To further overuse a ridiculously overused phrase, the new iPad is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. The internals get what should be a nice bump, but the screen size and resolution remains the same, and we aren't going to see any major changes in the new tablet's interface or functionality. For the most part, it can do everything the original iPad could, just faster. Current iPad users who aren't bothered by the first-gen device's lack of a camera won't likely find a must-have reason to upgrade, especially since the first iPad will likely be supported by iOS 5 and beyond.

At the same time, users who found themselves unimpressed by the original iPad are unlikely to be won over by the iPad 2. A speed bump and a pair of cameras aren't enough to make the iPad more like a notebook if that's what you want.

However, the new iPad does attempt to further blur the line between full computers and tablets, a line that is only going to get blurrier as more Honeycomb tablets invade the market. The iPad still lacks a dedicated keyboard, which will probably always hamper its utility as a content creation device for me, but iMovie and GarageBand join the already existing iWork apps as decent tablet versions of desktop programs.

The iPad continues to be a good purveyor of the Apple Experience, a middle step between the iPhone and iPod Touch at the low-end and the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro at the high-end. We're missing a few performance and hardware details, and iOS is beginning to look a bit dated in comparison to Honeycomb, but none of these issues will likely stop the new iPad from being just as hot a seller as the previous version. 

The Software - iOS 4.3, iMovie, and GarageBand
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  • akula2 - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    It doesn't matter whether iPad was the first tablet or not. And, Apple doesn't claim it. Thing is, iPad has *shattered* the market by launching iPad product. The actual tablets starting to flood into the markets in huge volumes, it never happened earlier. Naturally, most of big players quickly woke up and started pumping out their tablet versions. Ultimately, the credit goes to Apple for bringing such a revolution in the market as well as for the evolution of a tablet which not only scaling great heights but also cannibalizing the Laptop and PC markets! Do you agree or not?
  • Juzcallmeneo - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    I do not agree on the point about laptop and pc markets, as I don't really know anybody who actually believes a giant iPod Touch is a PC replacement. The only recent Tablets that could be considered a that would be the Panasonic Rugged Tablets or the Asus Eee Slate. But yes I do agree that it was Apple's doing that caused the other companies to realize that the common people will gladly have a MID for casual Media Consumption as well as everything else a tablet was already used for. Now they are breaking out their long-awaited plans for their own devices and putting them on the market a little earlier than they expected.
  • Stas - Friday, March 4, 2011 - link

    I think it's all PR, really. Before the pad, there were good devices out like Archos portable media players. They had different apps, browser, wifi, etc. But did you ever see an ad for one? Forget TV or street billboards, how about newspapers, magazines, even Internet? I've been following them since version 4, yet I've never seen an ad for the device. If they had better sales, they could've invested more into R&D and made something like the current tablets. Anything Apple makes gets a lot of hype. That's why they could sell a turd for ridiculous money and make people feel like they just made the best investment in their lives.
  • owen_x_10 - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    I agree with you.
    there maybe other tablets around but they weren't able to properly sell it or at least never had a good idea how to tell people all its uses. Apple is good with it in all their products.

    There maybe tables even before, but people ignore them. Look at it now, everyone wants to own one.

    People are so used to tablets now because its everywhere, so with the announcement of iPad 2, it's like normal to them. And I think the reason why there's no WOW factor anymore is because Apple kinda lowered the energy in their announcement since they are aware that iPad isnt a new device anymore and nothing to give audience a WOW. Probably if they release a new product, like a game console or something else, they will make the keynote a big event again like that when iPhone was first introduced.
  • mason.s - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    "Forcing your own expectations onto a device is just wishful thinking."

    What a silly thing to say. The market is driven by customer expectations.
  • Juzcallmeneo - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

  • tim851 - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    // In case you haven't figured it out, it finally has features we expected from a tablet since day one. //

    Who is we?
    Given the outrageous (and to me still incomprehensible) success of the iPad, a large number of people didn't expect a whole lot more than it offered.
  • adam75 - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    Good grief. It's a handheld computer, and apple made it easier to hold. You can argue that making an iMac thinner is pointless, but to miss the "logic" of making the iPad thinner and lighter... wow. Just, wow.
  • RHurst - Wednesday, March 2, 2011 - link

    I agree. I mean, have you seen the iPad internals? The thing is tight and clean. Make it 33% thinner, lighter. Easy? Perhaps, but I think it's impressive.

    Watch the netbooks, even expensive notebooks. When was the last time they became significantly thinner and lighter with the same battery capacity? I see the Acer One, same thing for years, even when it's changing inside.

    That means redesign, in my book. A complete redesign. I like that kind of care, I value that. More power, same batttery, thinner.
  • djgandy - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    This is the sad thing about the PC market. I know the manufacturing is outsourced to China, but it seems that even the design is now too. Hundreds of dull cheaply produced case designs, nothing that costs that $20 more.

    A 11-12" laptop should be easy to produce thinly. It doesn't even need to have a dvd drive these days.

    A board, a 1.8" hard drive, a CPU, some ram. Why do I need a 15" chassis to hold all of that?

    Notebook manufacturers lost sight years ago. They keep packing bigger hard drives, stupid amounts of ram and expensive blu ray drives that push up the price and have little functionality.

    Then came net books, the underpowered undersized solution. Now we have tablets at the right size. When are the notebook makers going to realise that people want 10-12" laptops, and they are not fussed about quad core processors?

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