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iPad 2 Two Weeks Later: Is It Still Worth It?

by Emily Price | March 28, 2011March 28, 2011 4:15 pm PDT

As some of you may remember, I did not own an original iPad. When the tablet originally launched, I declared it a “giant iPhone,” and actively made fun of those who considered making a purchase. After seeing the tablet in action, I changed my tune a bit; and come iPad 2 launch day I was sitting in the floor of my local mall anxiously awaiting the opportunity to spend $600 on my own personal giant iPod Touch.

So, has it lived up to all my expectations? After two weeks of tablet ownership, here are some of the thing I’ve enjoyed about owning the tablet, and some of the drawbacks.

Application Wonderland

The applications that have been made for the iPad are really what makes the iPad for me. Without them, it really would be a giant iPod Touch, and probably something I wouldn’t be interested in. Flipboard has changed the way I read news. If you’re never used it, Flipboard takes your RSS feeds, Twitter, and Facebook, and turns them into a virtual magazine of sorts. It looks pretty slick, and when you’re reading literally hundreds of sites a day, it makes reading them a ton more enjoyable. I love GarageBand, and I find myself playing a lot more games on the large screen than I do on my phone (not sure if that’s a good thing).

Portability

I carry my iPad with me pretty much everywhere. I carry around pretty big purses, but the iPad fits in every one of them, and doesn’t weigh enough that I even realize it’s there. Since it is with me everywhere, I find myself pulling it out a lot of places like coffee shops and bars waiting for friends (Yes, I’m that girl) to read news, answer emails, and do things I might have otherwise done before on my iPhone.

This past weekend I went to the beach, and brought the iPad to breakfast with me. I definitely looked pretty nerdy, but reading through news on Flipboard while drinking my coffee was a substantially superior experience to trying to read the same news on my iPhone, and I felt like I was comparable to others around me with newspapers and books. Maybe not.

IPad 2 vs. Original iPad

I’ve been carrying this thing around with me constantly since the day that I got it. Every single person that has mentioned wanting to buy one, however, I have suggested that they go purchase an original at deep discount. The things that stand out for me of the iPad 2 are also available on the original iPad. 3G iPads at AT&T are $200 cheaper now if you can find them. That’s a serious bargain in my opinion, and a better purchase than shelling out the extra cash for an iPad 2.

While the iPad 2 is definitely a little thinner, lighter, and faster than its predecessor…it’s not dramatically so. The forward-facing camera is pretty poor quality. I’m not a video chatter, but if I was, I probably wouldn’t use this thing. I had a lot of fun taking pictures with the built-in camera the first weekend I got the tablet, but the tablet is a little bulky to pull out to take actual pictures on a regular basis. I could definitely live without it.

Smart Cover

I purchased a pink Smart Cover and was pretty unimpressed with it the night I got it. Two weeks later, still not all that impressed, but I do use the thing. It’s done a pretty good job of protecting my screen from all the other stuff I keep in my purse, and the screen for the most part has stayed clean. You can see streaks on the screen, however, where the ridges in the cover are. Maybe I’m dirtier than most, so they’re there? But, not a fan. The cover is pretty awesome for creating a slightly elevated typing surface for the tablet. I keep it open (and elevated) all day on my desk beside me, considerably better than lying flat on the table. Would I pay $20 for the Smart Cover? Absolutely. $40/$70 I think is WAY overpriced for what it does.

Overall

Overall, I’m still super-excited about the iPad 2 purchase. I have a desktop computer, a netbook, and a few laptops kicking around- but I use the iPad in ways that I don’t use any of them.

Did any of you buy an iPad 2? What are your thoughts?


Emily Price

Emily has been obsessed with computers since the early 80s when she discovered she could play Ghostbusters on her father's Commodore 64. She...

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