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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  • tammlam - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    As tablets become more common, it's allure will wear out just like the netbook fad. Netbooks will still be around; however people aren't excited anymore by them. Tablets can enjoy the spotlight for now until the next big thing comes along.
  • realroz - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    I got an iPad to explore it. My laptop is my main productivity machine. I still use the iPad a lot for a few select tasks and I don't think I would want to go back. It has become a very useful tool around the house. I use it to monitor cams, it's my garage TV, I use it when cooking for recipes and sometimes at the table for reading. I hear what you are saying in terms of faddishness but I don't think this sort of tablet is going away - it just needs to find the right areas of use for individuals and they won't want to give it up.
  • jcandle - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    That's because netbooks are mostly being replaced by two major market segments colliding. The increasingly functional smartphones and lower cost, faster, and more power efficient ultraportable notebooks. Netbooks that can effectively tackle the increasing rich media consumption of consumers are nearing the cost of notebooks. If portability is desired only a small bump in price results in a new ultraportable. Gone are the $2k starting price tags. Those who bought into them for their novelty value will always continue to chase new fads as you pointed out but those who found utility in them now have new options. Of course with a new refresh in Intel devices in mobile arena now dominated by ARM based chips we may see some design shake ups and possibly new convertible tablets. Thus completing the cycle and bringing netbook and tablets full circle into consumer devices.
  • BSMonitor - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    I do not think that tablets, especially touchscreen, will ever replace netbooks. All of the uses listed above are more of the behavior of a consumer than a producer. Do not get me wrong, it is a great tool for all of that.. But try building a spreadsheet with all kinds of formulas and such, copying and pasting that info into a "word" document... Try editing of music, powerpoints, etc... See what I am getting at.. Although I am sure all of it can be done, it still cannot be anywhere near as efficient as a keyboard and mouse. Multitasking is there, but still not the experience of netbook/notebook/PC.
  • Juzcallmeneo - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link
  • totenkopf - Friday, March 4, 2011 - link


    I agree. Tablets are now role player style devices and they are here to stay. They will stop selling like hotcakes in a couple years similar to the netbook phenomenon, and will join the laptop in ubiquity.

    The most important Apple innovation was the development of a modern, robust, and user friendly App market made for consumers by consumers. This is what gave real meaning, novelty, and utility to portable devices. The UI on all of apples most popular recent devices is by and large the same UI, as boring as it is compared to what one can do with Android is of little significance so long as it can maintain critical mass in marketshare to drive App development . Android, iOS, WebOS, Phone 7, etc. are only as relevant as their App experience. This makes me question the legitimacy of things like tablets and netbooks. I would like to see a company release a netbook type device that has only a screen, keyboard, and touchpad in a super slim, lightweight package that can wirelessly pair with my Android phone. said company then needs to make a App market component to drive the thing and voila! You could do the same but with a tablet too... just extend your phone to whatever form factor you fancy.

    This all goes back to my dream of desktop performance and storage in a smartphone form factor that can wirelessly pair with every peripheral/appliance I have (monitors, mice, keyboards, speakers, washer, drier, oven, car etc.). Mix in a little cloud action and you could always have everything right in your pocket.
  • bplewis24 - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    People weren't "wowed" because everything announced from a hardware standpoint is already seen or bested by the competition.

    Lastly, it's mostly "more of the same" from an OS perspective. There weren't any significant changes to the UI or multi-tasking/notification aspects of iOS, which some people are waiting for.

  • SimKill - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    As a guy with common sense, I cannot fathom how it would be practical for apple to roll out a ultra hi-res display on a 10 inch form factor. I see two major problems with having 2048*1536 on the iPad for atleast a year or two.

    Firstly, the cost would be outrageous. General public does not seem to grasp the idea that it's far easier to bump the density for smaller screen sizes in comparison to larger ones. I do remember seeing a 4.7" 1080p screen prototype somewhere but I still think it's far too early for it to be practical.

    Secondly, 2048x1536. Just look at the number of pixels. Everyone seems to forget that to push 4 times the pixels you need very powerful processing power. To put things into perspective, even normal desktops today don't have that many pixels. Also, running games on anything but the latest hardware (I'm thinking about the Radeons and the GeForces) is a complete joke at that resolution. You might mistake them for a slideshow rather than a game.

    And finally, the amount of electrical power it would consume would be sizeable. Which, in a market where screens consume the bulk of the power already doesn't seem quite feasible to me.
  • Juzcallmeneo - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    I agree and have been arguing these same points. I think its closer to 2 years before its going to come around.
  • sprockkets - Wednesday, March 2, 2011 - link

    "The iPhone 3G missed out on many of iOS 4's banner features - multitasking and home screen wallpapers being chief among these"

    Really? No user changeable wallpaper on the iphone 3G? Lame.

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