As anyone who has followed technology news this month will know by now, the iPad 2 is thinner and lighter than its predecessor. Although the difference in weight is a mere 100 grams, the slimness of this year’s model creates the illusion that it is lighter still. This further helps with the iPad’s greatest trick: seeming to disappear and become whatever app you’re using.
And there are apps by the thousand. Around 65,000, in fact, which gives Apple an enormous head start over the competition. Those apps will run faster too, thanks to the iPad 2’s A5 dual core processor. The new iPad runs up to twice as fast and graphics performance is nine-times faster. The speed improvements can be seen on almost any app; the original iPad didn’t feel sluggish before but it will after you’ve spent some time with the iPad 2.
The other significant addition is the cameras: one on front and one on the back of the iPad 2. The rear camera is capable of 720p HD video but, as with the one in the iPod touch, it’s a mediocre stills camera. The front-facing camera, for video conferencing, is VGA - and also works as a stills camera.
Now it has cameras, the iPad 2 joins the iPhone 4 and iPod touch in getting FaceTime, Apple’s video chat app. In tests - calling an iPhone 4 from an iPad 2, it worked very well. While the picture quality was not pin-sharp, the call was smooth and uninterrupted.
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