Apple has lifted the embargo on Apple iPad 2 reviews as they begin to go live on various sites. We have compiled reviews from various blogs.
For owners of the previous generation, we don't think Apple's put a fire under you to upgrade. Unless you absolutely need cameras on your tablet, you've still got a solid piece of gear that reaps plenty of the benefits of the latest OS and apps. For those of you who haven't yet made the leap, feel free to take a deep breath and dive in -- the iPad 2 is as good as it gets right now. And it's really quite good.
For Apple’s competitors in the tablet-device market, the iPad 2 is a bucket of water to the face. After more than a year of struggling to catch up to the original iPad, here’s a new model that addresses many of the iPad’s deficiencies, dramatically improves its speed, and doesn’t cede any ground on price, features, or battery life. The iPad 2 raises the bar Apple set a year ago—and it’s time for the rest of the industry to scramble again to catch up.
As new contenders move into the field, Apple isn’t likely to keep its 90% share of the booming tablet market. But the iPad 2 moves the goal posts, by being slimmer and lighter, boosting speed and power, and holding its price advantages, available apps and battery life. As of now, I can comfortably recommend it as the best tablet for average consumers.
New York Times
My friends, I'm telling you: just that much improvement in thinness, weight and speed transforms the experience. We're not talking about a laptop or a TV, where you don't notice its thickness while in use. This is a tablet. You are almost always holding it. Thin and light are unbelievably important for comfort and the overall delight. So are rounded edges, which the first iPad didn't have.
For everyone else, though, Apple has put together a superbly capable, class-shaping tablet, which can now legitimately take on not only other slates but lighter ereaders such as Amazon’s Kindle. The iPad 2 benefits from Apple’s cohesive hardware and software development together with the vast third-party developer support of the App Store, consistent and simple to use in equal measure. Apple’s vision of the post-PC world isn’t quite here yet – the iPad 2 still works best with, and at times demands, integration with a “proper” computer – but when it comes to tablets the iPad 2 maintains its position at the vanguard of the market.
Pros: Thinner and lighter design. Fast with souped-up graphics. Front and rear cameras for FaceTime video chat and other uses. By far the most apps. Excellent battery life. Nice screen. Software iOS 4.3 lets you stream over home network. Video "mirroring" (with accessories).
Cons: No Adobe Flash support means some Web videos won't play. Requires accessories for HDMI, USB and SD. AirPlay feature sometimes hiccupped.
That all depends on what you’re doing with your iPad now. Cameras and speed aside, the iPad 2 isn’t drastically different than what you have in your hands. It’s just a much sleeker and sexier version of it.
For existing iPad owners, things are a bit murkier. If you have the disposable income, it’s a no-brainer to upgrade. Again, this is everything you like about the iPad 1, but better. But if you just bought an iPad 1, or you don’t want to drop another several hundred dollars, it’s not like the iPad 1 will be out of date anytime soon. Sure, it may feel like older technology to the touch, but again, it largely looks and acts the same. My advice is just don’t visit an Apple Store or play with a friend’s iPad 2, or you’ll be tempted.