The iPad 2 is definitely a major step up from the first generation iPad. Being 15% lighter and 33% slimmer than the first iPad, makes the iPad 2 stand out as the front-runner of all tablet PCs. Tablet PCs had almost become extinct until Apple decided to reinvent this category with a phenomenally simple user interface and an excellent multi-touch screen. iPads now enjoy almost universal acceptance as “the” tablet PC to go to. Air Canada Express pilots have been issued iPads so that they don’t have carry heavy manuals anymore, and restaurants are using them as digital menus where the customer can order directly from their table without the need for a waiter, thereby reducing order errors. The ecosystem around the iPad is just as dense as the iPod’s or the iPhone’s.
Although many are quick to say that the iPad is of no real relevance to anything major in our lives, I would strongly disagree with that. The iPad is shifting the paradigm of computing as a whole. Already first quarter sales for desktop PCs were down, and analysts stated that this was direct result of the selling of iPads. Of those who have an iPad, 25% of them are using it as their primary computer. Primary in terms of checking e-mail, surfing the Internet, and watching YouTube videos.
Jesse Jackson Jr. was heard saying that the iPad will “end” American jobs. He said that librarians, printers, and other occupations related to physical books and paper publishing would become extinct. Now that does seem somewhat irrational, but it does stir up a poignant argument that indeed the iPad is poised to become the next major digital communications device.
Even hardcore Android fans end up admitting that the UI (user interface) for the iPad 2 is fantastic. It is smooth, responsive, and offers a computing experience unlike anything else. The screen can rotate precisely 360 degrees and the multi-touch interface is superb. It leaves you feeling as if you directly control the machine with the manipulations of your hands. It is empowering. It’s no longer you staring at a screen, it’s the screen staring back at you and asking for the next input through it. The home button is smooth and responsive and the taps of the screen are perfect. I’ve purchased an inexpensive stylus from eBay and now I’m able to jot down handwritten notes on my iPad and save them. I can also upload them to the Cloud. In short, the functionality of the iPad 2 is beautiful.
This is where the iPad destroys the rest of the competition. The sleek design is to crave for. Thinner than the iPhone 4, it is easy to lift and use as a tablet while on the go. The smart covers are really something. They’re so cool that it’ll make you buy one even when you don’t need it. The magnet latch-on system is ingenious and leaves me wondering how Apple managed to use a system of magnets around its electronically sensitive device. Compared to the competitors, the iPad 2 comes in the perfect size. It is selectively sized as the same size of a paper notebook, giving the user a feel of an electronic or digital book.
Bottom-line: Absolutely amazing. The device of the decade. Must have for book and computer enthusiasts.