News
 

Bookmark and Share

(11) 

The Apple iPad 2 does impress with its much better performance, thinner form-factor and similar price compared to the first-gen tablet from Apple. But the second-generation slate from the company lacks radical improvements. It does not offer a package of features that will inevitably be available on competing devices and eventually on the iPad 3.

The second-generation Apple iPad is definitely a device that is full of compromises. This is hardly something surprising. Firstly, Apple iPad is a product that Apple has been selling at below the company's usual profit margins in order to gain ground on the market it believes in. Secondly, Apple iPad is the first media tablet that became astonishingly successful and its maker needs to maintain the lead to make the successor not only bigger, but overwhelmingly bigger; thus, Apple needs to maintain the price-points, improve user experience, boost performance, enable new applications, but avoid costly innovative features. This is what was exactly done with the iPad 2. Unfortunately, not only the innovations disappeared from the final device, but Apple decided to cut even low-cost features that would have made the life of a typical user more comfortable.

 

Just like the predecessor, Apple iPad 2 lacks high-definition video screen, a must have feature nowadays. Not only a high-resolution display allows to watch high-def videos and show more information on the screen, but it also enables applications that are visually better and more appealing, something that apple needs to combat Google Android platform. Those people, who use iPad for professional purposes would naturally appreciate higher resolution screen as it would easily transform into better productivity. Still, since Apple considers iPad mostly an entertainment device and does not sell 720p videos, it may not be interested in an HD screen for its tablet just now. The iPad 3 may fix this.

Although after years of hesitation Apple finally integrated Secure Digital card readers into its laptops, for some reason it decided to leave the iPad 2 without an SD card slot, just like it did with the predecessor. The motives of Apple are not exactly clear: at present it is impossible to quickly and easily transfer photos, documents and media files to the slate due to the lack of any removable storage. Following its competitors, Apple may build an SD reader into the third-generation iPad.

Another thing that the iPad 2 did not get is support for USB. At present installation of USB 3.0 requires an additional chip, which is, given the form-factor, an issue; but the USB 2.0 could have been integrated into any controller within the new iPad without any problems. Still, Apple decided against supporting the industrial standard with the iPad 2. Perhaps, the iPad 3 can fix the issue with USB 3.0 support?

While the iPad 2 addressed a major issue of the first-generation model - the lack of cameras - it does not seem that the current cam configuration is truly up-to-date. The front-facing camera has VGA (640x480) resolution, which is not enough for normal video conferencing via Skype or other applications. Nothing is known about the rear camera except the fact that it can capture 720p video, not an earth-shaking feature. So, while the second generation iPad got cameras, they could have been better.

Despite of the fact that Apple installed a dual-core ARM-based A5 system-on-chip (SoC) into the iPad 2, it does not look like the iOS 4.3 supports proper multitasking. At present it is impossible to upload/convert a video, listen to an Internet radio, monitor a news-feed or Twitter and browse the Internet on the iPad. It does not seem that at least initially the iPad 2 will allow the "true" multitasking", but will simply allow to run more tasks in the background (as many as memory allows). Perhaps, Apple just need to position its iPad as a commercial or business device (if is not developing an iPad Pro) in order to add certain features, or just implement them into the next-gen product.

Just like the original iPad, its successor does not support Adobe Flash, which means that the device will not be able to display certain Internet pages and therefore provide "full" Web experience. Many live feeds today are still based on Flash and will be unavailable even on the iPad 2. Support for flash is not something that requires creation of iPod 3, but is something that could be enabled on this one without many problems.

According to some analysts, who dissected Motorola Xoom tablet, it will easy for the company to add support for 4G/LTE [long term evolution] networks into the slate going forward. Given the fact that Apple was the first company to introduce a successful media tablet and basically set the fashion for design and functionality of appropriate devices, the firm was the first candidate to integrate the next-gen connectivity. Unfortunately, Apple decided not to implement the 4G/LTE support into the iPad 2, although the technology is definitely gaining ground. The move is generally understandable, though, as the firm wanted to continue selling the iPad 2 at the price-points of the original iPad and make the device a tad smaller and lighter. As a result, integration of an expensive baseband solution could ruin the plan.

Tactical decisions of Apple when it comes to the design of the iPad 2 are completely clear and so are the preconditions. Functionality and usability of many devices is no longer determined by the built-in hardware features, but the innovation of the software. Apple has invested into new programs for the new device and also increased processing capability by the factor of two and graphics processing capability by the factor of nine. Indisputably, this is going to enable new programs for the platform (the question is whether it will be backwards compatible) that promise to offer all-embracing functionality.

In spite of the pretty obvious drawbacks, the success of the iPad 2 will not only repeat that of the original device, but will likely exceed that substantially. The owners of the first-generation iPad and other media tablets should not speed up with the transition to the iPad 2. Even though it is much more powerful and will definitely enable astonishing software, it is certainly not a new revolution. The Apple iPad 3 will be. Maybe.

Tags: Apple, iPad, PowerVR

Discussion

Comments currently: 11
Discussion started: 03/06/11 01:44:42 AM
Latest comment: 05/26/11 06:54:01 PM
Expand all threads | Collapse all threads

[1-7]

1. 
This thing is a disaster. Apple is going down. They started to ruin their producs from last year when they released the ubber crappy iPod nano disaster.
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 03/06/11 01:44:42 AM]
Reply
- collapse thread

 
apple is going down about... let me see...
the last 20 or so years

0 0 [Posted by: nitro912gr  | Date: 03/06/11 04:19:37 AM]
Reply

2. 
I'm sick of this mobile devices boom. All we can read about these days are smarthphones and tablets. Who cares?
0 0 [Posted by: Harry Lloyd  | Date: 03/06/11 02:57:09 AM]
Reply
- collapse thread

 
You do, otherwise you could just ignore articles and news about them

I don't think it matters if someone reads the article because he cares, or just to say that he doesn't care, in the very end this article not only got 1 pageview from you, but plus you read it.

So when someone will check the system on how many people read the article he will see raw numbers and he will believe that people like to read these articles.

0 0 [Posted by: nitro912gr  | Date: 03/06/11 04:19:02 AM]
Reply
 
A lot of people... not me!
0 0 [Posted by: jonup  | Date: 03/06/11 05:47:42 AM]
Reply

3. 
Apple is big Company.
They will not bring two tablet in the same year.
But the truth is, Ipad 3 will be better in Ipad 2. But not this year.
C'mon.. only dumb people will believe that ipad 3 will show up this year.

0 0 [Posted by: angelo621  | Date: 03/06/11 07:12:23 AM]
Reply

4. 
check out this article for what to look for in the ipad 3

http://www.thedailytech.c...ad-3-and-mobileme-revamp/
0 0 [Posted by: wanton777  | Date: 03/06/11 03:18:11 PM]
Reply

5. 
I still don't understand how people consider 1024x768 "sub-par" resolution for a 10 inch screen. I mean seriously? Do people hold their tablets 2 cms from their face? Someone who is seeking maximum productivity wouldn't use a tablet in the first place.Resolution is overrated imho. So I think the resolution argument is moot.

For example, the iPhone 4 has superior resolution to the Samsung Galaxy S. But all in all the Galaxy S has a larger screen with better viewing angle. Those 2 aspects FAR outweigh any additional benefits of resolution.

I bet the "resolution freaks" would want 2560x1600 in a 10 inch panel if such an option was available. I am sitting here perfectly happy with a 1080P on a 37 inch LCD for a computer screen and wouldn't trade it for a 27 inch 2560x1440 monitor. Beyond a certain point, the benefits of increased resolution are negligible because the human eye can't discern differences when viewed from a distance. For example, the experience at a movie theatre is far more engrossing than on a tiny 13 inch MacBook Pro or on an iphone 4. I would bet these 2 Apple screens have greater pixels per inch though which technically makes them superior.

Why is the Ipad so successful? For starters, none of the competitors have been able to produce something as thin and as cheap. This is why Apple didn't have to go all out to improve on the Ipad 1 because their competitors haven't even caught up to the 1st one. Obviously Apple is doing something right after having sold something like 14 million iPads. I don't think I'll buy a tablet any time soon, but I will admit this one is by far the best one on the market. For only $499, you get the lightest, thinnest tablet, with superior construction quality. This model is good enough for another 10 months or so until IPad 3 comes out.
0 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 03/06/11 06:38:11 PM]
Reply
- collapse thread

 
I still don't understand how people consider 1024x768 "sub-par" resolution for a 10 inch screen. I mean seriously? Do people hold their tablets 2 cms from their face? Someone who is seeking maximum productivity wouldn't use a tablet in the first place.Resolution is overrated imho. So I think the resolution argument is moot.

For example, the iPhone 4 has superior resolution to the Samsung Galaxy S. But all in all the Galaxy S has a larger screen with better viewing angle. Those 2 aspects FAR outweigh any additional benefits of resolution.

I bet the "resolution freaks" would want 2560x1600 in a 10 inch panel if such an option was available. I am sitting here perfectly happy with a 1080P on a 37 inch LCD for a computer screen and wouldn't trade it for a 27 inch 2560x1440 monitor. Beyond a certain point, the benefits of increased resolution are negligible because the human eye can't discern differences when viewed from a distance.


This is an old reply, and I only quoted part of your post, but I agree with everything you said. It baffles me why some people and reviewers have this idea that high resolution is better on a small display. Fact is it is NOT better. Its far worse for many reasons that you mentioned. It also makes text and icons much smaller, harder to see, and harder to locate and touch on a touch screen. The resolution on the current iPad is perfect.
0 0 [Posted by: TC93  | Date: 03/23/11 06:52:25 PM]
Reply

6. 
Many of these "missing features" are intentionally left out as strategic choices by Apple. No SD card slot, no USB, no Flash support, etc. They could have easily been included in iPad2 but were left out. Don't expect them to be automatically included in iPad3.

Fortunately there is considerable competition building in this market and you can expect these features to be found on other devices. Just not from Apple.
0 0 [Posted by: Divide Overflow  | Date: 03/07/11 04:00:16 PM]
Reply

7. 
same sentiments with comment #6.
i'm a PC guy and i don't see any fault in iPad 2 design.
everything seems laid out according to their plan, to follow what's going to be on Ipad 3 which happens in a year.

the device is so successful that they don't need the 2 for this year, probably did to satisfy fans and stockholders.

i just wished a competitor could stand against these, and skip over a netbook with a tablet that has PC capabilities.
0 0 [Posted by: zodiacfml  | Date: 03/07/11 09:25:50 PM]
Reply

[1-7]

Add your Comment




Related news

Latest News

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

8:52 pm | Lisa Su Appointed as New CEO of Advanced Micro Devices. Rory Read Steps Down, Lisa Su Becomes New CEO of AMD

Thursday, August 28, 2014

12:22 pm | AMD Has No Plans to Reconsider Recommended Prices of Radeon R9 Graphics Cards. AMD Will Not Lower Recommended Prices of Radeon R9 Graphics Solutions

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

9:09 pm | Samsung Begins to Produce 2.13GHz 64GB DDR4 Memory Modules. Samsung Uses TSV DRAMs for 64GB DDR4 RDIMMs

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

6:41 pm | AMD Quietly Reveals Third Iteration of GCN Architecture with Tonga GPU. AMD Unleashes Radeon R9 285 Graphics Cards, Tonga GPU, GCN 1.2 Architecture

Monday, August 25, 2014

6:05 pm | Chinese Inspur to Sell Mission-Critical Servers with AMD Software, Power 8 Processors. IBM to Enter Chinese Big Data Market with the Help from Inspur