Amazon Kindle Fire
Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9
Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Amazon Kindle Touch
Apple iPad 2
Apple iPad 3
Apple iPad 4
Apple iPad Mini
Barnes & Noble Nook HD
Google Nexus 7
Google Nexus 10
Microsoft Surface RT
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Vodafone Smart Tab II 7
Apple iPad 2 Review
The Apple iPad 2 is the tablet everyone else is trying to beat. If you don't mind spending the money and you don't want to bother comparing details with other tablets, just buy the iPad 2 and be done with it. On the other hand, if you'd like to find out whether it's worth the money and is the right tablet for you, read on, because this review was written for you.
Looking at specifications isn't the way to evaluate an Apple product. Apple are masters of spin, and if you read Apple's description of the iPad 2 it's easy to be wowed by FaceTime, Photo Booth, iBooks and features that other tablets seem not to have. And Apple always give their product specs in different units to other manufacturers. Who knows if a screen with 132 pixels per inch is any good? Or if a 25 watt-hour battery compares well with other manufacturers' batteries that are always quoted in mAh? No, reading Apple's marketing material will get you no closer to understanding what the iPad 2 can do. To do that you need to pick one up and start poking it. So let's do just that.
The first thing we notice on picking up the iPad 2 is how sleek and well made it looks and feels. It's so tactile. It reeks of quality. It's also pretty large - not far off an A4 pad of paper, although at 8.8mm thick it's astonishingly slim for an electronic device. It weighs in at just over 600g. But bigger is better for a tablet isn't it? And it's not so large that it feels uncomfortable to hold. But you'll need a large bag to carry it around in, and you might feel uncomfortable getting it out to use in a public place. A smaller tablet like the Samsung Galaxy Tab might just be a better option in this respect.
But of course, there's a reason why the iPad is this size - it's the screen. The screen is a gorgeous LED backlit display measuring 9.7 inches diagonally. That puts it almost on a par with a small notebook computer, and it's a screen that's big enough to get some serious work done. Pixel-wise, the screen measures 768 x 1024 pixels. Since Apple are so fond of quoting pixels per inch, let's note that this works out at 132 pixels per inch, which doesn't compare favourably with the 330 pixels per inch of the iPhone 4 or even the 170 pixels per inch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab. But, to be fair, in the flesh it looks fine. In fact it's a good display, and big enough to make it feel more like a computer than a phone. It's also big enough to display HD 720p videos, which is a key advantage over smaller tablets.
There's no denying that when it comes to user-friendliness, iOS 4 is one of the most accomplished operating systems around. If the iPhone 4 is user-friendly, then by blowing up the screen, the iPad has become even friendlier. It's the details that make the difference. The way pages turn when you're reading ebooks (sorry, iBooks); the way you can swipe through your photo collection as if it really were a collection of printed pictures. Yes, the iPad may be capable of doing some serious work, but it's at its best when its doing some serious play.
With such a large screen, you need some meaty hardware to back it up, and the iPad 2 has it. At its heart is a dual-core 1GHz processor, which is fast enough to handle anything you can throw at it. There's plenty of memory too, with 512MB RAM and a choice of 16GB, 32GB or even 64GB models on offer, although the 64GB model is rather pricey.
As well as deciding how much memory you want, you'll also have to choose between the Wi-Fi version and Wi-Fi + 3G. The Wi-Fi version doesn't require a contract with a mobile network operator, as it relies on having a Wi-Fi network available for connecting to the internet. That means you'll only be able to access facebook, twitter, youtube and all the rest if you can guarantee being in a Wi-Fi zone. The Wi-Fi + 3G gives you the flexibility of accessing data via the 3G (or 2G) mobile phone network when Wi-Fi isn't available, but you'll have to take out a monthly contract with a mobile operator.
As well as Wi-Fi and 3G, the iPad 2 can connect to other devices wirelessly using Bluetooth (including Bluetooth headsets), or via its 30-pin connector port, which can plug into a USB connection on a computer. There's also a 3.5mm stereo audio connector for plugging in headphones. You can connect to a TV with an optional Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter. The digital AV adapter supports Full HD 1080p output.
The iPad 2 comes with a built-in Maps application. This works similarly to Google Maps and can display street maps, satellite imagery or a combination of both. You can also get turn-by-turn directions (for pedestrians, cyclists or cars), live traffic information, Street View and information about points of interest. The system works very well, with multi-touch zooming and finger panning across the screen. The dual-core processor renders everything rapidly for a satisfyingly responsive experience. You can easily bookmark locations or email a route to your friends. This is how all maps should be! You'll notice a difference here between the Wi-Fi only and the Wi-Fi + 3G versions, as the Wi-Fi version has less information available to it for pinpointing your location.
You can make video calls with your iPad 2. Apple call this FaceTime and act like they invented the concept themselves. The problem with FaceTime, though, is that you can only call someone else’s iPad 2, iPhone 4, new iPod touch, or Mac, and only over Wi-Fi. The front-facing camera can also record VGA resolution video or grainy 0.3 megapixel still shots, which isn't a lot of use really. There's a slightly better camera on the rear of the iPad, which can record video in HD resolution, but it's not a high quality camera, and for still shots its really quite atrocious. And you can probably imagine for yourself how hard it is to handle a camera that's the size of a small cushion. There's some compensation for the poor photo quality with the Photo Booth app, where you can embellish your snaps with weird and wonderful effects. "The fun keeps coming" according to Apple. Especially if you're drunk or aged about twelve or under.
We're in safer territory when it comes to music, because the iPad 2 is really just an iPod that's developed grand ideas. So downloading and syncing music using iTunes is a breeze, playback quality is excellent via stereo headphones (you can even have 5.1 surround sound if you buy an optional cable) and the big screen makes it easy and fun to manage your music collection. It's ideal for watching music videos too, of course, which brings us on to the media player. Now, this is a truly great feature, because there's nothing like a big screen when it comes to watching any kind of video - from a youtube clip to a full length movie - and if you add in the capability to watch in HD, then you're in for a treat. Add to this the ease of downloading video content from iTunes, and you'll find this one of the best aspects of owing an iPad.
iTunes is also the home of the App Store, and there are already over 65,000 apps made specifically for the iPad. Whether its games, personal organisers, or just time-wasting fun apps, you'll find it here. Probably. The main challenge is avoiding the dross, and for this you can use iTunes' Genius. We're also fans of the iBooks app, which connects you to the iBookstore, where you can iRead an iBook or an iMagazine or ... sorry, getting confused with all this iStuff, don't know when to iStop. Nearly forgot to say that the LED backlit display isn't quite as crisp as Amazon's Kindle for reading books, but it does have the benefit of colour!
The internet works brilliantly on the iPad 2. Apple's Safari web browser is good, and with multi-touch zooming you can swish around websites to your heart's content. With 1024 x 768 pixels, you probably won't need to do a lot of zooming, as most websites display normally, just like they would on a computer. It's a great experience being able to hold websites in your hands and poke them with your fingers to make them do things. You can also get easy access to sites like facebook, twitter and youtube on your iPad. It all works well, except for the lack of Flash video support.
With so much to play with, you'll be wondering how the iPad's battery holds up. You were wondering that, weren't you? The 25 watt-hour battery delivers up to 10 hours of continuous use between charges. The device can be charged via USB on a computer by or a mains adapter. You might be wondering how a 25 watt-hour battery relates to the mAh units normally quoted by manufacturers. We can tell you that it's a 6930 mAh battery, which is reassuringly huge, and seems to be right for the job.
So, the iPad 2 is an amazing collection of tech, tools and apps. It's almost like a demonstration of all that's cool in technology in the year 2011. It's definitely iconic. It's definitely cool to be seen with it. And it's surprisingly affordable too, at least the 16GB version. Here at Mobile-phones-uk.org.uk, we've taken delight in bashing Apple in the past, but even we have to admit that the iPad 2 rocks. Is it the best tablet in the world? No, because different people have different needs. But the iPad 2 will fill the needs of many. If we could change one thing it would be the cameras. But that's quite a small feature. We have to admit it in fact - the iPad 2 is a truly great product.
Features of the Apple iPad 2 include:
Apple iPad 2 User Reviews
Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it. This is a review site, not a forum, so please don't just ask questions. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!
Average rating from 20 reviews:
Reviewed by Ian from UK on 6th Sep 2012
Reviewed by King from Uk on 24th May 2012
Reviewed by King from Uk on 9th Mar 2012
Reviewed by Nazi from UK on 27th Feb 2012
Reviewed by Rav from UK on 10th Feb 2012
Reviewed by sridhar from india on 10th Feb 2012
Reviewed by Me from UK on 21st Jan 2012
Reviewed by AuzzieUk from Uk on 17th Jan 2012
Reviewed by mary o rily from ireland on 3rd Jan
Reviewed by Ryan from Wales on 29th Dec 2011
Reviewed by someone from somewhere on 26th Nov
Reviewed by John from Scotland on 13th Nov 2011
Reviewed by Jj dacay from Here on 12th Nov 2011
Reviewed by jake from england on 24th Oct 2011
Reviewed by Peter from Uk on 18th Oct 2011
Reviewed by minibraveheart from uk on 26th Aug
Reviewed by martene from usa on 21st Aug 2011
Reviewed by T.Partick from UK on 14th Aug 2011
Reviewed by Yoz aribaz from Uk on 8th Aug 2011
Reviewed by Phil from Uk on 21st Jul 2011
LinksApple iPad 2 16GB Black deals
Apple iPad 2 16GB White deals
Apple iPad 2 32GB Black deals
Apple iPad 2 32GB White deals
Apple iPad 2 64GB Black deals
Apple iPad 2 64GB White deals