iPad 2: Thin, Not Picture Perfect
March 9, 2011 by Walter S. Mossberg
Just as most of its competitors are rolling out their first multitouch tablets to compete with its game-changing iPad, Apple on Friday will start selling a second-generation model, the iPad 2.
The new iPad 2 is about a third thinner and over 10% lighter, yet speedier and more powerful than the original version, which sold a whopping 15 million units in its first nine months and, for many users, challenged their laptops as a digital tool. And it costs the same as the original.
I've been testing an iPad 2 for about a week and I like it a lot. While it's evolutionary rather than revolutionary like the first model, the changes Apple has made are generally pleasing and positive, and the device worked very well for me.
Its improvements, including front and rear cameras, outweigh the few drawbacks and feature omissions I found. For most average, nontechie users, I would recommend it over the handful of tablet competitors I've tested so far, especially given that the entry price remains attractive.
Dozens of tablet competitors are coming this year and I haven't had a chance to test them. But the iPad 2, in my view, offers an excellent balance of size, functionality and price, and keeps Apple ahead in the tablet race, at least for now.
However, unless you are desperate for the cameras or feel you are laboring under the greater bulk of the original model, I don't advise that iPad owners race to get the new version.
The first iPad, which can be upgraded to Apple's latest iOS operating system, is selling for $399 while supplies last.