Despite some flaws, the iPad 2 is the best tablet on the market at this time, offering high-end performance and a well rounded experience.
Sleek design; fast performance of applications and internet; excellent battery life
No adaptors included; no Flash support; poor cameras
241 x 186 x 8.8mm, 613g, 1GHz dual-core A5 processor, 9.7in 1,024 x 768 LED backlit screen, 16GB/32/64GB flash storage, 802.11b/g/n, optional 3G/CDMA connectivity, accelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor, 3.5mm headphone jack
The iPad 2 has proved just as popular if not more so than its predecessor, with reports suggesting that stocks across the UK ran dry 24 hours after launch.
V3.co.uk was lucky enough to get its hands on one of the coveted 64GB 3G UK models and, after a good 72 hours of testing, we share our thoughts about how it stacks up against the original iPad.
There are a handful of key areas where the iPad 2 outperforms the original tablet. The redesigned chassis is the most obvious change, with our 64GB model weighing in at 613g, a full 117g lighter than a comparable first generation model.
Despite the reduced weight, the device is still far from light enough to hold in one hand for prolonged periods. Still, with a 9.7in screen this is to be expected and the device is easy enough to handle with both hands and is comfortable when placed on a lap.
Measuring 241 x 186 x 8.8mm, the newer model is much thinner than the 243 x 190 x 13mm original, making it easier to grip and allowing it to slip into the narrowest gaps in a bag.
Apple has kept the solitary home button at the bottom of the screen, with the only other additions being two cameras. There is a front-facing VGA webcam, which allows tablet users to use the FaceTime video calling software, and a 0.7-megapixel camera on the rear of the device, minus a flash.
Although these additions are welcome we are disappointed that Apple did not add a high-end rear-facing camera as images appear extremely grainy. The quality of the VGA webcam is passable and the Photo Booth app, which manipulates pictures in real time, is a good feature.
However, FaceTime was a let-down with the image on the iPad appearing jerky and distorted during our tests. This is a feature that could have and should have been better
The iPad 2 ships with iOS 4.3 so users can wirelessly stream music and video via Airplay and remotely locate devices using MobileMe. An iOS 4.3.1 update is also available to download, which fixes some minor bugs and connectivity issues.
The onscreen keyboard is near identical to its predecessor and Apple does not seem to be moving forward as quickly as Android when it comes to improving this feature, for example the addition of keyboard shortcuts.
In terms of the applications, the iPad 2 doesn't offer anything that will not work on the original tablet. However, this could change as developers create apps that use the enhanced graphical capabilities of the second-generation device.
Enterprise-friendly features include support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and VPNs. IT administrators will also have the ability to set policies and manage devices remotely.
The iPad 2 also offers multi-tasking, but this still resembles applications switching rather than true multi-tasking, which will be seen on the BlackBerry PlayBook.