The industry trope on Apple's next-generation tablet is that it's just a ho-hum upgrade, no longer the earthshaking product on the market. But after the obligatory caveats, reviews say the machine mostly rocks. Was that so hard?
At USA Today, Edward Baig says the iPad 2 is a relatively modest upgrade.
As Apple unleashes the latest object of desire, a slimmed-down iPad 2, it makes what was already a splendid slab even better, even if the overall upgrade is relatively modest. Apple didn't boost the screen resolution or bump up the storage. There's no iPad that can take advantage of nascent high-speed 4G cellular networks. The external speaker is mono. No SD card slot or USB, either.
But then in the very next paragraph says "these are nitpicks."
Why start out with a list of nitpicks? It's the trope talking.
Worse, the title of Baig's review is "iPad 2 is even better than the original." Was there ever a thought in anyone's mind that Apple's next-gen iPad wouldn't be better than the first? That it would worse? Or stay the same? Come on!
Joshua Topolsky at Engadget says that the iPad 2 is "iterative," and warns that Apple will have to "deliver bigger guns" in the next round of models.
Not so good, right? But when he actually looks closely at its performance, it's a different story.
The CPU and graphics performance of this tablet felt extremely impressive to us -- the iPad 2 performed excellently no matter what we threw at it, games and graphically taxing apps seemed to have higher frame rates, and even when dealing with CPU intensive programs like GarageBand, it rarely (if ever) seemed to be struggling.
By the Geekbench results, the iPad 2 is 62 percent faster.
In addition, the battery life is an hour longer than the original iPad. Topolsky said he used the new model heavily but didn't recharge it for 5 days. This important spec for real-world performance beats the Motorola Xoom by 2 hours.
It might frustrate the competition to hear this, but it needs to be said: the iPad 2 isn't just the best tablet on the market, it feels like the only tablet on the market. As much as we'd like to say that something like the Xoom has threatened Apple's presence in this space, it's difficult (if not impossible) to do that.
Enough with the trope. Just start out with the fact that the iPad 2 rocks and go from there.