Apple yesterday delivered the details on the iPad 2, now that the hyperbole has died down, what does it all mean to potential purchasers but also to existing owners of the iPad such as myself?
The biggest difference between the old and new model is the chip that powers the iPad has been upgraded from the A4 to the new A5 processor, the chip is faster, better at handling graphics and most importantly is dual core, so the multi tasking introduced in the last firmware update should be much smoother. The size and weight of the iPad 2 are also improved with 33% shaved off the thickness and a 15% decrease in weight. Other significant changes include a more sensitive touchscreen, that can sense how hard you are pressing on the screen, which will be cool for certain apps and games and the inclusion of front and rear facing cameras. The front facing face time camera is at vga resolution and the rear facing can capture video at 720p, so very similar to the iPhone and iPod touch. I almost forgot, you can now have the choice between a black or white bezel around the screen, wow!
The iPad 2 will be available to buy in the US from March 11 and in the UK from March 25. Already people are trying to make a quick buck selling pre-orders on ebay.
So where do current iPad owners stand now? I don't feel the need to rush out and replace my iPad with the new version, this is an evolutionary update of the device, rather than a revolutionary change.
I don't understand the need for the rear camera at all, it would be so awkward to use on such a large device that it seems completely pointless to me. The face time camera I get, but I would never use so nothing to worry about there for me. The extra sensitivity on the screen could be really good, but depends on the apps using it.
The only thing that worries me is the speed of the new processor and the improvement in graphics, it will really piss off iPad owners if new apps start appearing that will only work on iPad 2, this issue needs to be handled carefully Apple.