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Apple iPad 2 Review

Just when we thought the iPad could not get any better, Apple released yet another one. Though naming it the iPad 2 does not carry that Apple flair (easy to guess the next generation will be called iPad 3), it easily banked on the brand’s super-popularity. Check out our full review of the Apple iPad 2 after the jump.

In my review of the original Apple iPad, I’ve already discussed the pros and cons of a tablet vis-a-vis a regular notebook/netbook so we’ll skip that part {see Apple iPad review to get a better perspective before continuing with this one}.

The iPad 2 strengthens those advantages with a more powerful processor and faster graphics on top of sleeker form factor, great design and solid construction — all at the same price point (that’s how Apple rolls). It’s not much lighter than the original one (600g vs 700g) but the thin design makes it a bit lighter to hold with one hand.

Since the first iPad, market has already been flooded with so many tablets. I counted over a dozen locally-available Android tablets to choose from and eager to take a nice chunk of market share away from Apple. In a way, Apple has re-invigorated the tablet market and even if the others are still trailing behind, they’ve somehow benefited from this new market segment.

Apple is very popular when it comes to making their devices thinner than normal — the way they did it with the iPad 2 is the same way they did it with the iPod Touch. Tapering the edges and making them curved backwards gives you an impression that it’s thinner when in fact, the thickest part at the center is still almost the same.

The dimensions of the iPad 2 is a little smaller than the original one which can be attributed to a thinner bezel (much better proportion to the screen).

The 9.7-inch display is still the same as the old one — bright, crisp and very responsive. Too bad they did not improved on the resolution nor tried to incorporate the Retina Display they so bragged about on the iPod Touch and iPhone 4.

The controls around the iPad are the same, although they are more prominent now because they’re positioned smack right along the tapered edge of the tablet.

One of the most anticipated feature of the iPad 2 is the camera — a missing feature on the first gen iPad that turned off a lot of people from making the purchase. It’s now present on the iPad 2 — not just a forward facing camera that can do HD video but also a front-facing camera that supports FaceTime.

However, what use is a camera if it does not take good pictures? Photo quality is mediocre and can degrade down to “unusable” when taken on low light conditions. It reminded me when Apple attempted to include a VGA camera on their iPod Nano and then completely removed it in the next release.


The camera can be put to some good use though if you’re into videos or loved making FaceTime calls (do people really make FaceTime calls a lot?).

By sporting an upgraded dual-core A5 processor, I expected that would affect on the battery life of the iPad. I was pleasantly surprised I still get the 10 hours (thereabouts) it promised on a single full charge (was hoping they’d push it to like 12 or 15 hours but ten is already fine by me).

Performance of the iPad 2 is something that has been talked about a lot. Is it faster and better? Well, it depends on what you’re using. For the most part, there’s a noticeable improvement on the “snappy-ness” of the device. Apps load faster, games perform smoother but if you’re just doing the normal stuff on the iPad like Twitter, YouTube or simply doing some heavy web surfing you will not feel a huge difference.

To begin with, the iPad 1 was already performing very well. The iPad 2, with it’s improved hardware, allows for future-proofing and will certainly be able to capitalize on upcoming apps that are more CPU-intensive.

Apple’s introduction of iMovie and GarageBand for the iPad is an indication of how they want to extend the use of their tablet. Pair a great tablet OS, a powerful hardware and intuitive user-interface and you have a winner. Just gives developer more room to develop more complex and extensive apps for the device.

Apple iPad 2 specs:
1GHz Apple A5 chip dual-core processor
9.7″ display @ 1024×768 pixels
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR
720p Back Camera @ 30fps video recording
VGA front-facing camera
Three-axis gyro
Ambient light sensor
Assisted GPS

Apple also added a cute smart cover which is magnetized so it attached to the sides of the iPad in a snap. It’s neat, looks really nice with a selection of bright colors and folds like origami to put the iPad is several revealing position. But that’s just it — an expensive magnetic cover that makes your iPad look better. It won’t protect your iPad when it falls, or from bumps and scratches and still leaves the device almost naked.

If you’ll just rely on the smart cover, it won’t take long ’til you’ll notice some hairline scratches at the aluminum back cover of your iPad. I suggest skip that one and get a nice sleeve or jacket for the iPad.

Our verdict?

You get all the really nice features of the iPad 1 — great display, simple and snappy UI, tons of apps, long battery life — and the iPad 2 improved on that, all at the same price. But, there’s not much compelling reason to upgrade to the iPad 2 when you already own the first generation iPad. However, if you’ve been holding off on the iPad since it was officially released in the Philippines last December 2010, the iPad 2 should easily convince you. Go ahead and grab one.

The iPad 2 now comes in white and black color with options for WiFi only and WiFi + 3G. Storage capacity starts at 16GB, then 32GB, up to 64GB. US price starts at $499 (I suspect it will go for Php23,990 when it hits the local market). Availability in the Philippines is TBA.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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72 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    1st. :)
    1st and foremost problem sa ipad2?

    • Gian says:

      10 hours is actually a decent battery life for a tablet with a good processor. The Motorola Xoom can only stay on up to 8 hours only. That’s being battery hungry.

  2. simplynice93 says:

    Nice review! Sayang naman kung di ilaunch d2 ng Apple. Sayang ang income na makukuha nila sa mga Apple fanatics…

  3. Jam. says:

    For the meantime we just have to stick to the iPad 1. APPLE PLEASE RELEASE THIS ONE ON THE PHILIPPINES!

  4. Gian says:

    Great review, Yuga.

    Got similar impressions with my iPad 2. Will be posting my review as well on my website this week.

  5. Benchmark says:

    I may not have owned any Apple products, but I did hope they added more good specs on Ipad 2…making it really different to Ipad 1…say a good front facing cam and the nice LCD resolution plus probably an expansion memory. Anyway hope I could have a good buy of tablet…haven’t owned any tablet as of now. But planning to buy Samsung Tab p1000. :-)

    • iedu says:

      Eh Bro. How could you ask for more on a product if you dont even plan to buy one? “good Front facing camera”? Come on… it wasnt intended for capturing high res pics. it is for Facetime. “Nice LCD resolution”? iPad has the best lcd resolution from any other tablets out there in the market.And FYI iPad 2 has better viewing angle than the iPad 1

    • Rouge says:

      gee, you’ll regret buying it I swear…

    • Rouge says:

      gee, you’ll regret buying it I swear…the galaxy tab

    • Cocopako says:

      Tama ka jan, super pangit talaga galaxy tab

  6. jun isip says:

    yung eee pad tranformer, looks very nice indeed…

  7. Jimmy says:

    I’ll just wait for the iPad 3, which I guess will have the retina display–this is the only feature in Apple products that impresses me. I have an iPod touch 4 (it mesmerized me, but i later sold it) and a Samsung Galaxy Tab.

  8. ralfviktor says:

    i want it

  9. jozzua says:

    I’ll facetime call you Abe. Just to try it out.

  10. Messie says:

    IPAD2! Y U NO HERE!!! >_<

    *brat rage*

  11. Jazon says:

    “Just when we thought the iPad could not get any better…”
    Has it occurred to you that the original iPad got a lot of criticisms on how it could have been better?

  12. now bring that iPad 3 with better camera and dual core proc.

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    • Bold's Gym says:

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    • Rommel A. says:

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  14. razorous says:

    I could wait for iPad 3 to come out, grab this for a low price tablet then. Front facing cam lang naman kasi antay ko, thats why I didnt get the first iPad. Thanks for the review Sir Abe. :)

    • iedu says:

      I am sure you’ll be waiting for the iPad 4 when the iPad 3 comes out. :))

    • gaylord says:

      Yeah, paano ipad always come short kaya he keeps waiting on the next iteration of iPad. Haay just like iphone in a few years mapag-iiwanan na yan — like iphone catch up na lang sya

  15. iedu says:

    Ask your relative in the US to buy it for you Dudes if you want to save some bucks!

  16. rye says:

    Not enough compelling reasons to upgrade. And honestly I am too tired of seeing legos on my iPad. Bye iOs.

  17. renz says:

    Not worth it and OS nya is pang phone LOL …Go Honeycomb pang tablet na talaga..and see the comparisons XOOM or Playbook is a whole lot BETTER

    • jologs says:

      Well, looking forward to a more concrete opinion once you have owned either one of the devices. Hahahaha!

    • renz says:

      jologs Unfortunately I own an ipad 2 ,gifted to me on my Birthday…and Yes I have Xoom that I bought in the US during my project there

    • RENZ says:

      I would like to add that the Honeycomb experience is way better than iods which is basically still a phone os with it’s features or lack of it. at ang mga tao tulad mo ang tatanga buying a tablet with a phone OS. Have you tried it? Sample play a game , nakakairita you must check the homepage again and again just to see kung you have new emails. While sa Xoom lumalabas sa baba with subject and sender. AT XOOM HAS TRUE MULTITASKING AGAINST THE4 FAKE MULTITASKING SA IPAD 2

    • Jologs says:

      Ho hum! Whatever you say, madali naman sabihin you own both. hahaha!!! Don’t tell me may playbook ka din? Oh and by the way, when will you get your flash sa xoom mo? Hahahaha!!! I might be stupid enough to buy an ipad 2 but at least di nmn ako pikon! Hehehehe.

    • iedu says:

      At natutuwa ka naman sa Xoom mong tingi tingi lang. Nag-iisip ka ba nung binili mo ang isang produkto na hindi fully furnished? Look whos stupid? willing ka bang ipapadala mo ulit sa US ang Xoom mo pag i-uupdate na para gumana ng lubusan?…. think about it!

    • iEDU says:

      Ano kamo? Are you comparing iPad 2 to the ill fated Xoom and Playbook?

    • janjan says:

      what the heck, ipad2? its a stupid tablet seriously.. unless you’re really into gaming..

      NO usb transfer, No HDMI, cant play .AVI/.MKV normal divx movies (what? a bigscreen that you cant watch movies), no sharing from most devices, ITUNES dependent that you cant copy files from other devices and takes 5x longer to transfer rather files than USB-transfer, & a tablet that cant render webpages correctly/completely.

      so really,,, ipad is either for mini-games gamer or st*pid consumer. period. :))

  18. I-love_ipad says:

    I don’t know about the people who love to own Ipad, but one thing I know about who uses Ipad is the people who don’t know a thing about computers, people who bought this don’t want to go thru the heartache of tweaking their gadgets or updating them or using them for other purposes, it means Ipad is just an STATIC gadgets no use for other purposes you always depend on the software that are already built or you must buy it, Ipad is just like a TV set or landline phone they are boring to use, but for those who want a DYNAMIC gadget I would go and shop for other tablets they perform much better and can do a lot of stuff for real IT people, and specially if you have the knowledge to create computer program and create software and design your own application Ipad is definitely not the gadget, in apple world you cannot make computer programs.

    Apple Ipad is for boring people it is for less brainy people, look at the people who owns Apple computer or Mac Laptop they use them more for flashy pogy point.

    • jologs says:

      Sige ikaw na ang techie. Ikaw na ang matalino. Ikaw na lahat! Hahahaha! But seriously dude, have you tried using a Macbook? Nangangain sya ng tanga. Apple computer for less brainy people? Just goes to show na you have never owned nor used their product. Hehehehe.

    • I-love_ipad says:

      ok if you can make or compile an application developed in C#.Net, VB.Net or C++ or just a plain Ansi C language on Mac, or developed an application in Mac from the scratch then I’ll accept that I’m tanga, but as of now you are the one who is the big tanga, and don’t know about computers. You are just a simple moron users.

    • I-love_ipad says:

      you don’t get it do you, Mac System is a close door for application developer, It means you cannot make or create custom softwares or application on Mac OS. Mac OS system is just for people who only browse the net on Starbucks place and run some movie maker and photo editor.
      But it will never be for real hardcore system developer.

    • Jologs says:

      Dude, you’re the one who doesnt get it. This review was intended for us general consumers. We are talking about the user experience. Kung gusto mo pla mgmagaling, e d sana dun ka sa developers forums or sites. I’m sure mas may mkkgets sayo dun. Oh and the reply after you does not even deserve a response. It’s her opinion then so be it. :-)

    • I-love_ipad says:

      my comments are clearly, i’m a user of this gadget and I’m sharing my experience that Ipad doesn’t really have much of a use and that is my opinion and talking about user experience can’t you understand that I’m talking about more of a users experience.

    • Gina says:

      I own a Mac Air second gen, actually no brainer sya kaya di siya nangangain ng tanga kasi madali sya gamitin,lol But honestly wala na mang masyadong pinagkaiba sa PC …naghahang ngang madalas. Definitely going back to PC. I must say ipad 2 is crappy… less than 1 megapixel camera? Haaay

    • leeto says:

      correct ka dyan!!!!!

    • john says:

      True, but not all. Afaik, people buy ipad because of the apps, yun ang number one reason. Plus yung smoothness at bilis ng ios.

      Ipad or macs are not for less brainy people, they are just for people who wants simplicity.

      I myself like ipad 2, and im a licensed civil engineer. I love computers pero hindi yan ang kursong kinuha ko nung college because it was too easy for me.

    • iedu says:

      Hoy! huwag ka ngang magmagaling! humarap ka sa salamin tsaka mo pagisipan ang mga pinuputak ng bunganga mo. Ipad isnt used to creat software… it is intended for general use!

  19. HAHAman says:

    a 9.7 inch retina display will push the iPad to a 30-40k price dumbass yuga.

  20. tech84 says:

    Not enough compelling reasons to upgrade to the Ipad especially since I just recently bought an Ipad

  21. Driver says:

    hmmm….I like…

  22. wapome says:

    cool. How much is this sold in the Philippines? and when it will be available here? Thanks

  23. ronnie says:

    hmm pang display lang nga talaga ang Ipad 2.
    I’m expecting that could read a touch finger security access, or face recognition security access or eye retina security access when you open the Ipad. it doesn’t even have the capability of hooking-up a GPS. compare to the smartphone or old variant of PDA or XDA they can be hooked-up with GPS. suppot talaga apple. pang display nga lang talaga. hay anyone want to buy my Ipad 2.

  24. wreek888 says:

    Instead of selling my ipad1, and adding another 20k for ipad2 with not much difference only the camera that i already got in my itouch 4g, i decided to just keep my ipad and bought the galaxy tab for 21k. Its like having best of both world.

  25. technobaboy says:

    well, apple has been fed up by others copying its designs. it just filed a case against samsung.


  26. pinoypads says:

    mac apple has been long time in IT industry and if I’m not mistaken they are the one who released the computer for public use but 10 or 15 years ago there OS and hardware is not so friendly and it cost a fortune to buy one compare to the PC it cost less and perform the same functionality and use.
    I love there Ipad because of the branding and performance and durability of the hardware.
    And I think the dawn of Iphone, Itouch and Ipad tablet is the new trend gadget of the century and I’m looking forward seeing more of there new ideas coming out.
    May be tomorrow there will be an Iwatch, or Iglass, or Iear for deaf people or probably an Ieyetouch for blind people that could watch movies by integrating some few wires connected to your brain.
    We never now what kind of gadget will come out tomorrow and I’m happy that I’m here to see them on my lifetime.

  27. bennix says:

    Good day to all specially to sir Abe!
    guys, your long wait is over.iPad 2 is now available at PCWORX.Check it here:http://www.bennixville.com/2011/04/ipad-2-is-now-available-at-pcworx.html

    Thanks Yuga…:)

  28. mangberto says:

    nice review! i would definitely wait for the upcoming gen/version ng ipad. :)

  29. SulongTikPinas says:

    For those who prioritize apps availability and ease-of-use, get the ipad 2.

    For those who are looking for strong and powerful hardware, go with Galaxy Tab 2 (8.9 or 10.1).

  30. elle says:

    what if i already bought ipad2 in US,would it still work here in philippines?

  31. irin says:

    there’s no the USB port?????????
    OMG !!! so bad !!!

  32. wreek888 says:

    Ipad2 out of stock in the states!

  33. the_evil_one says:

    when are you doing a review of the acer iconia a500? i’ve used both it and the ipad and find the android tablets to have much better functionality, better web browser and ability to use usb devices (500 gb external drives, keyboards and flash discs). would be interested to hear what you have to say about the two options.

  34. jake says:

    According to reliable sources.. there is new ipad (named as ipad 2 HD or ipad 3) this Q4 2011. This new generation ipad has higher resolution (retina display) and faster processor.

    So, would you buy the ipad 2 now or wait for the ipad 2 HD this Q4?

    Google it for your reference..to see is to believe!

  35. chinodavis19 says:

    i’m confused to what is the better tablet, Ipad2 wifi, Archos 101, Galaxy Tab P1010 wifi…

  36. gege says:

    help naman.. saan ba may murang ipad2? may discount ba if cash bbilhin ko sa aplle reseller? or hintayin ko na lang ipad3?

  37. iPhone Games says:

    Makakaread at edit ba ng excel/word files yung iPad 2? Next week darating na iPad 2 ko. Sana masatisfy ako. :)

  38. Ipadrox says:

    Explore nyo lang yun mga apps at lahat ng katanungan nyo ay masasagot. Makakapag office ka, edit ng pics para photoshop, onthe fly na powerpoint presentation, videoke, “magic” like games, fps, magbasa ng cbr and pdf files, skype, ym, camfrog, flowchart/graphs, reviewer, etc.

  39. Cindy says:

    Next week mgkakaroon n din aq ng ipad2. Ok nb yng ipa-jailbreak?

  40. Bartholomeu says:

    Makakaread at edit ba ng excel/word files yung iPad 2?

  41. isabella says:

    Those look really nice. I’m trying to find some cool notebook style cases, and I came across Portenzo.com. I really like all the custom options, and I am considering ordering one. Does anyone know about the Portenzo custom ipad cases?

  42. niko says:

    guys, do you know a store that accepts 24 month credit card payment? thanks

  1. March 18, 2014

    […] ran out stocks of the iPad 2), because the Cupertino-based firm has finally pulled the plug on its three year old slate in favor of the Retina-display-touting iPad […]

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