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Are iPad 2 Features a Hit or a Miss?

By  Mar 7, 2011

Topics: Gadgets & Computer Hardware

So, the big announcement about iPad 2 came on March 2nd just as promised, and Steve Jobs seems extremely proud of the new iPad device that will begin shipping on Friday (March 11). How about you? Do you think they did enough? If you own one, is there enough new stuff to make you ditch your iPad 1 and go for the new, slimmer model?

Just in case you weren't glued to the live blogging of the event as I was, here's a brief recap:

  • Dual-core processor with 2x faster CPU.
  • Graphics performance is increased 9x for better gameplay and video.
  • Front camera for FaceTime and rear camera for video recording and still photography.
  • Thinner than iPad1. Actually, it's even thinner than iPhone 4!
  • Two colors will be available, a white and black model, and both work with both AT&T and Verizon out the gate.
  • Same 10 hour battery life as well as 25 hour standby.
  • Same price scheme, starting $499 for the 16G WiFi model. 16, 32 and 64G available in either WiFi or 3G.    
  • Smart covers instead of a case. Held in place with magnets and "cleans" the screen w/ it's microfiber lining. Folds to support the iPad at an angle from top or bottom.
  • iOS 4.3, which includes new built-in apps like FaceTime and PhotoBooth, as well as the old standbys like iBooks, Maps, Safari, Mail, etc.
  • Additional new apps are iMovie and GarageBand at $5 each in the App Store.

There are many more details, of course, and you can find them at the Apple site. I found some of the things that didn't happen to be interesting as well, considering how much buzz there has been. No retina display like the iPhone and iPod touch. No port/slot for flash memory or USB. Will that affect your decision to purchase a new model if you already have the iPad 1? What about the other tablets that have been springing up all over the place? Playbook, Galaxy, Xoom, etc? Anyone choosing to go away from Apple and try the Android tabs instead?

I'm looking at getting one this time around (I always tend to wait for the bugs to get worked out before I jump on the bandwagon). Should I get the WiFi or go for the 3G? If you have either model, I'd love to hear your thoughts about why one is better or more convenient, or any problems you've run into.

What about apps? What do you consider the best apps for the iPad? I'm excited to try FaceTime on an iPad. That should be a pretty cool experience. Not sure if I'd buy iMovie for iPad since I have it on my MacBook, but I'd definitely be getting GarageBand as I know my kids would have a blast with that. What other new apps caught your attention, or what have been your standby apps, if you already own an iPad? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I doubt I'll be in the line on the 11th to pick one up (...or maybe I will), but since my birthday is coming up later this month, I think I know what will be on my wish list.