On March 2, 2011, Apple announced the iPad 2, almost a year after it’s original release in April/May 2010. iPad 2 arrived in the US on March 11, 2011 and is pending arrival to select countries internationally, including Canada on March 25, 2011. Sounds like there will be line-ups.
So with all that fanfare, who would want to hear about an iPad 1 (1st generation) when the iPad 2 (2nd generation) is here?
- You already own an iPad 1 and it’s just as great today as it was before they announced iPad 2.
- You want an iPad and you’re considering whether to buy an iPad 1 or an iPad 2.
- You want to buy an iPad 1 and keep an extra $130 in your jeans.
Thinner, lighter, faster? Let’s compare.
|Model||iPad 1||iPad 2||Difference|
|Size||9.56×7.47×.528 in (243×190×13.4 mm)||9.5×7.31×.346 in (240×186×8.8 mm)||34% thinner|
|Weight||1.5 lb (680 g)||1.33 lb (600 g)||12% lighter|
|Processor||A4 chip||Dual-core A5 chip||2 -9x faster|
|Memory||256 MB DDR RAM||512 MB DDR2 (1066Mbps data rate) RAM||2x faster|
Looks like some great improvements, BUT. If I had issues with the size, I’d be happy about a 34% reduction. If I had issues with the weight, I’d be pleased with a 12% reduction. And if I had issues with the speed, I’d love a 2x increase in speed. But I don’t have any issues with the size, weight and speed with the iPad 1. I do love my iPad.
Other enhancements with the iPad 2.
- Addition of a 3-axis Gyroscope. For gamers, this would be a win.
- Front & rear facing camera. The camera capabilities are nice features but it’s not replacing the practicality of my camera or iPhone for taking photos or video.
- Facetime video calling. It is still only available on wi-fi and hasn’t replaced Skype for me. I have Facetime on my iPhone and MacBook and I’ve rarely used it. Mind you, if the grandparents had the capability on their end, it might be different.
- Smart Cover (sold separately). This is really cool. As Apple puts it, “it wakes up, stands up and brightens your iPad”. This video alone might be reason enough to upgrade for some. And for other smart tips & tricks, visit smart-blurb.
This is how I use my iPad.
- The Couch. Not to be confused with Couch Potato (see item #2). In some ways, it just replaces the iPhone for reading & sending short emails, reading articles saved on Instapaper, Safari browsing, Twitter and Facebook in a larger screen for better viewing. One-click – Instant On. One-click – Instant Off. Could I use a laptop – yes BUT. Boot up, boot down. Short battery life on laptop, power cables. Never thought I would say my 13″ Macbook is large and awkward for the couch but I guess compared to the iPad – it is.
- The Elliptical. It is probably essential for one’s health that #1 and #2 go hand in hand. My elliptical trainer has a nice iPad size ledge, that was probably meant for a book or magazine. Flipboard, Slacker Radio and iTunes are the most used apps on my iPad when using the elliptical. By the way, I use iFitness on the iPhone to log workouts. No iPad app available
- The Kids. I’d say usage is 60/40 these days weighted to the kids. The kids use it to watch movies, play games, read stories and for learning games. It has been pretty easy to organize the apps into folders on a single page. (Stories, Games, Learning, Music, Drawing, Fun stuff etc).
Some of My Favourite iPad Apps.
Cost (iPad 1st-gen)
From $419 to $749 CDN ($130 discount since announcement of iPad 2).
- Instant On. No boot-up.
- It’s a device for consuming information.
- It’s convenient and easy.
- Battery life is impressive. At moderate usage, it can go for days without a charge.
- If you like using apps on your iPhone, iPad optimized apps are just more impressive.
- No Flash support.
- Cost. It doesn’t come cheap, especially for those of us who bought the 1st-gen model and are intrigued by the enhancements in the 2nd-gen.
- Will not be a device to replace your laptop from a productivity perspective. It still is not as efficient as a laptop/desktop for preparing larger documents, working with excel and similar productivity tasks.
- Some iTunes Apps are optimized for the iPad. They will have a “Plus” symbol in the corner to denote if they are compatible for both iPhone and iPad. I try to only buy apps that are configured for both. I am patiently waiting for some of my favourite apps to have an iPad version (i.e. Slacker Radio & Mint).
- Do you need 3G? It is useless for my needs, since my iPhone is with me when I’m away from home. I bought the 64GB wi-fi 3G version thinking I might use the capability. I signed up for 3G for the first month, used it rarely and have since cancelled the $15 monthly fee.
- Think about how you plan to use the device before you buy. Do you plan to use it when you are without a wifi connection? Do you plan to watch movies? Do you want to use it for music? Or do you plan to use more for reading, apps and browsing? This will help in determining wifi or 3G wifi and 16, 32 or 64GB. Based on my usage, the sweet spot would be the 32GB wifi model.
- Wireless sync of iTunes content. Perhaps soon? Mobileme?
- Support for AVI movies in iTunes
- ….and maybe an iPad 2 someday.
- If you own an iPad 1, the improvements are good but it may not be enough to justify an upgrade to iPad 2. (for us…regular folks)
- If you own an iPad 1 (but you are a bleeding edger, early adopter, or just a high-roller) well you might want to start packing a lawn chair and some snacks for Friday March 25th (in Canada).
- If you don’t own and iPad, then a $130 discount on an iPad 1 gets you the majority of the experience short of some solid improvements and cool new features.
- And if they had you at “2x Faster”, “3-axis Gyroscope”, “Front/Rear Facing cameras” or “Smart Covers”, then iPad 2 is for you.
- As I said, I love my iPad 1, but I would welcome the opportunity someday to use the iPad 2 to see whether it is worthy of a Stimpler. Stay tuned.
It would be tough to convince anyone that the iPad is a need to have, unlike other computing devices such as a laptop or desktop or even a phone. For me, the iPad has created a new way of consuming information better, easier and simpler than it ever was before. Where the iPhone brought touch and feel to a screen, the iPad did that to another level since it was a bigger screen and more enjoyable to flip, pinch and twist. Articles, magazines and any media come to life. For me, the iPad (1st-gen) gets a Stimpler.