The iPad 2, the second version of Apple’s Tablet PC (if we’re even allowed to call it that) was announced yesterday. And despite Steve Job’s reassurance that “it is an all new design” and “it’s not a tweak design, it’s not [just] marginal improvements,” the new iPad appears to be simply a slightly modified design with a few marginal improvements.
If you check out Apple.com‘s frontpage at the time of this article’s writing (the above image is a screenshot from March 3rd, 2011), you can see the six main points that Apple feels makes their new device stand out against the old iPad: thinner, lighter, faster, FaceTime, smart covers, 10-hour battery.
I would not describe a device that is simply “thinner, lighter, [and] faster,” as having an “all new design” in any sense of the term. Do you know how I knew the new iPad would be thinner, lighter, and faster than the old iPad? Because that’s the natural progression of technology. In fact, let’s not even looking at the canon of technological history but just look simply at Apple’s specific progress. We can see how Apple products shrink over time.
So, to have a new iPad that is thinner, lighter, and faster is simply predictable. Sure, we all want these qualities in a new device, but they’re expected improvements, nothing revolutionary or game-changing. Sure, Steve Jobs never claimed that the iPad 2 was either revolutionary or game-changing specifically (in contrast to Apple’s descriptions of the first iPad), but the marketing sure makes it feel that way.
The next featured improvement is FaceTime, which I admit is probably the most desirable new feature in the iPad 2. FaceTime was first revealed with the iPhone 4 and people were extremely excited…until the novelty wore off and people realized how awkward it is to hold the phone in front of you to have a face to face chat when text messaging or voice calls are much faster and more convenient. But with the iPad, FaceTime is finally a logical element. It is much more practical on this larger yet highly portable device. But again, it is no surprise that this feature was migrated to the iPad 2.
In terms of a 10-hour battery life, this is also not a surprise. The last iPad had a 10-hour battery life. And yes, this new device does a lot more and has more computing power. But to shirk on the battery on the iPad 2 would be extremely bad form. Battery life needs to trend progressively longer, not shorter. Offering a shorter battery life would drastically reduce the iPad 2’s appeal.
The new case is what most people are talking about, and this is simply cosmetic. Sure, it’s cool. But nothing to get extremely excited about. Plus magnets are extremely annoying when you have one on an electronic device that is constantly floating around in your bag. At least in my opinion.
So there you have it, the new iPad 2. Extremely *yawn* exciting. I think I’ll keep my iPad 1. I don’t see it as any less relevant of a device. At least not yet.
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