First Look: Apple's iPad 2

Posted:
in iPad edited November 2014
For its second generation iPad, Apple created a thinner, lighter device with faster processing and graphics, more wireless options, and both front and rear facing cameras.



Out of the box



Identified simply as "iPad" on the box, the new version is packaged with a USB Dock connector cable, a 10 watt USB wall adapter, Apple stickers, regulatory information and a user guide that consists of a card: one side depicting the buttons and connectors, the other side explaining how to plug it into iTunes.



The 3G UMTS version of the new iPad also include a simple tool for popping the SIM card out.











Design compared with the original



The new model has a thinner body with a tapered edges, rather than the square wall edge of the original. This makes it more comfortable to hold in the hand, in concert with its significantly lighter weight.











On page 2 of 3: Sporty handling through tight corners; Face down, as up.



Sporty handling through tight corners



The rounded edges mean that the Dock connector and headphone jack both leave an exposed edge of the jack exposed, but they're still compatible with standard headphones and Dock connector cables, even the original iPad Dock, despite the new shape.



While the exposed margin looks a little alarming, both headphone jacks and Dock connector cables plug deeply enough into the unit to prevent either from extorting a significant risk of bending.



Even the partially exposed Dock connector cable (middle photo, below) exhibits no tendency to pry upward and bust off the delicate internal connector, largely because the edge of the connector fits into the port enough to offset the force of any leverage.



There's also no play or looseness evident when using Docks designed for the original iPad.











The speaker grille has has also been updated to fit the slim new profile. The wake button, volume controls and screen orientation/mute switch are also integrated into the rounded edge, and have a natural, comfortable feel that appears more than capable of handling normal wear and tear.











Face down, as up



Face down, the new iPad looks to be about the same thickness as the square edge of the previous model (and iPhone 4), but its actually considerably thinner, as is evident from the slant of the phone when laid across the back of both models.







Laying on their backs, the difference in thickness is even more pronounced, with the original model appearing to levitate--or beginning where the new model stops. The thin new body doesn't feel fragile or flexible, however. It's rigid and solid, with no flex at all, tight seams, and a substantial feel, despite being light enough to lack the fatigue-inducing weight of the original model when held like a book for extended periods.







On page 3 of 3: Smarter cover; Stand up, lie down.



Smarter cover



Just as with the previous iPad, Apple has created a cover designed to protect and position it in either a tall or flat orientation. The new Smart Covers, profiled in detail earlier, are a nice improvement over the previous design.



The $39.99 polyurethane or $69.99 leather, magnetically retained iPad 2 Smart Covers ship in a retail package that doesn't require scissors to open. Instead, there's an adhesive-backed tab that holds the cardboard back of the box to its clear plastic front.



Unlike the original iPad's cover, the new Smart Cover doesn't add a lot of bulk or cover up the iPad's design; instead, it augments it with a tailor-made finish that snaps into place instantly, and peels back (or even off) just as effortlessly.









Apart from looking sharper and contributing toward a thin, clean appearance, the new Smart Covers are available in a broader range of colors and two finishes: a cheaper polyurethane (blue, green, orange, pink and grey) or a more luxurious "aniline-dyed Italian leather" (cream, tan, black, dark blue and red).







While the new Smart Covers don't "protect" the back, that's partly a feature, as the metal rear of the iPad should hold up to normal use without much scuffing (unlike the polished rear of most iPod models), so you won't need to deal with any extra thickness or the need to peel a more complex cover off of the unit to plug in adapters or docks. It was particularly annoying that the original iPad's cover couldn't remain on when plugging into the Dock designed for it.







Stand up, lie down



Rolled up into a triangle behind the unit, the new Smart Cover offers a more stable, hands free way to watch movies or play games; you can poke at the screen without knocking it over. The previous cover supported a similar configuration, but it required folding the back into a slot, and resulted in a rounded base that didn't confidently hold the iPad up very straight.







With the folded up triangle under the top edge laying down, the new cover presents a similarly solid typing surface, with less springy bounce compared to the previous design. It's quite solid, requiring a forceful push to dislodge the the back magnets from the iPad.







The self positioning nature of the Smart Cover works perfectly, and it does not appear likely that the metal strip that connects it to the iPad's edge will scratch or scuff the back. It's also clever that closing the cover automatically puts the device to sleep, and that opening it both turns it on and unlocks the screen (unless you have a security passcode set).



The cover peels up just like a paper back book. It feels a bit heavy to dangle open like the cover a magazine while using (imagine a magazine with a thin, segmented cardboard cover), but you can wrap it around back while using it. The Smart Cover doesn't stick the the back, but it does conveniently fold flat in half under your holding hand, virtually disappearing until you want to fold it back shut. Folded open this way, the cover also leaves the rear camera exposed for shooting video.







While the soft inside lining might prevent lots of dust from accumulating, it doesn't really clean the screen when you open and close it; the very shiny screen still requires a regular wipe to control the fingerprints and specs of dust, but unlike the previous cover, it's very easy to wipe the screen clean corner to corner without running into the cover's edges.



A more in-depth review of the new iPad will take a look at its unique software features and revised internals.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 78
    Actually the description of the Smart Cover makes me a lot more interested if I take the iPad plunge, particularly being able to fold back so it'll remain attached even when held like a magazine.
  • Reply 2 of 78
    whozownwhozown Posts: 128member
    Love mine, Apple does it right.

    Hurry up with white iphone
  • Reply 3 of 78
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    I can't wait to see what my iPad 2 looks like with it's pre-odered iPad 2 full-body Invisible Shield on. In other news, Apple is sending me a replacement iPhone 1, for a fee, lol. I'd rather save a few hundred euros and get an iPad 2. I'm waiting for iPhone 6



    This iPhone 5 mockup from Macrumors with it's same physical size, but 4" screen looks cool though:







    I however would like iPhone 5 to look like an iPad 2 Wifi, with a solid aluminum rear shell. Like a sleek extra-terrestrail body from the future. And while you're at it Apple - get rid of the dock connector-port, move to the cloud and build in inductive charging.
  • Reply 4 of 78
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post


    Actually the description of the Smart Cover makes me a lot more interested if I take the iPad plunge, particularly being able to fold back so it'll remain attached even when held like a magazine.



    Yah it's pretty neat.. You fold it into a triangle, it props the iPad up.. Either upright or mostly laying flat... You fold it all the way back it lays flush like a magazine, or if you fold it back, but then in half... The magnets clasp to one another and it's flush with itself, leaving the camera exposed.. Or, you can just remove it with a sm all tug. Pretty neat overall, but the only issue I see with it is dirt and hand oils and the tendency for it to transfer those things directly to your screen since you end up touching the inside of the smart cover itself a lot.



    The other neat thing it does is if when you peel it back you do it slowly or one panel at a time, the backlight starts dim, then steps up with each panel you roll back when initially uncovering the face of the iPad. It's pretty slick.
  • Reply 5 of 78
    While I've not yet held the iPad 2, I prefer the look of the original iPad. Although, my iPad is in it's case all the time, so I never actually get to see it, except when it's removed for cleaning.
  • Reply 6 of 78
    gordygordy Posts: 971member
    I was going to pass on the smart cover, but, okay...I'll drink.
  • Reply 7 of 78
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Any ideas why DED would put the original iPad in the case backwards and not fold the flap in for these pics? All that trouble to take nice close ups and missing that seems low rent to me.
  • Reply 8 of 78
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post


    Actually the description of the Smart Cover makes me a lot more interested if I take the iPad plunge, particularly being able to fold back so it'll remain attached even when held like a magazine.



    The magnetic attachment is pretty strong. You can let it hang without fear of it falling off. You can even hold and swing it by the cover (to an extent), but I wouldn?t recommend it. Anyway, I think the Smart Cover makes the iPad 2 great.
  • Reply 9 of 78
    jpcgjpcg Posts: 114member
    Can you tell if the sim card slot opener is made out of liquid metal, like the iPhone one?
  • Reply 10 of 78
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,755member
    Sounds pretty good on paper. But will anyone want to buy it?
  • Reply 11 of 78
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member
    Does it give BJ's too!

    how about when my iPad arrives on Friday I hope I can talk to it

    and have it telepathically know my every wish.



    lol

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jpcg View Post


    Can you tell if the sim card slot opener is made out of liquid metal, like the iPhone one?



  • Reply 12 of 78
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    This article read like an advertisement. Like Steve wrote it himself.



    Anyway....



    "While the new Smart Covers don't "protect" the back, that's partly a feature"



    WTF? Try to drop your iPad on the floor accidentely and see how good the 'feature' works!
  • Reply 13 of 78
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member
    I wish I still had my old Apple II - prefer that



    Appaently they are selling for $1500 on ebay



    This reminds me to keep this for 20 yers and sell it once it is a collectors item



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ltcompuser View Post


    While I've not yet held the iPad 2, I prefer the look of the original iPad. Although, my iPad is in it's case all the time, so I never actually get to see it, except when it's removed for cleaning.



  • Reply 14 of 78
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member
    I wish I still had my old Apple II - prefer that



    Apparently they are selling for $1500 on ebay



    This reminds me to keep this iPad for 20 years and sell it once it is a collectors item



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ltcompuser View Post


    While I've not yet held the iPad 2, I prefer the look of the original iPad. Although, my iPad is in it's case all the time, so I never actually get to see it, except when it's removed for cleaning.



  • Reply 15 of 78
    I think that aluminum back will wear or scratch eventually. Here are a couple of possibilities:



    Smartcover+Zagg back invisible shield or



    Speck's Pixelskin HD Wrap



    http://www.speckproducts.com/tablet-...ase-black.html
  • Reply 16 of 78
    aaronjaaronj Posts: 1,595member
    Got mine this morning, even though it was supposed to (according to the FedEx web page) arrive Friday.



    Oh. My. God. I love it. I spent most of the day downloading apps and playing with it, and it STILL has something like 37% battery. It's amazing. The apps are great. I've been rockin' out on Garage Band ... how fun!



    I've never bought anything so much fun in my life.
  • Reply 17 of 78
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    Sounds pretty good on paper. But will anyone want to buy it?



    Exactly. It's just a big iPod touch
  • Reply 18 of 78
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dacloo View Post


    This article read like an advertisement. Like Steve wrote it himself.



    Anyway....



    "While the new Smart Covers don't "protect" the back, that's partly a feature"



    WTF? Try to drop your iPad on the floor accidentely and see how good the 'feature' works!



  • Reply 19 of 78
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by uguysrnuts View Post


    I think that aluminum back will wear or scratch eventually. Here are a couple of possibilities:



    Smartcover+Zagg back invisible shield



    Are you reading my comments again?
  • Reply 20 of 78
    vrkiranvrkiran Posts: 110member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post


    I've never bought anything so much fun in my life.



    Good for you man, the world really needs happy people!!
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