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5 Reasons why the iPad 2 sucks

March 14, 2011

Well here we are again, a new Apple product has been launched and various presstitutes are falling all over themselves about it. This time around it’s the iPad 2 that has so many journawhores gasping for breath and oozing Apple worship. Ugh. Must we go through this yet again simply because of a new iProduct?

For the record, I own an Apple iPad as well as other things like iMacs, etc. I’ve enjoyed many free apps and free games on my iPad, as well as paid apps. However, I am not impressed at all with the iPad 2 and I’ll tell you why in this column. I had considered getting one, but once I took a look at the specs I realized that it wasn’t worth upgrading.

iPad 2

iPad 2

If you aren’t familiar with the iPad 2, here’s some basic info so you know what to expect from it:

  • Height: 9.50 inches (241.2 mm)
  • Width: 7.31 inches (185.7 mm)
  • Depth: 0.34 inch (8.8 mm)
  • Weight: 1.33 pounds (601 g)
  • 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously
  • 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip
  • Back camera: Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio; still camera with 5x digital zoom
  • Front camera: Video recording, VGA up to 30 frames per second with audio; VGA-quality still camera
  • Tap to control exposure for video or stills
  • Photo and video geotagging over Wi-Fi
  • Built-in 25-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery
  • Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music
  • Charging via power adapter or USB to computer system
  • 30-pin dock connector port
  • 3.5-mm stereo headphone minijack
  • Built-in speaker
  • Microphone
  • Three-axis gyro
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light sensor

iPad 2 Size

Now that you have an idea of what the iPad 2 has to offer, here are 5 reasons why the iPad 2 sucks and why you shouldn’t buy one (especially if you already own an original iPad).

#5 Who Cares About FaceTime?
I use video chat often on my iMacs, but when I do it I use Skype. It works well and it’s a helpful way to stay in touch with family and friends. However, it’s very much an optional thing for me. I could easily get by without it.

Try as I might, I cannot understand the attraction to video chat in a portable device like the iPhone or iPad. I have the iPhone 4, but I’ve never used FaceTime on it and probably never will. Nobody else I know seems to bother with it either.

So the big selling point for the iPad 2 (front and rear cameras) is a bit of a washout. Who really cares about FaceTime on the iPad 2? Or any other video chat application for that matter? While it has a certain “coolness” factor, I doubt it’s something that many people will use daily.

#4 Thin is Not In!
One of iPad 2′s big claims to fame is that it is “33 percent thinner and up to 15 percent lighter.” Well, isn’t that special? Sorry but the first iPad was pretty darn thin and light already. Shaving off a bit of it really isn’t enough to get me to upgrade to iPad 2.

I’m sure that some people will find a more svelte iPad helpful but is it worth another $500 or so? I doubt it. I suspect most original iPad owners won’t have a second thought about a thinner iPad. Thin is definitely not always in!

On the next page I’ll cover reasons 3, 2 and 1, and I’ll also share my final thoughts about the iPad 2 debacle.

#3 Speed Kills
Well okay, speed does kill but not really in this context. There’s no doubt that the iPad 2 is faster than the original iPad. The new iPad has a dual-core A5 chip that helps speed things along.

But so what? I haven’t run into any situations on my original iPad that warrant having more speed. Games and applications run very quickly; I haven’t noticed anything yet that indicates some overriding need for more speed on my iPad.

I could understand the attraction of more speed if the original iPad was some sort of slowpoke that couldn’t run things properly. That has never been the case, however. So the much-vaunted dual-core A5 chip is a yawn-fest at best for original iPad owners.

How much faster do you need your iPad apps or games to run? Is it worth it to fork over the money for an iPad 2? I don’t think so.

#2 Bad Cameras
I’ve noticed that there seem to be some complaints about the quality of the cameras in the iPad 2. Hiawatha Bray, writing for the Boston Globe, had this to say about it:

But my iPad’s rear camera produces images that look absolutely awful. It’s especially galling since this camera is supposed to deliver 720p high-definition video. The video clips I shot were blurry and pixilated, not nearly as good as some I’ve taken with high-end smartphones. And the still photos were worse — intolerably grainy. I can’t quite believe they’re supposed to look like this, and I’ll be heading back to the store for a long chat with the Geek Squad.

Huh? A crappy rear camera? Is Apple kidding me? It seems beyond belief that Apple’s quality control let this squeak by. Hiawatha wasn’t the only one squawking about the camera problems in the iPad 2 either. Joshua Topolsky, writing for Engadget, had this to say:

Let’s just put this out there: the iPad 2 cameras are really pretty bad. They’re not unusable, but it’s clear that the sensors employed are not top shelf by any measure. If you have a fourth generation iPod touch with cameras, you can expect the same results. In fact, it seems to us that these are the SAME cameras used in the iPod touch — there’s an “HD” lens around back (which means it’s roughly a single megapixel shooter), and on the front you’ve got a lowly VGA cam. Neither one of these produces remotely satisfying results for still shots, and in particular (when compared with something like the Xoom), the back camera just seems utterly second rate. For video duties and FaceTime calls, the cameras are reasonably useful — but we would never trade a dedicated camera (or at least a smartphone with a 5+ megapixel shooter) for this.

Suspicious minds might think that Apple deliberately sabotaged the rear camera, to give iPad 2 owners a reason to upgrade to iPad 3. Fortunately, I’m not given to believing Apple greed conspiracies but the inclusion of a sub-par rear camera does give potential iPad 2 owners reason to stop and think before buying one.

#1 No Enhanced Screen Resolution
I used to read ebooks on my iPad (I’ve since switched to my Amazon Kindle 3) and one of my biggest beefs was the screen resolution. The iPad 2 has the same 1024 x 768 resolution as the original iPad. It’s okay for apps and even reading the occasional web page, but it’s not so great for ebooks. If you look at an ebook while using the iPad, you can see a bit of jaggedness to the letters.

This is something that I absolutely expected to be fixed in iPad 2, but apparently Apple was not able to get it done or it simply wasn’t a high enough priority. My iPhone 4, however, has a clearer, less fuzzy view of ebooks since it has Apple’s vaunted “retina display.”

Why wasn’t a retina display included in iPad 2? Why is the much-touted iPad 2 still lagging behind the older iPhone 4 when it comes to its display? Many questions but few answers seem to be forthcoming from Apple about the iPad 2′s outdated display screen.

Final Thoughts
I don’t want folks to walk away from this column thinking that I don’t like the iPad. I really do like it, it’s a fantastic device in many ways and it has really proven itself to be a game changer. However, the iPad 2 is simply a lukewarm derivative of the first iPad and it will quickly fade away and be replaced by an even better version next time around.

So, given all of its drawbacks, why even waste your time or money with an iPad 2? If you aren’t an Apple cultist or gadget addict then it just doesn’t make any sense. If you don’t already own an iPad, you can probably get a fantastic deal on an original iPad and skip the iPad 2 altogether. There’s really nothing in the iPad 2 that warrants paying a premium for it, it’s much ado about nothing. The iPad 2 really should have been dubbed iPad 1.5 because that’s about all it is.

Sorry Apple, you blew it with the iPad 2. It sucks as an upgrade and I’m not buying one.

What’s your take on the iPad 2? Will you buy one? Tell me in the comments below.


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36 Responses to 5 Reasons why the iPad 2 sucks

  1. Brad on February 3, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    @ Nicky10lbs:

    So you buy the next one!

  2. Brad on February 3, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Bunch of iFanboys who will doubtless be willing to shell out another $500 in six month’s time when the next shiny, sub-standard product is released. Great fashion accessory but if you want to get under the hood and do anything inventive then forget it. As an example, to set up wifi you have to put in the wronpassword to even see the proper settings! WTF! Pirated, cut-down version of Linux with a price tag for everything.

  3. Nicky10lbs on February 2, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Why doesnt Apple put a usb connection on it.or a sdcard slot for more memory.

  4. Daniel on January 5, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    More like 5 reasons why buying the iPad 2 would suck IF you already owned an iPad 1. Fail title, attention whore.

  5. K. Stevens on October 24, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I received my iPad 2 Friday. After unpacking it I already had to return it due to a bad connector so it did not even launch itunes or could not charge. When I finally got one home for a test drive, I was very disappointed. Almost every app that works great on my iPhone does not work on the iPad. I spent an entire weekend troubleshooting crap on this POS. The rest of the time I was suffering anxiety from buyers remorse.

    Up side? I have 14 days to return it no questions asked. BS there are always questions.

    Final thoughts. The iPad 2 is a device for people who cannot read the display of an iPhone. And an over priced ebook reader.

  6. Eddy on October 21, 2011 at 8:03 am

    ik ben perongeluk op deze site terecht gekomen en kon niet stoppen met lezen.. niet omdat het zo boeiend was, maar om alle spelfouten en bizarre zinsopbouw te zien.. wat was dit een apart verhaal zeg jezus, schrijf voortaan maar beter niets meer.

  7. Ress on September 28, 2011 at 4:31 am

    @ Thomas Moore: He wrote an excellent article, if you love Apple so much why don’t you go and shine Stevie’s shoes for him every morning for free and don’t use a PC ever in your life… oh wait every LARGE company in the world uses PC’s for business, oh snap! Get off the internet troll!

  8. Chile on September 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Naysayers come and bash the author…. but why were they here in the first place? Were they drawn to the title of the article? iPad sucks…absolutely they were…because it does and they know it.

  9. Frances on August 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    The IPAD stinks. The 3g network runs even when I have home wi-fi…the sound is pathetic.
    SAVE YOUR MONEY…buy a pc.

  10. Mark Yates on June 23, 2011 at 12:01 am

    @ Cate Gallivan: Apple is a pretty good detractor of their selves. All hype and hardly no authentic innovation in the last 5 years. their best product is their OS by far which Linux has already laid the groundwork for them to build it anyway. It’s an apple shell on a linux OS. Don’t praise Steve Jobs, Praise Bill Gates instead, he actually deserves praise. I hate apple. If I get a tablet it will be the blackberry playbook or a google android based tablet. I would love to see microsoft put one out.

  11. Jack on May 10, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Are you retard? You just contradicted yourself multiple times. @ Juan Dela Cruz:

  12. Jack on May 10, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Well, for one, we should respect his opinion, but this retread (yes i mean re-tread not retard) obviously really has no idea how much apple put into this upgrade. At the time apple has not built new cameras, an if they delayed the product even more they would have received ridicule from Someome like the author of this article. The iPad 2 is better than the first, and apple is planing on creating a smaller spin off of it (from what I’ve heard.) its total jerks like you that just need to rip on new Products, most likely because you can’t afford a new one. :cheerful: ?

  13. Chad on March 28, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I have an article I’d like to share titled “1 Reason Why You Wrote This Article”.

    You’re angry.

    Admit it, you’re absolutely furious that you paid the same ammount for an obviously inferior device a year ago.

  14. Joe on March 27, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Well a really good informative article, Thus indeed makes world aware not to buy over priced ipad 2 XOOM is the biggest thing.

    IPAD2 a total flop and failure, Nobody wants to be trapped and feel they’re in apple’s jail whatever steve jobs order they’ll follow it. Its monopoly by apple when it comes to Apps and who cares about Apps anyways. 90% of tablet users just surf the internet listen to music or watch movies weather can be checked just 2 clicks away with in few seconds i don’t need to install a stupid app on my tablet for it. infact there are websites that are customized to break free us from App stores.

    Thanks Jim!

  15. Juan Dela Cruz on March 23, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Just buy one of those premium brands; TOSHIBA or BLACKBERRY and not an entry bottom line level product Made in Taiwan generic called Apple computers, ipad, ipod, etc. etc.
    Money is hard nowadays in America. I always look for branded, durable, and reliable products. Japan, Canadian, EU, China. American products and or branded ones, NO THANKS. Its like saying “NO THANK YOU FOR CRAP FORD, GM, CHEVY”.

  16. Ukinayo on March 23, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    ABSOLUTELY correct review; well if only steve jobs would ask a chinese OEM and not a surplus assembler in Taiwan using discarded pc parts 20 years ago to make iPad2 and price it a about ten dollars a piece, well they could claim to have sold at least one hundred thousand; sorry but apple is a liar corporation. Ten out of ten iPad2 buyers are refunding, but steve jobs keeps on refunding and telling customers that refunds, its ok its all your just dont tell apple sucks.

    American products sucks and so all americans assholes

  17. Daryl on March 19, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    :cool: The iPad 2 is a complete waste of time. If you are going to spend the money anyway, just get a Xoom. It’s upgradable, customizable and overall better in every way. Plus it will last longer than the iPad 2 ever would.


  18. N2WEC on March 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    I see that the idiots were turned loose. I wasted my time reading your ignorant gibrish. If I wanted to read ignorance I would have picked up the comics. Your grammar is terrible and your knowledge base is pure loser material. Please get an education before you next open your pie hole.

  19. Johnny Z on March 19, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Yeah, the iPad sucks, but for different reasons listed here. No SD Card slot. No USB. Can’t run Mac OS X applications. Keep it how thick it was the first time and add these features and you got a winner.

    Apple is officially on a power trip with the iPad 2. They don’t care about the customer anymore, they’re just trying to show off how thin/small they can make stuff and leaving out the functionality.

  20. jacob on March 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    The ipad 1 ssucked and this one is like a bad joke being repeated again -guess what?- it’s still not funny. the ipad just like all tablets is a failed piece of trash that is worth about as much as a 150 dollar netbook (which is by the way faster and with more memory), not to mention it’s fragile, has a very limited os, limited useful applications (compared to what a computer can do), poor viewing angles… the list just goes on and on. The only people who will ever buy ipads are the rich idiots who have enough money to waist on a pretty piece of useless trash like the ipad.

  21. Jim on March 17, 2011 at 9:49 am

    True, Brian. You can’t really win but that’s okay. I always enjoy reading the pro/con comments from folks about these kinds of products. People usually have interesting takes on features that are different from mine, so it’s all good. :smile:

  22. Brian Masinick on March 16, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Isn’t it funny that you get blasted, Jim, any time that you dare say the slightest thing critical about an Apple product (presumably by Apple fans), but then if you sing the praises of an Apple product, you get accused of being a love crazed lunatic, presumably by Microsoft or Google fans.

    I guess the moral of the story is to write highly, opinion charged pieces in this area; at least you get a lot of responses! ;-)

  23. Bix on March 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    “But so what? I haven’t run into any situations on my original iPad that warrant having more speed. Games and applications run very quickly; I haven’t noticed anything yet that indicates some overriding need for more speed on my iPad.”

    iPad 2 with new CPU and double the RAM is able to cache all of the Safari windows/tabs you have open. The original iPad would have to refresh some of the windows after you jumped to another one.

    Also, check out the graphics comparisons between the iPad and iPad 2 versions of various 3D games.

    The CPU/GPU/RAM boost was needed and the apps that take advantage of it have shown noticeable improvements.

    Also, this whole article is ridiculous.

    The competitors are all adding cameras. There was no way Apple was going to ship without any.

    Etc. etc.

  24. WhatAboutMeBob on March 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I’m not going to engage every argument offered here, but I will say this — the decrease in size IS compelling to me. Full disclosure: I do not have an iPad 1. Frankly, I didn’t see a lot of use for a “tweener” device (and I still don’t honestly –laptops and iphones have the spectrum well covered, imho).

    But the iPad is interesting/appealing as a toy, and to me, any decrease in weight is a big deal (bigger than thickness, actually). iPad 1s are HEAVY — particularly when you have to hold them for a while. Try holding one one handed to read it on the subway. You’ll do that for about 2 minutes, tops.

    Any shaving in weight is a step in the right direction. And a much bigger development imho than those silly cameras.

  25. Dave on March 15, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Because I don’t think it is worth $500 for cameras I already have on my phone and a faster cpu.

  26. Sab on March 15, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Writing style aside, I agree on a lot of points in the article.

    Specifically, that the cameras and screen are CLEAR indicators that Apple is holding out on us.

    Jobs chooses that product cycle more carefully than the disciples of Christ. We’re seeing the iPhone roll-out all over again. 1st-gen: break-through, but clearly missing important features. 2nd-gen: a few improvements, but ultimately a letdown. 3rd-gen: everything the first SHOULD have been.

  27. Illogicbuster on March 15, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    @ Thomas Moore:

    Why, SPECIFICALLY do think think that?

  28. Dave on March 15, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I have to agree with the content of the review if not the title. It should be titled iPad2 not worth the upgrade. It makes more sense to me to skip this generation unless you absolutely must have a camera in addition to your cell phone camera or need a faster CPU for some application.

  29. Debacle on March 15, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Do you want some cheese with that?

    There are already games with iPad 2 enhancements that look significantly better – anti-aliasing (fixing your whine about the lack of a retina display – despite the fact that these aren’t available for Apple to use currently) and better texturing and shaders.

    ‘Debacle’ … sheesh. Get over yourself.

  30. Marek K Nowak on March 15, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Who cares about FaceTime? Thin is Not In? Speed Kills?

    Millions of people do care about those features, apparently. I wouldn’t bet anything on your ability to judge market success.

  31. ACM on March 15, 2011 at 7:31 am

    That was probably the worst “review” I’ve ever had the chance to skim. Utterly pathetic.

  32. Mike on March 15, 2011 at 4:13 am

    A real attention whore here.

    I seriously doubt he likes the iPad.

    If this was such a piss poor product, why did he buy an original iPad?

    It surely could not have met his lofty standards.

    The iPad 2 wi probably triple the sales of the original will be much to his chagrin.

    I had an original and now have an iPad 2. It’s a great product.

    I have never found the screen to be suicIdal inducing.

    I guess this yo yo does not realize what’s involved with putting a retina display in an iPad.

    First thing is being able to make a less than 10″ screen with over 3 million pixels.

    It’s then going to need more than an Apple A5 to drive this new display. While the new A5 wipes the floor of the old iPad, it still is not enough.

    Then you have battery issues possibly with a A6 Quad core chip and even more powerful CPU.

    This guy obviously has no clue of what’s involved with hardware development.

    He should just get a Xoom tablet.

    Oh wait, benchmarks show the iPad 2 killing the Xoom.

    Ah well, it’s just a pathetically minor upgrade. Who cares?

  33. Matt on March 15, 2011 at 3:03 am

    This really is a classic case of sophomoric castigation from someone clearly incapable of putting themselves in someone else’s position. I’m guessing you don’t have kids because if you did then those cameras and their video chat potential would be a major selling point. And judging by the way you brush the device aside when it comes to gaming, I’m guessing Angry Birds is the pinnacle of your experience there, because if you played games that actually put the hardware through its paces then you’d know that the iPad 2′s performance gains (2-3 times that of the original) are going to have major ramifications for future development.

    But hey, that’s not what you’re interested in and that’s fine. You have a narrow minded view of the device, so it’s hardly surprising that when Apple beefs it up in all the places you don’t care about, you’re unimpressed. That doesn’t make the iPad a crap product, it just makes it insufficient for your needs. But other people have different needs and for them the iPad 2 is leaps and bounds ahead of the original. For some reason, you seem incapable of grasping this rather basic social fact of differing needs and expectations. Maybe there’s an app for that. :p

  34. Robert Davis on March 15, 2011 at 2:07 am


    What’s that crap? You are awful.

  35. Cate Gallivan on March 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Nice one, I appreciate your comments, especially since you own the original. It’s hard to get clarity with the hipster iWorship on one side and the Apple detractors on the other. The fact that the screen hasn’t been improved as an e-reader makes it a deal breaker for me.

  36. Thomas Moore on March 14, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    “I don’t want folks to walk away from this column thinking that I don’t like the iPad”

    That’s Ok. I walked away from this column thinking you have the journalistic skills of a 5 yr old.

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