Review: Apple iPad 2
The long-awaited update to Apple's game-changing tablet is a device well worth having, though only if you do not own an iPad already.
When the iPad launched last year, it changed things. Tablets already existed, of course, but none had the instant appeal and allure that Apple was able to offer. Since then a number of rival devices have come to market and many have been good; however none have been great.
The iPad 2 can be considered a baby step forward for Apple – taking that great device from last year and making a few minor adjustments to keep it competitive.
The device now sports a slimmer, lighter body, a faster processor and a couple of cameras. Beyond that, it is much the same as what came before. However, that is far from an insult as the original iPad really was a truly superb machine.
What makes the iPad 2 so great really is its software, which is so easy to use and logical that even a small child would feel at home with it. The device is always-on so there is no need to boot it up and wait, and its intuitive design makes it easy to use for so many things, from e-mailing to watching videos or playing games.
Out of the box, the iPad 2 has a handful of apps of its own – like the iPod, Photo gallery, Google Maps and YouTube apps. However, to truly unlock the power of the device you will need to take a trip to the app store itself to download some extra content.
Thankfully there is a wide variety of high quality apps out there, some free and some paid for, and all manner of topic and function is covered. Apps are an accessory of one sort, but in terms of physical add-ons Apple have also designed a 'smart cover' for protecting the iPad 2's screen. This clever piece of kit is a thin sheet of foldable plastic that uses magnets to act as a cover, as well as a prop and stand. It even locks the screen automatically when you close it over, meaning you will not waste any battery life.
On the issue of battery, the amount of time you get from a full charge on the iPad 2 is surprisingly good - even after heavy usage. It does seem to take some time to charge up, however, which is unusual nowadays.
Overall, the iPad 2 is great. However, if you already own an iPad you are not going to miss out on a whole lot by not upgrading; that is, of course, unless you really want a camera. However if you are thinking of getting a device like this there is still nothing better than what Apple have to offer.
The iPad 2 is available from store.apple.com/ie from €479 upwards.