25 March 2012
review: iPad 2
After having no interest in buying a tablet the last two years, I suddenly found myself finding that the compact size and long battery life of these devices were something I could use more and more. With release of the new iPad, the iPad 2 was dropped in price 100$ and was a little more affordable. While 16 gigs are not a lot by today's standards, it does allow enough space for light usage.
My iPod had 64 gigs of storage so I had decided before I bought the iPad to not put music on it and only video I would be using immediately. The 16 gig restriction is a little annoying, I would have liked the chance for a 32 gig, but apple isn't offering anything larger unless it's the new iPad.
After a week of using the device, it is easy to see why it has become such a popular device. It is much faster than a phone or iPod using the wifi, playing games and anything else a small portable device is used for. I don't find typing on it particularly difficult as I had been lead to believe in many reviews I had read. Even more surprising was how useful it is for drawing and sketching using the sketch-up app and a Wacom stylus. It is not super precise, but considering a Wacom tablet with built in screen starts at 1000$, it is a pretty impressive tool to have at this price.
I am not a big gamer, but I do like adventure games and I was eager to see Riven on the iPad. It played great and the enlarged images are ok but the video is fairly pixelated. So when possible I would recommend getting HD games made for the device over iPhone versions when price isn't a barrier.
The 2 cameras, as with the iPod touch, are horrible. Video chat on Skype is not bad, I don't want or expect film quality there, but even as portable camera the images are too grainy. Using an iPad as a camera or video recorder is awkward to say the least. I would rather see more storage space, larger battery or lower price in place of the rear camera.