'Should I upgrade my iPad to the iPad 2?'

'Should I upgrade my iPad to the iPad 2?'

Summary: Well, it's your money and I'm not going to tell you how to spend it, but here are a few things to bear in mind.

TOPICS: iPad, Mobility

A lot of you seem to want to know my thoughts on upgrading an iPad to the iPad 2. I'm not sure why this question is popular all of a sudden, I assume it has something to do with the annual gift-giving event that's on the horizon.

OK, let's begin with a quick iPad vs. iPad 2 rundown.

What's new

  • Front-facing VGA camera.
  • Rear-facing 720p camera.
  • Gyroscope.
  • New case (optional) that attaches to the iPad 2 with magnets and features a microfiber surface for keeping the screen clean.
  • HDMI output dongle (optional).

What's changed

  • Processor: Gone is the single-core 1GHz single-core A4 chip and in its place is a dual-core 1GHz A5 chip.
  • RAM: The iPad had 256MB of RAM, while the iPad 2 doubles that to 512MB.
  • Graphics processor: The PowerVR SGX 535 chip and instead Apple went with the PowerVR SGX543 which offers between 3x and 7x faster framerate.
  • Dimensions: While the footprint has remained the same, the thickness is down from 13.4mm to 8.8mm. The weight is also down for all models (WiFi model down from 680g to 601g while the WiFi + 3G is down from 730g to 613g for the AT&T model and 607g for the Verizon model.
  • Radios: The original iPad featured EDGE plus triband HSPA while the iPad 2 features EDGE plus quadband UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz) and GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) for the AT&T versions and CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz) for the Verizon model.
  • Color: Now available in black and white.

What's the same

  • Screen: No change to the 9.7-inch LED-backlit IPS 1024 x 768 screen.
  • Storage: The options for storage remain the same - 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.
  • Battery life: Despite the faster hardware, Apple managed to keep the battery life the same.
  • Price: No change here - iPad 2 starts at $499 for the 16GB WiFi-only model.

Note: There is no Siri voice control on the iPad 2.

So what should you do?

Well, it's your money and I'm not going to tell you how to spend it, but here are a few things to bear in mind:

  • Faster CPU and graphics doesn't necessarily mean noticeably faster apps. Games and video playback are where you're going to see the biggest difference.
  • The forward-facing camera mean the ability to use FaceTime.
  • It's likely that there's a new iPad just around the corner (March/April).
  • Second-hand iPads hold their value well ... you should be able to get a few hundred bucks for it on somewhere like 'The Bay.'
  • That case you bought for your iPad might not fit your iPad 2 not only because it's thinner but it will more than likely obscure the cameras.

So there you have it. Personally, I'd hold out to see what the iPad 3 brings, but at the end of the day it's your decision.

Topics: iPad, Mobility

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  • RE: 'Should I upgrade my iPad to the iPad 2?'

    Must be nice to have $699 to put down on a tablet every year if you are upgrading that often. I would think a device such as this would have a lifespan double of a year. And with rumors of the iPad 3 coming out it just wouldn't make sense to do an iPad 2 right now.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • RE: 'Should I upgrade my iPad to the iPad 2?'

    The iPad is not upgrade-able. You buy an iPad 2and sell the old one, or give it to your kids.
  • Small whoop

    I didn't upgrade mine, and the iPad3 will have to fly and make cookies to really interest me. The economists call it Marginal Utility: there was a huge difference between "no iPad" and "iPad1." The difference between iPad1 and iPad2 is pretty small.
    Robert Hahn
  • Most definatelly you should upgrade

    The iPad2 is better then the iPad, so yes - upgrade! When iPad3 hits the market, then I suggest you upgrade to the iPad3 as it will be better then the iPad2.
    William Farrell
    • RE: 'Should I upgrade my iPad to the iPad 2?'

      @William Farrell

      Funny. Is your other online name, Peggy, by any chance? (As in, "My name is Peggy. Can I help you.) Grin.
  • RE: 'Should I upgrade my iPad to the iPad 2?'

    Wait until the new hi-def screen iPad comes out. That's going to make a huge difference. if you upgrade now in 4 months you'll be lamenting the fact that you didn't wait.
    • RE: 'Should I upgrade my iPad to the iPad 2?'


      And the rumored A6 SoC which is also rumored to support 1080p video content.
  • wait till March to May and get iPad 3.

    This late in the game it doesn't make sense to go from iPad 1 to 2.
  • RE: 'Should I upgrade my iPad to the iPad 2?'

    Yes and then when the iPad 3 comes out you will purchase that and the same goes for the iPad 4. It is what Apple wants you to do to be a good little sheep.
    • RE: 'Should I upgrade my iPad to the iPad 2?'


      See my question posed to William. Are you related to Peggy as well?
    • Go back to your DOS or CP/M then

      After all, they all just worked and anything since then is just mutton dressed up as lamb.<br><br>One does wonder too if you'd be of the same opinion of a shiny new Windows 8 tablet. As in, buying one as soon as it comes out. That is what WinTel wants you to do to be a good little sheep, to use your own words.
  • Don't forget AppleTV mirroring...

    It's the only iPad 2 feature that's given me great temptation.

    Want to show something to the fam on the 50" plasma? Mirroring is the way to go.
  • I am waiting on Windows 8

    I want to see how that works out. I personally wouldn't mind an iPad, but its just so expensive. My income is not enough to justify it and it the same time, is really something I need? I bought an iPod Touch in 2009 3rd gen and I love it, two updates have been released since then with a Camera and different color, but I don't feel like I am missing out on anything. Well, I do wish I had the camera, but such is life, its a good MP3 player and Internet device.