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Should you be queuing up for the iPad2?

Last updated on: May 9, 2011 10:41 IST

Should you be queuing up for the iPad2?

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Priyanka Joshi

There are plenty of reasons to own the Apple iPad2. However, if you already own an iPad, there may not be enough reasons to upgrade.

Who should buy the iPad2?

Those who want easy access to the internet on the move and are avid multi-media users, a tablet device makes for a good choice.

The iPad2 has a catalogue of 65,000 dedicated applications, promises a 10-hour battery life, an enhanced operating system and the facility to make video calls, but maintains the same price tag as the first generation iPad.

While we agree that the iPad2 is a step ahead of the iPad 1, if you already have an iPad, there's really little rationale in upgrading.

We feel that owners of the original device should hold onto it for another year or so until the next generation of tablets hit the market.

Those still lugging notebooks to vacations or office trips, should head to the demo units at Apple stores.

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Image: A staff member holds the Apple iPad2 at the Apple store in London.
Photographs: Luke MacGregor/Reuters
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What to do with the iPad2?

Equipped with a dual core processor, which makes it a credible device for creating multimedia content, the iPad2 can be your standalone computing device.

We have maintained that the iPad is primarily superior to any other product out in the market because of the apps. It has more apps than the Android, BlackBerry, Symbian or Windows Phone 7.

According to Apple, dedicated tablet applications on its app store are now close to 65,000. Even if you choose to download just the free apps, you would have ample content to keep you engaged.

The iMovie editing suite and Garage Band apps show off what the iPad is capable of - creating tunes, editing videos or adding audio clips to your vacation images is just a touch away.

Even if you have never tried editing your videos or adding music to your slideshows, you will have no problems doing so on your iPad2, thanks to the apps.

There's still no USB, SD card-reader, Flash support and no removable battery and while it may be unfair to expect these features from Apple - it's clear that rivals like Samsung, Acer, Sony and Motorola are delivering on the features front.

The iPad2 comes with an HD connection kit (though it costs extra). Simply, plug on the iPad to your television and watch shows or surf on a larger screen. Imagine watching YouTube videos or your Powerpoint presentations on TV.

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Should you be queuing up for the iPad2?

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How is iPad2 better than the iPad1?

The iPad2 is significantly faster than the iPad 1 especially while running CPU- and GPU-intensive functions. The credit goes to the new 1 GHz dual-core A5 processor that powers the iPad2

Although the screen size and resolution remains the same (9.7 inches and 1024 x 768, respectively), since iPad2's graphics chip pumps out visuals nine times faster, you can expect to see an impressive rendering of apps and games.

We noticed that the hardware improvement on the iPad2 allows better speeds while exploring virtual worlds or scrolling through simulated landscapes than the iPad 1.

The iPad2 is 15 per cent lighter (607g down from 730g of iPad 1) and 33 per cent thinner than its predecessor. Numbers aside, the new 8.8-mm thick iPad2 is a beauty to hold.

While you may argue the quality of the camera on the iPad2 - the front-facing camera is a VGA and the one on the rear does not hit the 1-megapixel mark - the images that you capture on your tablet PC are not bad.

They are not sharp but they are good to share. Clearly, Apple didn't design this device for taking high-quality still photos but it is ideal for video chatting with friends.

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Image: Steve Jobs at the launch of iPad2.

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What makes the iPad2 better?

It was Apple that revived the tablet PC industry with the launch of the iPad last year.

Having witnessed the overwhelming consumer reaction to iPad1, the competition spurred into action and launched its own tablet PCs hoping to cash in on the emerging opportunity.

Second, no one can claim an app store with 65,000 tablet-ready apps. Most of the Android-supported tablets give access to smartphone apps from the Android market place and that's simply not good enough.

According to the specifications available, Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 seem to be technically superior devices and the Android 3.0 Honeycomb (tablet-ready version of the OS) that comes pre-loaded has also been received positively.

What remains to be seen is how soon these devices will be available in India and at what price range.

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Image: Motorola Zoom.

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How much will you have to pay?

Entry-level model of the iPad2 costs Rs 29,500 (16GB' only Wi-Fi) while the 32GB Wi-Fi-only model is priced at Rs 34,500 and the 64GB Wi-Fi model comes for Rs 39,500.

The iPad2 with Wi-Fi and 3G is between Rs 36,900 and Rs 46,900 for the 64GB model.

Don't forget to add that chic Smart Cover - available in a range of colours in vibrant polyurethane or rich leather for Rs 2,100 and Rs 3,800 respectively - to complete your iPad2 buy.

If you are planning to buy your first iPad, then choosing between a Wi-Fi and 3G model might seem like a daunting task. The answer is simple: If you have an iPhone then it makes sense to purchase a Wi-Fi-enabled iPad2 and tether the iPad to your iPhone using the new HotSpot feature in iOS 4.3.

But why pay an extra premium for the 3G unit that could a punch a hole in your pocket while paying the monthly data charges, when you can simply tether your tablet PC to your iPhone?



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