Analysts expect the new iPad to be a success, riding on the popularity of the previous models, as well as pent-up demand from consumers who have been waiting for the new model.
The iPad 2 was a big step up from the original iPad, since Apple included a camera and reduced both the thickness and the weight of the device. But there isn't that much Apple can do to jazz up the iPad 3. Company watchers expect the new device to have the same basic size and weight as last year's model.
Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers the keynote speech.
Nearly a year ago, the iPad 2 went on sale nine days after it was revealed. Apple watchers expect similar timing this year.
Reviewed by Joshua Topolsky, editor-in-chief of Engadget, he says, “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. Is the iPad 2 a perfect product? Absolutely not. The cameras are severely lacking, the screen -- while extremely high quality -- is touting last year's spec, and its operating system still has significant annoyances, like the aggravating pop-up notifications. At a price point of $499, and lots of options after that (like more storage and models that work on both Verizon's and AT&T's 3G networks), there's little to argue about in the way of price, and in terms of usability, apps like GarageBand prove that we haven't even scratched the surface of what the iPad can do.” (Photo: Engadget)
Read the complete Engadget review here
Providing one of the most in-depth reviews, TechCrunch claims, “There are now over 70,000 apps built specifically for the iPad. Obviously, not all of them are great or even good. But if just 10 percent are, that destroys the competition. And given that developers already have experience developing for this platform, they should be able to adjust quickly to make even better apps that take advantage of the iPad 2 hardware improvements. It just doesn't look too good for rivals at this point.” (Photo: TechCrunch)
Read the complete TechCrunch review here.
If you thought that purchasing the iPad was a logical decision, NYT's David Pogue will tell you other wise. He believes it is an emotional decision, “The iPad's appeal is more emotional than rational. Once you get it in your hands, you get caught up in the fascination of manipulating on-screen objects by touching them. Apple sold 15 million iPads in nine months, created a mammoth new product category and started an industry of copycats. Apparently, it doesn't pay to bet against Steve Jobs's gut instinct.” (Photo: NYT)
Read the complete NYT review here.
If you are one who is a skeptic and believes that the first generation of any new device must be avoided, then Macworld agrees with you, “If you're one of those people who practices remarkable feats of self-discipline when it comes to buying first-generation hardware products, it's time to celebrate: the second iPad is here, and you can finally slake your thirst. By waiting, you'll end up with a faster, lighter product with the same great price and battery life—and with two video cameras and video-mirroring capabilities, to boot.”(Photo: MacWorld)
Read the complete MacWorld review here.
The Bottom Line,
“3 ¾ (out of four)
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. ”(Photo: AP)
Read the complete USA Today review here.
Slash Gear wraps up the iPad 2 by saying “On most levels, the iPad 2 over-delivers. By boosting speed and graphics performance while simultaneously slimming down the chassis and preserving battery life, Apple has maintained its core strengths and extended its lead in what are arguably the toughest areas rivals faces. Sure, a Retina Display would have been great, and high-resolution camera, but it's relatively straightforward to drop those into the next iPad; it's a whole lot more difficult to make a super-thin tablet with 10+ hours of runtime.”(Photo: SlashGear)
Read the complete Slash Gear review here.
Although all's not well for Apple's beloved tablet, Laptop Mag does have some issues with the iOS, “In some ways, though, iOS for iPad isn't as evolved as we would like. For instance, iOS 4.3 on the iPad doesn't include a personal hotspot feature, even though the iPhone 4 does. Apple also decided not to include new multitouch gestures--at least for now--that are available to developers for testing, such as pinching to get back to the home screen and swiping from left to right to switch between apps. Two other areas where iOS needs work are notifications and social networking integration. iOS 4.3 on the iPad 2 continues to present notifications (whether it's an instant message or a Game Center invitation) as obtrusive pop-ups. Android 3.0 handles notifications better with its System Bar, as does webOS 3.0. We'd also like to see Apple make it easy for users to share photos and web pages via Facebook and Twitter without having to use those dedicated apps.”(Photo: Laptop Mag)
Read the complete Laptop Mag review here.
There are however a few things that Apple will have to keep in mind while designing the next version of the tablet OS. PC Mag says, “Google's tablet-specific Honeycomb OS does have some merits that should send Apple back to the drawing board as it works on the next version of iOS. Multitasking on Android 3.0 is a better experience than on the iPad 2. On the iPad, you double-tap the home button to see which apps are open, but you only really see the icons for each app. Honeycomb's multitasking view offers a much more immediate and useful glimpse of what's running on your device—with thumbnails offering live views of each app superimposed over your home screen.”(Photo: PC Mag)
Read the complete PC Mag review here.
All Things Digital
There are however two big omissions that gives the competition a slight edge, “Finally, there are two big omissions, one old and one new. The old one is that, like Apple's prior phones and tablets, the shiny new iPad 2 still won't play Adobe's Flash video in its built-in Web browser. This is a deliberate decision by Apple, and puts its devices at a disadvantage for some users when compared with Android tablets, which can play Flash, or say they will soon, albeit not always well.
The other omission has to do with cellular data. The iPad 2 can't use, or be upgraded to use, the new, faster 4G cellular-data networks being rolled out.” (Photo: All Things Digital)
Read the complete All Things Digital review here.
If the small things don't make a difference to you, think again. Tech Radar says, “The lighter, thinner iPad 2 is nicer to hold, nicer to use and nicer to look at - and if that's not an important upgrade then maybe we're missing the point.” (Photo: Tech Radar)
Read the complete Tech Radar review here.