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iPad Reviews
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Apple iPad 2 review: Apple's second-gereration tablet

£329 for 16GB Wi-Fi-only model; £429 for 16GB Wi-Fi plus cellular model. No other storage capacities available

Manufacturer: Apple

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

After more than two years after launching, the iPad 2 is still on sale from Apple, but is it worth a look? Find out in our Apple iPad 2 review.

The Apple iPad 2 represents a radical update for Apple's tablet PC, being thinner, lighter and faster, with dual cameras. Kudos to Apple then, that the iPad 2 will cost the same as the first iteration.

Apple iPad 2 review: in pictures

iPad 2

The newest iteration of Apple's tablet is lighter, thinner, and - surprise - it also comes in white.

iPad 2

The iPad 2 is noticeably nicer to hold than its predecessor. The weight helps, but the thinness and the tapering along the back side make it much easier to rest in one hand.

iPad 2

The reduced thickness of the iPad 2 means that we can't say the iPad's buttons and ports are on its side - there really is no side. There's a front and a back, really, with a very small amount of curved, tapered space. That's where the buttons and ports are. It's a very different feel from the original iPad.

iPad 2

The iPad 2 has gained a new tapered aluminum back and a rear camera, capable of recording 720p HD video (at 30 frames per second) and a still camera with a 5x digital zoom.

iPad 2

The iPad 2's altered shape is obviously visible when laid face-down. The device's mono speaker grille has been visibly altered, though whether that improves sound quality has yet to be determined.

iPad 2

Three form factors on the table: the original iPad on the left, the iPad 2 in the centre, and the iPhone 4 on the right.

iPad 2

Macworld's Andy Ihnatko plays with the iPad 2's Photo Booth app.

iPad 2

Like the iPhone 4, the iPad 2's front camera is VGA-quality, though it still manages to get a decent picture.

iPad 2

Apple introduced a series of covers for the new iPad at Wednesday's launch event. Held to the iPad using magnets, the iPad Smart Cover is a rectangle exactly the size and shape of the iPad's screen. The side that faces inward is made of soft microfibre cloth; the outside is either leather or polyurethane in one of five colours each.

iPad 2

The Smart Cover can stand your iPad upright, prop it up for typing, or cover it entirely, depending on its position.

Here, an iPad is propped at viewing angle using a blue Smart Cover.

NEXT: Our expert verdict, specifications >>

Apple iPad 2 Expert Verdict »

1GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor (ARM Cortex-A9)
9.7in (1024 x 768) LED-backlit glass IPS screen, capacitive multi-touch, 132ppi, oleophobic coating
16GB, 32GB or 64GB NAND flash storage
rear camera: HD video 960 x 720, 30fps, still shots with 5x digital zoom
front camera: 640 x 480, 30fps
Wi-Fi + 3G model: GPS receiver, UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100MHz)
GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz)
Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
built-in 25Wh rechargeable lithium-polymer battery
30-pin dock connector port, 3.5mm stereo headphone mini-jack
built-in speaker, mic
three-axis gyro
digital compass
601g (Wi-Fi only), 613g (Wi-Fi & 3G)
  • Build Quality: We give this item 10 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 9 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

Deservedly, Apple owns this market right now, and it knows it. The price drop is the icing on the competition-killing cake, leaving iPad 2 as statement of the tablet art today. If we had to name a second-place contender, the only device nearing the slickness of operation and natural hardware/software integration is – last year’s iPad. Anyone wishing to explore effortless computing is advised to try Apple's iPad 2.

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