Beginning at 5PM local time, the much anticipated iPad 2 will be on sale across the U.S. at Apple stores (236 to be exact), AT&T & Verizon stores, Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, and other Apple-Authorized Resellers. Additionally, customers can order their iPad 2 at Apple.com starting at 1AM PT/4AM ET on March 11th. Furthermore, Apple has stated that “every customer that purchases an iPad 2 at an Apple retail store will be offered a free, Personal Setup service, helping them customize their iPad 2 by setting up email, loading new apps from the App Store℠ and even more. This new addition cuts down the time it takes to get our iPad 2 up and running before you even leave the store.” Even though all of this sounds fine and dandy, it’s important to analyze the differences between the iPad and iPad 2, whether you are upgrading or purchasing your first tablet.
Size and Weight:
- iPad: 1.5lb; 9.56×7.47x.528 inches; rounded edges, flat back
- iPad 2: 1.33lb; 9.5×7.31x.346 inches; rounded edges, curved back
- Same: 9.7 inches; multi-touch display at a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels; LED backlighting; fingerprint and scratch-resistant coating
- iPad: 1 GHz Apple A4 system on a chip
- iPad 2: 1.08 GHz Apple A5 system on a chip
- iPad: iOS 4.2.1
- iPad 2: iOS 4.3
- Same: built-in-25 watt-hour rechargeable lithium polymer battery; 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music; 9 hours of surfing the web using 3G data netowrk
- iPad: accelerometer, ambient light sensor, magnetometer
- iPad 2: +Gyroscope
However, the iPad 2, despite having that ever so important earphone jack, comes with only a charger and sync cable. The new back camera is a more exciting function than the original as it shoots less than 1MP and does not have a flash; In addition, the new front-facing camera shoots at VGA-quality,which allows for Skype’s FaceTime. One flaw is that it does not have HD-level video, like on the new MacBooks. Above the volume control sits the rotational lock/mute switch that can be adjusted in the settings menu to control either function. Additionally, the new Safari browser allows you to view some pages in full or mobile modes (i.e. ESPN.com), as well as watch some mini-videos on sites such as ESPN, CNN, and Vimeo. Customers will also have the option to purchase the iPad 2 in white or black and the new Smart Cover. The Smart Cover is made of either polyurethane or leather and comes in an array of colors. A nifty new accessory, the Smart Cover magnetically attaches to the side of your iPad, protects the screen, and automatically sends the iPad to sleep when it’s closed and wakes it when it’s opened.
Prices for the iPad 2 are as follows:
- 16 GB: $499
- 32 GB: $599
- 64 GB: $699
- 16 GB: $629
- 32 GB: $729
- 64 GB: $829
If you can’t decide whether or not you want the option of a 3G service plan in the future (or know you want it now), here is what you can expect to pay from AT&T and Verizon Wireless for data services:
- 250MB: $12.99
- 2GB: $25.00
- AT&T is also offering 1 free month of 2GB of data; Overages for AT&T are $10 per GB if you exceed your limit.
- 1 GB: $20
- 3 GB; $35
- 5 GB: $50
- 10GB: $80
- All of Verizon’s data plans will be available without a contract, so the users have the option to activate or cancel service at any time.
So no matter what you are planning on doing to get your hands on the iPad 2, whether it be standing in a long line, pre-ordering to avoid the craziness, or you have some other method. Let us know about your experience in your adventure to get the latest in mobile technology or whatever thoughts you have on the Apple iPad 2.