Saturday, May 7, 2011

iPad 2 Review - Guy and Girl overview

To kick-start our brand new blog, I thought I would talk about the sold out and very much talked about iPad 2. 

Is it really worth the $499 price tag? Lets find out!

First off, the iPad 2 has an amazing design with edge-to-edge glass display that is nearly identical to that of the original iPad. So what did apple decide to do after inventing something that made millions of dollars?

The same thing they’ve been doing to almost everything in their product line up - making it smaller, thinner and more powerful. Some of the very important differences between the original iPad and the new revamped one are the noticeable thinner body with tapered edges. In my opinion, this is a double-edged sword, in that it makes it sexily thin, but at the same time almost too thin to hold in my hands comfortably. Although with an already lightweight aluminum body, it’s still not light enough to be a competitive e-book reader. The bezel of the device allows barely enough space for your thumb to rest there while the rest of your hand places awkwardly behind the device trying to support all its weight. Don’t get me wrong, this device is very portable and is absolutely amazing for light surfing, playing with apps, and video play, but you may want to start training your thumb if you want to use the iPad 2 without resting it on something while reading or even watching a video.

            The cameras are one of the most exciting new features about the new iPad aside from the processor (which I will be talking about a little later). It allows you to use video chat clients like Skype with the front facing camera (although as far as I know there isn’t a native iPad Skype app available, the iPhone app on the iPad works fine). Next? The video quality? I’ve been told it generates pretty much the same picture quality as my unibody MacBook pro. Having said that, it’s not particularly impressive. Now, onto the back camera. To be honest, they might as well have left it out because lets face it, no one is going to use the iPad as a camera. Granted, the beautiful display on the iPad makes almost every picture look great… except for pictures taken by the iPad itself. The pictures are horribly grainy in low light settings. It reminds me of pictures my 10-year-old camera phone use to take (ok maybe I’m exaggerating) but you get my point. It’s simply horrible and the videos are pretty much the same. So, unless you plan on having a professional lighting crew wherever you go, you might as well save up some money and buy a cheapo digital camera on clearance somewhere. It’ll take better pictures. I promise. 
            The screen encompasses a good 90% of the face of the tablet with nothing more than just a Home button underneath it. This simplistic design has spanned all the way back to Apple’s original iPhone, which has seemed to work fairly well for them.  The beautiful 9.7” IPS screen on the iPad truly sets it apart from many of the cheaper tablets out there. The accuracy of the digitizer is nothing short of amazing and the brightness of the screen is just right. The auto brightness feature on the iPad is a nifty little feature that adjusts the brightness of your screen depending on the lighting condition in your room. This saves energy but at the same time could be very annoying because of the sudden changes of brightness caused by a shadow on a sunny day or a sudden flash of light. The mirror like screen is something to love and hate at the same time. It gives it a high quality look but at the same time STRAINS your eyes. It reflects nearly all the light sources in your room on the iPad. If this bugs you as much as it bugs me, you might want to invest in a good matt screen protector.

            Without having the last generation iPad to compare, it’s hard to really tell you how much faster this beast is in relevance to it’s outdated brother. I do however have the iPhone 4, which uses the same processor as the original iPad (which may or may not be clocked at the same speed, I am unsure of whether or not Apple decided to underclock either of the devices to save battery). The new iPad has a brand spanking new dual core A5 chip which claims some pretty impressive performance increases while at the same time keeping it’s original battery life. The old A4 processor seems dreadfully slow in comparison with the A5. Not sure if the several weeks of using the A5 has spoiled me for my A4 or if it is just because my phone is getting old, but I can barely stand the lag on it anymore. The iPad 2 is lightning fast and I’ve sparsely seen anything slow it down. Simply put, it’s a beast.
   The aluminum backing on the iPad 2 is nice to look at…but something is missing. It makes you want to baby the device and rest it on something soft every time you put it down. You almost want to make a soft nest for it made of the finest/ softest material ever just so it doesn’t blemish. It needs a case. It’s a shame though because they’ve clearly spent a lot of time and money making the device look the way it does, but the aluminum just seems to be softer or more prone to scratches than my MacBook.
            The price? $499 is a lot of money. You can get a netbook with more power and greater flexibility that runs a full OS. But if that’s what you want, you’ve just spent a whole lot of time reading a review that doesn’t apply to you. The iPad is for the consumer who already has a computer and doesn’t need a second one. It’s for someone that wants to be able to carry about something light that allows them to surf the web or read lecture slides or watch a movie on it. Although Apple has gone out of their way to make apps that can do everything under the sun available for the iPad and iPhone, there are just some things that an iPad can’t do. Nevertheless if you’re in the market for a tablet that runs a mobile OS, then the iPad is really one of the best choices. There are dozens of competitors trying to fight for a piece of Apple’s tablet market share, but with what seems to me as some very incomplete strategies. They are counterproductive and ineffective as they are introducing iPad alternatives at higher price tags. Permitted some of these devices do offer A LOT in their package, but they’re forgetting it’s only a tablet. If people wanted a heavy-duty workhorse, they would spend the money on an actual computer, instead they want something portable and (in my opinion) relatively cheap and very functional. They want something that just works and Apple’s iPad is a great example of the marriage between technology and design.

So as I do not want to be a broken record, I will be adding here my opinions of the specs he has already mentioned instead of repeating them.
Now let's get a chick's POV shall we?

The iPad is stylish, portable, fun, and most importantly fool proof. The OS runs smoothly and efficiently making it the tablet of choice for those of us who don’t know much about technology but know that it needs to work. It works with the same format as the iPhone and the iPod touch which allows us a certain familiarity with the product. Apple’s uniformity in its products is what allows the everyday consumer to go “hey! I already know how to use this, that’s 15 min that I’ve gained NOT reading a manual.”

On the flip side, I have to say that I feel almost offended using it. Does Apple seriously think I'm this stupid that they couldn't kick up the device a notch? It's almost as if they holding back because they're worried the dumb asses won't understand. It reminds me of the monopoly for kids game, they took away all the parts that make monopoly fun because kids don't understand real estate.

Now let’s talk style. The iPad most definitively has style, suave, elegance… sounds like I’m describing James Bond. The question is how does something remain stylish when everyone has caught on to the trend? Accessorize! That’s right, because Apple is so popular, and so many people want to individualize themselves, a large array of accessories were born. You ever try finding a super cute and cheap case for another phone, mp3 player or tablet? it's virtually impossible I guarantee it. I am so envious of those who have the option of customizing their electronics. I know that there are skins out there, but skins mean nothing to someone like me who NEEDS a case for everything. So in conclusion iPad found a way to be used by many but aesthetically customizable.

The only real issue I have with the iPad 2 is that it is not jailbroken yet. To be honest, for its price tag, the iPad 2 is a really great piece of technology but factor in all the Apps that you have to pay for and it kind of weighs down your wallet. Look out for more app reviews to come.

Guy approved? YES
Girl approved? YES


michele was so right about the long hand part but i think this blog is absolutely great! its nice to get a feel of how girls thinks of tech stuff =) super cool how ur bf is blogging!!

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