Apple iPad 2 Review

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Value for Money

Apple iPad 2 in Laptops · Expect to pay £480


Laptops Thinks

The iPad 2 is nearing the 12 month mark and also more than likely replacement. However, it's still the top tablet around thanks to the longevity of the A5 processor, its great looks and lovely, smooth, intuitive operating system

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• Beautiful Design
• Great Operating System in IOS5
• A5 Processor is still fast
• App Store is larger than any other for tablets


• Dated Screen
• Cameras are poor and let the tablet down
• New Model Released


With its first birthday on the horizon and the increasing chatter of a new iPad 3 , the iPad 2 may soon be pushed from the fore of the tablet market. However, this doesn't mean it's still not the kingpin. Even now as the quad-core tablet market is emerging fast; iPad still holds more than half of all the tablet market share at this current time - which speaks volumes for its quality.

Priced as a premium product - what would you expect from Apple - it still offers an excess amount of power thanks to the still excellent A5 chip. It's also the design leader, with most tablets aiming to undercut, the 8.6inch design of the iPad 2, while emulate its beautiful minimalist design.


This slimness comes at no cost to the slate's strength, and the aluminium back of the iPad 2 allows for both this rigidity and also means none of those horrible fingerprint marks that irritated on the original and still a number of other tablets.

The 9.7inch display is smaller than the 10.1inches of most Android tablets, as is the device's weight of 601g. Out of all the tablets in existence, it is probably the most attractive, essentially due to the slim size, beautiful lines and simple fascia. Apple's Zen like minimalism leads the field, and to be frank many other devices feel like iPad 2 wannabes.

Its front is centred with the renowned Apple home button below the screen and a camera is placed the top front centre and also the rear corner. Though similar to many others it just feels it's that bit more innovative than the other tablets on the market. The bezel around the screen is the size you would expect and though the display isn't the quality, we'd like to rant about; it's still okay.


The iPad 2 comes with the same 1024x768p screen as the original, which was once an admirable display, however, time has moved on and Samsung and Motorola have surpassed the iPad screen with brighter displays with higher resolutions. Apple's device offers 132 pixels per inch, which when compared to the iPhone's 326 pixels per inch is notably low. It's even memorible when you compare the Samsung Galaxy 8.9 offers a pretty high 169 pixels per inch.

Of course, pixel counts are not the be-all and end-all of screens and the iPad 2 has excellent colour rendering and looks brilliantly bright and accurate. Unfortunately the low pixel count means it can lack when reading text and isn't brilliant in bright light.

The device obviously comes with Facetime, though its cameras are at best lacklustre and the tablet comes with a 0.7mp and 0.3mp set of cameras, which are to be honest laughably bad. Pity as if they were better Facetime would be fantastic. This is a shame considering its intuitive design and plenty of power. One thing we did not about the display was that it attracts finger marks like it does sales, though the latter is down to the seamless performance of the iPad 2.



Upon its release, last March, iPad 2 was among the first tablets to come with a dual-core processor. The Apple A5 is a 1GHz CPU that performs admirably still. It's now the brainpower of the iPhone 4S, which manages to thrash most other's in its wake. The iPad 2 comes with a healthy, but not astounding 512mb of RAM; most other tablets come with 1GB nowadays, though this doesn't really show in performance.

Apple's claimed that the device is twice as fast as the original and has nine times the graphical power and to be honest it feels like it does. The iPad 2 is everything the original iPad should have been and wasn't. From handling the iPad 2, it's evident the performance increase is very notable, and it's a great deal smoother and the graphical abilities a lot more prevalent. There are more powerful machines, though the iPad just seems the smoothest of the bunch, banishing the Sony S Series and Samsung Tab 8.9 into place as as alsorans. This of course is a triumph of the iOS 5 operating system over powerfulhardware.

IOS 5 is a sleek mix of great layout, performance and sound innovation. It brings a number of new features not seen on iOS 4.3 and is notably smoother than Android. It might not offer the customisation options, but for the legions of Apple fans out there who don't question theCupertino's crew, this won't be of consequence. Great Apple features such as iCooud Airplay, iTunes Home Sharing and a number of others allow it to surpass anything on other operating systems.

Apple has offered the iPad in a mix of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB options with the opportunity for 3G, or Wi-Fi models. It doesn't come with the choice of adding extra memory via SD card like others, so your decision in this area will have to be made upon purchase. This is where the choice of Wi-Fi or 3G enabled device also has to be made.

Browsing on the device is lovely, as we've already mentioned, the iPad 2 is a very fluid affair, and the new processor means greater pace and nice, smooth pinch to zoom actions. Connectivity is achieved in the usual range of manners via Bluetooth and there are more accessories from the manufacturer and third parties than can be imagined.

Battery life is pretty kosher, and the tablet manages about 6-8 hours in a Wi-Fi surfing environment with a bit of downloading and some playing of games. There is no hint of a battery issue caused from the new processor, and it's an admirable experience.

Overall the iPad 2 is essentially what the original should have been. It's got some issues as regards its poor cameras, low display pixel count, and shows its age a little as we enter 2012. However, it's still the top notch tablet, thanks to its great operating system, the power of its processor and beautiful innovative design.
There are tablets to rival it, but nothing to equate it -  even 12 months on. With the biggest competitor looking like it will coming from Apple's own stable quite soon, we'd suggest to hold on for the iPad 3 which should arrive in the next couple of months.
Other's have tried to create better machines through the use of more complex setups, larger reserves of  power and more gimmickry. However, as they always say ' there's no accounting for class!' 



241x186x8.8mm cm
607 kg
Operating System
Apple OS


1 gHz


Standard Memory
32 GB
Maximum Memory
64 GB


Screen Size(cm)
Screen Size(in)
9.7 "
Screen Resolution
1024x768p px
Aspect Ratio


Graphic Card
Graphic Memory


Hard Drive
Optical Drive

Cache Memory



USB Ports
Card Slot

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