The New IPad 2: specs and comparisons

It’s been only a few days since the iPad 2 has been available to purchase and if you don’t have one in your possession, you are out of luck for a few more weeks. Apple is reporting that they sold out of all their stock of iPad 2s over the weekend–that means 1 million iPad 2s have found new owners. Most of these customers, it is also reported, were new customers. So, what makes it great and why did it fly off the shelves?

First let’s talk about the features that are completely new to the iPad 2 : Thinner size. The front-facing camera is a popular component, it allows users to join in on video chat and conference easily. The rear-facing 720p camera is also a great addition because the previous iPad did not have a camera at all. The dual-core processor is a needed evolution to stay competitive with the other tablet computers that are trying to break into the market. The majority of competing devices have beefed up processors and Apple needed to do the same. Motorola’s Xoom, seen as the only tablet that currently compares to the iPad 2, has a NVIDIA Tegra dual core processor.

The gyroscope is new to the iPad 2, but was first seen on the iPhone 4. Simply, the gyroscope together with the device’s accelerometer improves motion sensing accuracy and allows the iPad to measure in which direction you are moving/rotating it in space, how much and how fast. This will certainly mean a greater development of motion sensing games such as accurate driving games. This is good news to those who turn to their smartphones or tablet computers for a little stress relief–more apps means more time wasted, right?

Lastly, the thinner size of the iPad 2 makes it feel more like the earliest versions of the iPhone. It’s curvier edges and lighter weight make it easier to slip in your hands.

Now let’s talk about what some expected to find on the iPad 2 and didn’t. First, still no Adobe Flash. Although it wasn’t likely, it would have been nice. None of the products from Apple support Adobe’s Flash software, but obviously it didn’t keep many customers away either. An LED flash would also have been nice, but most are excited about the rear-facing and the front facing camera which facilitates chat and conferencing, so not having a flash is easily forgivable.

Overall, some great new additions to the iPad, but if you haven’t witnessed them first hand yet, you may be waiting awhile.

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