Only a day left before the iPad 2 releases and the reviews have started to appear on the web. From the likes of Engadget to New York Times, the overall impression of the iPad 2 is an overwhelmingly positive one, save for weakest link, which happens to be the shoddy cameras. In fact, the general consensus is that the second gen iPad remains the best in the booming tablet market. Check out the entire review roundup below!
Joshua Topolsky [Engadget]
It might frustrate the competition to hear this, but it needs to be said: the iPad 2 isn’t just the best tablet on the market, it feels like the only tablet on the market. As much as we’d like to say that something like the Xoom has threatened Apple’s presence in this space, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to do that. Is the iPad 2 a perfect product? Absolutely not. The cameras are severely lacking, the screen — while extremely high quality — is touting last year’s spec, and its operating system still has significant annoyances, like the aggravating pop-up notifications.
For those of you who haven’t yet made the leap, feel free to take a deep breath and dive in — the iPad 2 is as good as it gets right now. And it’s really quite good.
Walter Mossberg [WSJ]
As new contenders move into the field, Apple isn’t likely to keep its 90% share of the booming tablet market. But the iPad 2 moves the goal posts, by being slimmer and lighter, boosting speed and power, and holding its price advantages, available apps and battery life. As of now, I can comfortably recommend it as the best tablet for average consumers.
David Pogue [NYT]
My friends, I’m telling you: just that much improvement in thinness, weight and speed transforms the experience. We’re not talking about a laptop or a TV, where you don’t notice its thickness while in use. This is a tablet. You are almost always holding it. Thin and light are unbelievably important for comfort and the overall delight. So are rounded edges, which the first iPad didn’t have.
MG Siegler [Tech Crunch]
In terms of the other competition out there that doesn’t begin with a lowercase “i”, it’s becoming clearer by the day that most don’t yet stack up well against the iPad 1, let alone iPad 2. I’ve only played with a Xoom for a few minutes, and I was generally impressed, but apparently it’s very, very buggy. The tablets from RIM and HP aren’t out yet, and the pricing details around them don’t sound too promising. (The iPad 2, by the way, starts at the same $499 price point of the original iPad.) Further, the app support for all of the rivals isn’t too promising right now either. That’s one of the iPad 2′s greatest advantages that doesn’t show up on a spec sheet
Let me sum all of this up in a simple way: the iPad 2, should you buy one? Maybe — it depends on a few factors. Will you want to buy one? Yes. Use that information wisely.
Jon Gruber [Daring Fireball]
The iPad 2 is a solid second-generation iteration. Easier and more comfortable to hold, noticeably faster, equippable with foldable covers that are both literally and figuratively magnetic. Like last year’s iPhone 4, it seems like technology from the near future.
Jason Snell [MacWorld]
For Apple’s competitors in the tablet-device market, the iPad 2 is a bucket of water to the face. After more than a year of struggling to catch up to the original iPad, here’s a new model that addresses many of the iPad’s deficiencies, dramatically improves its speed, and doesn’t cede any ground on price, features, or battery life. The iPad 2 raises the bar Apple set a year ago—and it’s time for the rest of the industry to scramble again to catch up
For everyone else, the iPad 2 is a triumph, an iPad that’s even more iPad than the original. And the original one was really good. The first iPad was a bolt from the blue, a device that defined an entire category, and a tough act to follow. The iPad 2 follows it with aplomb.
Vincent Nguyen [Slashgear]
On most levels, then, the iPad 2 over-delivers. By boosting speed and graphics performance while simultaneously slimming down the chassis and preserving battery life, Apple has maintained its core strengths and extended its lead in what are arguably the toughest areas rivals faces. Sure, a Retina Display would have been great, and high-resolution camera, but it’s relatively straightforward to drop those into the next iPad; it’s a whole lot more difficult to make a super-thin tablet with 10+ hours of runtime.
Mark Spoonauer [Laptop Mag]
Apple didn’t need to do a lot to stay in the tablet lead, but it has certainly done enough to create more distance between itself and the rest of the field. The thinner, lighter iPad 2 raises the bar for design. And while the new dual-core processor didn’t blow us away, it provides a noticeable performance boost while making resource-hungry apps such as iMovie feel buttery smooth. The camera quality isn’t great, there’s no 4G data, and iOS could do a better job with notifications
But the $499 starting price still can’t be beat, at least by tablets you might want to buy. When you look at the whole package — hardware, software, apps, battery life, accessories, and yes, that price — the iPad 2 is the king of tablets.