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.
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
- Three-axis gyro
- Ambient light sensor
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.
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.