iPad, iPad 2 and now iPad 3 (and soon iPad 4)! Should you upgrade each time? Is it really worth it? Directly below I have outlined the differences between the iPad 2 and the 3rd version of the iPad. Below that you will find my reviews of the original iPad and iPad 2. Hopefully, you will find your answers after reading the following information.
The beginning operating system is iOS5.1, which is also the operating system found on the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2. Because of the iOS5.1, the notifications bar, very similar to that found on Android products, can be swiped down from the top of the screen. Of course, Apple will continue to update it's operating system. Always check the settings menu for software updates. (As of this writing, iOS6 is already available.)
The Home Button is still in its place on the iPad 3 with only 4 buttons total. The rest of them can be found close together in the top Left Hand corner along with the rocker/volume key, the mute/orientation switch and the power/lock key.
Wi-Fi up to 802.11n, GPS, GyroscopeAll are available with the iPad 3.
There are over 200,000 apps available. The main concern is that some may be too large for the Retina Display.
This app is good for making small, non-professional movies.
This app helps with eyestrain but may not be as good as Kindle.
This app definitely takes advantage of the iPad 3's Retina Display.
It may not be as good as Google Maps for Android but the upgrade on iPad 3 is a good one.
The A5X chip comes with quad-core graphical capabilities should be able to outdo even the nVidia Tegra 3 chip when it comes to gaming.
An iPad Mini?
7 inch tablets, smaller and lighter than the larger versions, have been quite popular with consumers. Examples include the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook and several 7 inch versions of larger tablets by many manufacturers, such as Samsung. Google's Nexus 7 tablet is now available in the 7 inch tablet market and has received rave reviews.
So why not an iPad Mini? A smaller version of the iPad, a 7.85 x 5.3 inch tablet is rumored to be in the making. It will supposedly be almost as thin as the iPod Touch and lighter but will have all the features of the larger iPad. Whether or not it will have the Retina display of the iPad 3 or a 1024x768 display of the iPad 2 (making it essentially a miniature iPad 2) is yet to be known.
Leave it to Apple to be on top of things. This is what makes technology so exciting to watch!
Apple iPad 2
Apple's 2nd version of the iPad,dubbed iPad 2, was released in March of 2011. The introduction of the original iPad in January of 2010, had the surprising effect of revitalizing the almost dead tablet computer, something that even shocked Apple! Even though the original iPad was initially met with skepticism, the numbers speak for themselves (over 14 million sold in 2010 alone!). The wildly popular and extremely profitable iPad became the flagship tablet to emulate and beat as the competition mounted and the "tablet frenzy wars" of 2011 continued.
iPad 2 is actually slightly thinner, shorter and lighter than the original iPad. (The 3G version is slightly heavier.) It has a faster 1 GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor "system on a chip" which can produce two times the CPU power and nine times the graphics performance of the original iPad while maintaining a 10-hour battery life.
In response to consumer concerns, Apple gave the iPad 2 dual cameras, a front-facing VGA-quality camera for video chat and a rear camera with 0.7MP, which has a 5x digital zoom and is good for 720p video capture. Though there is still no memory card slot available on the iPad 2, there is an SD connection adapter (that comes with the optional camera connection kit) for transferring photos from a camera's SD card to the iPad. The Camera Connector also features a USB interface. When plugged into the dock connector port on the iPad, a digital camera or iPhone (not 3G) can be connected using a USB cable (not included).
The iPad 2 has the same 9.7-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology as the original iPad.
The resolution of 1024x768 and 132 pixels per inch is the same as the iPad 1. A bit disappointing is the fact that the screen does not incorporate the Retina Display technology which is found in iPhone 4. The new iPad also comes with Apple's proprietary 30-pin dock connector for syncing and charging, as well as a 3.5mm headset jack.
Flash is still not available on the iPad 2. Apple's problem with Adobe's flash seems to be that Apple doesn't like the idea of using another company's software just to view a video. Tablets from other manufacturers that run Google's Android Honeycomb 3.3 and above are Flash enabled. Apple has developed a workaround for enabling iPad users to access YouTube, the very popular flash-enabled site owned by Google. But it is the success of the newer technology of HTML5 that Apple is counting on. HTML5 allows videos to play directly into a browser and would end the need for an add-on like Flash.
The built-in accelerometer allows the iPad 2 to be rotated to portrait, landscape or even upside down and whatever is on the screen adjusts to fit the display. The accelerometer works together with the built in three-axis gyroscope and the compass for improved gaming experience as well.
The usual optional accessories are available and include the wireless keyboard, the 10W USB power adapter, the iPad soft cover case, Apple earphones with remote and microphone and the Apple iPad keyboard dock, to name just a few.
Two new accessories will be available as well.
The first is called the "Smart Cover" and comes in a variety of color choices.
It has magnetic clasps that can put the iPad to sleep when it is attached or wake it up when it is removed. It can fold to create a stand to hold the iPad upright or will tilt the iPad into a comfortable typing position. It will flip back and out of the way like a page in a magazine if the user prefers to hold the iPad. It will also fold in half to expose the back-facing camera when it is in use. The "Smart Cover" comes in a polyurethane version or a more expensive leather one. The iPad itself comes in both white and black colors.
The second new accessory is an HDMI video-out cable capable of 1080p video mirroring. This cable can work with all iPad apps and will charge the iPad when it is plugged into a power source. Video mirroring, a process new to iPad, doesn't turn the iPad into a bigger screen. With the addition of an Apple Digital AV adapter, it allows a bigger screen to view what's on the iPad. It becomes possible to share the iPad with a larger screen and a larger audience. This has far-reaching implications for the educational field and the business world.
New also is iOS version 4.3. Features of this version include personal hotspot support for the iPhone 4, Face Time video chat, a faster version of Safari and improvements to AirPlay media streaming. A new version of Apple's iMovie video-editing app for the iPad is also available. Music, photos and video can stream wirelessly to an HDTV and speakers. iOS version 4.3 is available for iPads, third- and fourth-generation iPod Touches, and the GSM version of the iPhone. Verizon runs a CDMA network so consumers owning the iPhone for Verizon will have to wait for an update.
Apple was recently granted a stylus pen patent. This could mean that Apple may be planning on entering the graphics tablet market. This would put Apple in direct competition with tablet makers like Wacom. With the specially designed pen, an artist could have better control over a drawing. One of the problems in using a stylus on a tablet computer is that most of these are designed for a fingertip-sized patch of conductivity. If the patch is too small, such as with a stylus, it may not be recognized by the screen. Apple's pen would have a much larger tip with a conductive disc on a pivot on the end of the stylus. Accelerometers and force detectors would be built into the pen. This would allow additional data to be sent to the tablet in order to allow for changes in line width, color selection, shading and more. The system also has implications for use in other applications such as gaming. The pen could be used in a manner similar to a joystick.
With over 65,000 apps and counting and Random House adding more than 17,000 volumes to iBooks (Apple's e-book Store), Apple is well ahead of Google's Android apps which are currently available for tablets running Honeycomb.
The iPad is becoming a staple in many industries. One in particular is photography. The savings gained by not having to develop and print out high quality photos may justify the initial expense of the iPad. Increasing numbers of health professionals are also employing the iPad and the number of apps that have been developed for the iPad in this field have been steadily rising.
It has also been rumored that Apple may be launching an oversized iPod touch which will have a screen size of about 5". Thus Apple will be able to compete in the low-end tablet market and end comparisons of the iPad 2 with the smaller and cheaper tablet models. The new Touch will apparently focus on multimedia and gaming and will have the iPod Touch UI rather than that of the iPad.
As of 2011, consumers were hit from all sides with an overwhelming number of tablet pcs, The main competition for top tablet vs. the iPad 2 came from well-known electronics names such as Motorola, Samsung, Toyota, Dell, HP, etc. Google developed the Honeycomb (Android 3.0) platform specifically for use in tablets while other platforms such as HP's WebOS, Microsoft's Windows, BlackBerry's QNX, etc. were all in contention.
Competition, they say, is good and the competition to become #1 tablet will be watched closely by consumers and the entire computer industry. The fate of the netbook, the laptop and the desktop computer hang in the balance. Let's hope the consumer will be the real winner in the end.
Apple iPad 2
Asus has introduced several tablets. All but 1 uses the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) platform but may be able to be upgraded to the whenever the latest Android operating system is available.
If you are looking for Google's Nexus 7 Tablet made by Asus, please click here.
Eee Pad EP121
The Eee Pad EP121 is the only one of the tablets from Asus to be running Windows 7 as its operating system. This tablet has a 12.1" LED-backlit display with a 1280x800 screen resolution and a wide 178 degree viewing angle. It is powered by the low voltage Intel CULV Core 2 Duo platform. The device is 12.2mm thick and weighs 1.48Lbs (675 grams). Asus claims the battery life should be 10 hours.
The Eee Pad EP121 includes a Wacom digitizer for high quality capacitive stylus input. It also has an on-screen keyboard with support for an external Bluetooth keyboard to help with the input of a large amount of data. The model comes with up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM. It will support 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0. A 2MP camera and 2 USB 2.0 ports, as well as a mini-HDMI port to connect to external displays will extend the functionality of the Eee Pad EP121.