause something's overpriced does not necessarily mean that the product is bad. Apple products are actually all good, and they're very well made. In fact, OSX is probably the ideal OS for amateur media editing and the like. Sure, they're overpriced, but as products they're not shit at all.
  10. kthnxshwn

    kthnxshwn Banned

    May 2, 2010
    United States
    Oh language barriers. How I love you so.
  11. chris888222

    chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

    Oct 11, 2010
    "Truly worth the money" is awfully opinion-based. Some find Apple products super awesome no matter reason/price. Some like me only use the laptop for serious typing/movie watching but other than that it's web browsing. Some just need a computer for serious programming or whatever else. S$668 - truly worth the money - depends on different perspectives.

    To me I find the iPad really worthwhile because I'm pretty much a casual user. I can also view my docs on the go with just a thickness of half a book. I actually paid S$998 for my iPad + 3G and didn't regret it. My bro is using the Tablet S and it's fantastic as well - with yes, flash support. It also runs Android OS, open to all. It's downside to me is the sluggish response to tilting.

    And yes, I will note those stuff in my coming reviews. Been catching up with projects recently, so not much time for a proper review. :P
  12. shooting5

    shooting5 Newbie

    May 11, 2012
    United States
    A little Confused
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