Apple iPad 2 in review: flatter, faster, fly weight

May 1, 2011 2:46 pm1 commentViews: 2

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The first was iPad not just back any Tablet PC, but once again a revolution – and the prelude to a complete class. Without reinventing the wheel is really new, quasi-simple with an oversized iPhone, Apple has created a completely new market. And now is the plan with the iPad 2 is still one. What we like and who should buy it, the test reveals.

At first glance, the Ur-iPad and his successor differ only slightly. The new product is flat and now has two cameras, plus a few changes come under the hood, which will provide more power. But basically, everything remains the same, such as in terms of size, price, storage capacity and the ability to offer the product has.

Aside from the color, perhaps – because the new model is available with a white front. The other trim levels remain as before. Wireless internet is always there, UMTS’s fee, and there are three versions with 16, 32 or 64 gigabytes of flash memory.

The prices in Germany, Apple has not yet ruled. In the United States is changing but nothing compared to the previous: For $ 499 we go, 32 or 64 gigabytes of free storage each $ 100 additional cost to the smaller model, the integrated mobile phone costs $ 130. Approximately in this area we will move well in Germany – but in euros.

Design

IPad 2 is thin. It is so thin that it feels like a very different product category – 8.8 mm, which is thinner than the iPhone 4, all the competitors and of course as its predecessor. By comparison, the iPad 1 extends 13.4 millimeters in height. A half inch is not a small difference between them are worlds apart.

During the presentation we briefly worried about whether the case is now even flatter compromising on stability. But this was not justified: As before coming back is aluminum is used, see the electronic components into place. On the top sits a slice of real glass. The combination of glass and metal feels valued and seems to be as stable as the thicker by about 30 percent earlier. The Home button under the display remains unchanged by the way, while a tiny camera lens above the display has found its place.

The other controls and their position, we already know. , connecting passengers to the new model, it use the same blind at first. Volume and Mute switches are just where they already were. The same applies to the dock connector on the bottom. Only the front speaker grille extends now from the bottom up in the back of the tablet. The effect is a larger surface, which provides a significantly better sound quality.

Thankfully, the new Apple Tablet on accessories of the first version is compatible. Dock, adapters, speakers, cables, chargers, and so on to work as usual. Only covers one will probably have to buy new because of the changed dimensions.

Speaking: At this point, we also take a look at the new Smart Cover – cover for those iPad 2, Apple has designed and (of course) sold off an additional cost. Instead of a clunky cover of rubber, hard plastic or thick material here is an elegant, thin layer of plastic or leather used, which is available in different colors to choose from. The bright colors are made of plastic, in more noble (and expensive) leather more serious gray and beige tones and black and red are available. Apple calls prices in this case yet for the German market. We assume that the plastic cover will cost 40 and the leather cover 60 euros. A lot of money for a shell that is not really. It covers ONLY the top of the pad, while the aluminum back is unprotected from scratches and bumps. But it looks like good – and has, thanks to strong neodymium magnet. Very cool: the iPad detects when setting up the Smart Cover or decreasing – and then switches off automatically or on again. This works well in practice. Who wants to be patronized by Apple can not continue, but at least disable this function.

Practically, that the Apple’s own envelope and fold and use as a base can be. But anyone who puts an increased emphasis on the protection of the device should maybe stay closer to a classic carrying case that encloses the Tablet completely.

Facilities

Great are the differences from the predecessor, but inside are hidden but then some new highlights. Above all, register here, of course, the two cameras have their say. Both wish to take both photos and video. The rear lens has found its place right up where they are at least in portrait mode normally is not covered with the hand. Visually reminds us of the module to the camera of the iPhone 4th In both cases, the actual lens is surrounded by a ring of chrome, and in both cases, the video recording in HD-ready format (720p) is possible. Technically this is not, however, the BSI image sensor of the current Apple phones are used – which is reflected in the quality of the results that are more tailored to the current iPod touch in the fourth generation.

Too bad we do not find this but. Even a great 10-megapixel camera DSLR-level change would not justify a thing: It looks stupid if you use a tablet as a camera. And it feels like not much better. Nevertheless, at times quickly take a snapshot, that’s fine. And that is what is sufficient and the quality of the iPad-2 camera.

In practice, probably already are the second most used lens on the front to the user of the new Apple Tablet to enable video calls. For this purpose, Apple’s face time is used, those video chat software that we already know from her iPhone, and now also runs on the iPod Touch and Mac computers. The experience of video telephony is but with the Tablet again something completely different: The face of the other party does not appear small on the phone display, but is living large. And unlike the computer can keep the "face" in hand and carry around in front of him. But unfortunately,’s been left at the constraint: Video calls are only possible via WiFi.

Otherwise, mainly under the hood a lot done. Both a dual-core processor-A5, which will provide twice the computing and even nine times the graphics power in comparison to its predecessor. That should miss, especially the issue of gaming on the iPad a huge turbo, but also other multimedia features take advantage of the additional power.

Thus, there are now such as an HDMI output. Using an optional adapter, of course, but still: The iPad reflects the content of his then displays in Full HD on a connected TV or monitor. Limitations, we must add, however. Most of the apps and the video playback does not exceed 720p. But the issue is no longer limited to presentations and movies. It lands just about anything on the external display, including videos, photos, games and of course the menu of the home screen. That was until now one of the highlights of the upcoming Apple competitors, such as the Xoom from Motorola – and Apple moves right now.

Also new is the 3-axis gyroscope on board, we know from the current 4 and iPhone iPod Touch her. This makes the device more sensitive to movements, enabling, for example, more accurate control of games. Features

Cameras, HDMI output and gyroscope? Nice. But certainly not the only reason to buy, because even without these features has the first hot cakes iPad found. Certainly partly responsible is the simple, incredibly intuituve operation, which we know in principle in this form since the first iPhone and appreciate.

As usual quite a lot of small and large helpers are pre-installed, all perfectly adapted to the operation with the fingers. These include a web browser, music and video player, E-book Reader, YouTube client, e-mail software and so on. Who more, more, want more, has an almost uncountable number of games, tools, programs, and so on in the App Store to download, easy searchable directly from the pad or on the computer. And those who already have an iPhone or iPod Touch has all that software can easily copy onto the tablet.

His launch the new iPad waiting on the latest version of Apple’s IOS operating system. 4.3 is installed, with many new features – including photo booth self-portraits, the aforementioned face time, a new Safari browser with speed optimization, support for video streams, and so on.

What it unfortunately still does not exist – and probably not be in the near future even – is the support of Adobe Flash. This topic seems to want to sit out just Apple. And if the Flash is a good thing now or not: Such elements, menus and videos there are on almost all websites. As long as they are not with the iPad ansurft, because then remain Video Player & Co. simply empty elements to the relevant pages. Regardless of which must be admitted of course that the online experience with the iPad is one of the best we can imagine: smooth scrolling with a finger, just as fluid zooming with two fingers, the rapid switching between windows, fleet-loading times and so on . It must be. And it must be collected to measure the competition.

Regardless, the iPad 2 course is also Bluetooth 2.1 including support for stereo audio (A2DP) on board, according to the current WLAN N Standard – and a great battery that can withstand up to 10 hours of continuous use.

Does it have to be UMTS?

Who is constantly on the road or even at the thought once to have no Internet access is available, is pale, of course, have access directly to the UMTS or 3G model.

This is accompanied by a minimal weight gain, but also an associated cost. Other disadvantages compared to the pure wireless iPad must not be taken into account, but you should remember that it takes even an appropriate SIM card with data plan. IPhone-like 4 is a micro-SIM card is necessary. Almost all major mobile operators have different deals for frequent-and less surfers in the program. Of daily flat rates for a few Euros on monthly rates of different traffic limit has everything your heart desires.

If you already have a wireless service plan with data option, even under circumstances, a second SIM card now and fear no additional cost. Alternatively, it is possible with many smart phones, to enable a wireless hotspot. The so-called tethering uses iPad then the Internet connection of the mobile phone via wireless LAN. The only drawback is the increased power consumption of smartphones. Before buying a pure wireless iPads you should definitely remember to go without it on the GPS receiver. So who is dependent on the position, has no other option – for the precision of the location of wireless and extremely varied works in any case only if one has internet access available.

The bottom line is you could say that the wireless version is perfect for the living room. Those who want to use iPad on the go should definitely consider the UMTS version.

IPad 2 as E-book Reader

When Apple introduced the first iPad with the then new iBooks app, we were skeptical. Finally, the manufacturer koorperierte then only with a handful of editors, and not least, was that with an LCD instead of an e-ink displays Tablet equipped as thick as two Kindles from Amazon.

A year later the situation is somewhat different. The iPad has established itself as a reading medium and inspired many publishing for themselves. According to Apple, have already been downloaded more than 100 million iBooks. Even competing providers of e-book readers such as Amazon, have now made an quasikapituliert and Apps in the iTunes Store. And even in the magazines and newspapers is pretty much represented what the big names – from the mirror and the Süddeutsche Zeitung up to car racing and the Playboy. As for the number of available sources leaves little to be desired iPad.

When handling is noticeable that this is not the Apple Tablet is a full-time e-book reader, but an all-rounder. IPad 2 weighs no 3G radio module 601 grams, the Amazon Kindle 3G brings with 241 grams less than half on the scale. And even if the back-lit by LEDs IPS panel of distinguished iPad looks to the e-ink technology-rich LCDs just do not approach in terms of reading comfort. Another limitation of battery life. The Kindle 3G will create on average use of one month, Apple is after ten-hour shift in the shaft.

All of these "weaknesses" in spite of the iPad has blossomed into the successful e-book reader – and it will hit 2 iPad here not sure worse. Quite the contrary, with the much more slender body (8.8 compared with 13.4 millimeters), the Tablet presented in a better shape than ever.

What still is not iPad

Via the iPad is it to report a lot of good magic, but not Apple. Tablets are trying to combine the productivity performance of notebooks with all the convenience of smartphones, and yet fail gloriously about to replace even one of the two classes. This may even Steve Jobs – change anything yet – at least in 2011.

A notebook replaces the iPad 2 does not. Although we grew the Apple Flask really since its release a year ago to the heart, we appreciate the mobile computer with a mechanical keyboard more than ever. When typing text simply is nothing like a "real" keyboard, and editing photos and other documents do with a real mouse is simply much more convenient and more accurate of the hand with the fingertips.

A further point back in the Apple is far behind the traditional folding machines running Windows, Adobe Flash. Certainly there is a YouTube player, Vimeo player and so on – but who would occasionally daddeln some flash games or the trips to the World Wide Web is faced more often with a proprietary video player looks, literally in the cold. As a smart phone killer turns iPad 2 is also not out. First of all, because it quite simply does not fit in your pocket. Mobile phones can now much more than just vile phone calls – they are a part of our communication apparatus, and ensure that the vibrant world of social media in our veins. This works but only when the phone is always there. In his pocket, always at hand and not in the backpack.

To mention it would still be that even iPad 2 the 4G mobile standard LTE is not supported. That leaves Apple fans everywhere, the new Internet standard implies denying the time being. Several other manufacturers, including Motorola, Samsung, LG and RIM, have this year promised LTE-enabled tablet. Whether this year is the killer feature already, with the competition Apple will outdo? We do not know yet – but one should keep in mind it at all costs.

Apple’s ace in the hole

The integrated in any IOS device App Store is Apple’s secret weapon. Pretty much any tablet, the possibility of his newly minted owners of one or the other feature has to inspire. But to the user not only once but every day to conjure a smile on your face and permanently convinced of its own brand, a long-term Nachfluss of interesting and affordable Apps and games is required.

And that’s what Apple has done with the tools for developing tablet-optimized apps, since the launch of the first iPads are available. Since then, more than 65,000 apps developed specifically for the hip flask. Google, RIM and HP begin only now trying to encourage the development of apps for the larger displays: There is some catching up.

The quality and range of applications, the App Store has been found as a kind of inexhaustible fountain of youth for the iPad. Even before the user could ever come up with the idea to get bored, there are already tons of new features and applications for the Tablet by App. Not to despise is also the huge range of music, moving image content and books, all of which are operated with the same iTunes account. Make shopping of new content is as easy as you might imagine.

Meanwhile, Apple’s iTunes Store is the largest record store in the world – no one sells more music. There is also here with a new sound, films and series. As before, both the loan is available from 99 Cent and the purchase of digital content. In addition, podcasts, university lectures and music videos – all on a surface. Not a single competitor even comes close to this offer.

In other disciplines, however – such as e-mail, browsing, media playback, maps and contacts – most of the competitors were easily on par with Apple’s iPad. If the focus is not on apps, games and multimedia, there are lots of alternatives on the market. Who can do without the other apps, games and multimedia should perhaps consider whether it in fact a tablet to be.

Performance

All the skepticism about the manufacturer euphoric defiance: the iPad 2 represents an improvement dar. Even if the first was to beat iPad quite difficult in terms of overall performance, the new tablet is still a top. The system and the programs still feel a bit snappier on. Especially when starting applications and the multitasking, the faster dual-core beating heart is noticeable. IPad is 2 the dream of all gamers? Apple says there are more games than any other tablets, and many titles are moving in terms of graphics and story on a par with full-scale console titles. The new processor also extremely expensive to run games like Infinity Blade with an almost frightening performance. But no matter how fast the hardware is also the largest brake, the display resolution is 1024 by 768 pixels out. We hoped the iPad 2, a retinal display to be found, how is it used in the iPhone 4. But, Apple stands well on for next time.

Of course, not only determines the number of pixels, the quality of a display. Apple is like the first iPad back on an IPS panel. The display technology delivers outstanding viewing angles in every direction. Photos and videos look on the 9.7-inch screen is still great. In direct comparison to its predecessor, the color display seems a bit warmer. Contrast and black levels are moving in the same very good level.

Currently, the tested iPad 2 in the test lab of our American colleagues at CNET.com through its paces. Once our new results on games and browser performance and battery life are available, we will bring the review to date.

Is it worth the upgrade?

Anyone who actually wanted to buy the first iPad, but has been waiting wisely: Congratulations, made the right decision. IPad 2, everything has to offer predecessors – and more.

If one, however, just an iPad of the first generation in his hand, and assess the upgrade, it is the cautious and sensible answer: hands off. However, the iPad nunmal no reason a product but a high-tech toys with fun guaranteed. And who comes to the fun you want then just slam it. Right away and in batches.

A few niche applications, it certainly made where iPad 2 such progress has to be worth the upgrade for cautious buyers. For example, if the whole family only communicated through face time, then nothing has been left open an option – this function will create a software update for lack of camera never iPad in the first. And for some business users might represent the HDMI output to mirror a presentation on the beamer a killer feature.

All other iPad owners save more but the cost of probably around 500 to 800 euros depending on model. As long as you do not just swim in the money, it may be worth more, you wait for the iPad 3, which is then probably bring a much greater value than the first Apple Tablet – like a high resolution display.

Conclusion

Sets 2, the iPad tablet bar for 2011? No doubt. It has the most apps, the thinnest case, the longest battery life, a very competitive price and with the first iPad already hundreds of thousands of fans. The competitor with Google operating system and HP and RIM will make for an interesting market this year. But what we have seen so far, no one will soon take the sausage from Apple’s bread.

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