54 Comments

Summary:

People are still braving long lines to get Apple’s new iPad 2, but we were lucky enough to score one right away. Here’s a video look at the iPad 2 unboxed, compared to some currently available Android tablets and used for a short FaceTime session.

ipad-unboxing

Although many are braving lines for hours to get an iPad 2, my living in the sticks has paid off in spades: just 20 minutes before Apple’s new tablet went on sale, I showed up at a Best Buy and scored a device. The store also had the Smart Cover (which I inadvertently keep calling a Smart Case), so I grabbed one of those too, because the original iPad case never impressed me. Here’s a short unboxing and my first candid impressions, along with a few size comparisons to some Google Android tablets currently on the market: the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab. I also hit the browser, photos and had a quick FaceTime chat with my son.

As if you can’t tell from the video, I’m fairly impressed, especially with the feel of the new design. While the iPad 2 is more of an evolutionary upgrade, Apple has tweaked it to make for an even better overall experience that nearly any tablet consumer will appreciate. True, iOS isn’t perfect, but no mobile operating system is, so I can see why many people are in line waiting for the newest Apple tablet: they’re ready to join the “post-PC” era with a well designed, intuitive device.

  1. nice video!

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  2. “another homerun product, lines around the block all over the country, not to shabby.”

    Indeed! killer review as well.

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  3. Matthew Hart Friday, March 11, 2011

    Great review. It was fun seeing your reaction to the device. Keep it!

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    1. I almost try to avoid those reactions because I try to stay objective, but sometimes I think there’s a benefit when the “human” side of us comes out in a post or a review: after all, we’re consumers too! :)

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  4. Archos 101 Internet Tablet is 480gr, much lighter than this and 6 months old already. A built-in kick-stand is more useful than a $40 extra magnetic screen thing. People queue up for this thing? Of course they do, that does not change the fact that Android tablets will soon overtake ipad sales and totally dominate over ipad sales within the year, faster than Android dominated the Smartphone market after Nexus One was released. Honeycomb is the first true tablet OS.

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    1. way to troll douche, way to troll….

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    2. “Archos 101 Internet Tablet is 480gr”, that’s a 10″ tablet, right? After all, you wouldn’t mention it if it was not. Cool then. A buddy of mine was looking for a light weight 10 inch tablet. Thanks.
      Btw, how thick is it? Same as the iPad2 I imagine, right?
      As for Android domination, that appears to be going well with the XOOM, eh? Outselling the iPad already I hear. Apparently it’s the combo of 4G which works on every US network and Europe, hate to be stuck with a device which only worked on one network. The inclusion of a rockin’ SD slot is great as well. Handles everything SD wise and doesn’t mean that you cannot have memory expansion to 64G and import photos through the other ports as well.. And it has a USB port which you can use for a keyboard, mouse, printer and USB key. That’s some machine that XOOM. Apple’s dead… they just don’t know it yet. That Dell guy confirmed that some time ago. Them (Dell) and Moto are skyrocketing to the top. Bet they’ll pass ExxonMobil real soon.

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    3. Hamranhansenhansen Saturday, March 12, 2011

      Nobody cares though. That’s the key thing.

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    4. Archos is the #1 selling tablet in France when you look at tablets under 400 euros. . . they just can’t meet demand. And for those that want to slam Archos, they’ve been doing tablets a very long time. . . they are a pioneer in this area and deserve a little respect for such a small company and the iPad is very similar to an Archos tablet ;)

      source: http://armdevices.net/2011/02/08/france-archos-has-22-tablet-marketshare/

      http://archosfans.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/GFK.jpg

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  5. Nice solid overview, finally. Clear, clean, got your son in there, no messing around, thanks.

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  6. jellymelly :D Friday, March 11, 2011

    aww what a lucky kid

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  7. Uh, not hard to score a 32gb wifi black iPad at all in most areas.

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  8. Still no sd card slot, usb port, flash, etc. Garbage. I’ll wait for the ASUS android tablets.

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    1. Seriously, no one here wants your opinion. Yes, you’re entitled to it, but why share with an audience that you’re clearly just trying to annoy?

      People have personal preferences, and one device will be more suitable for someone than another.

      I’m going to get an iPad 2 when they’re released in the UK, but I’ll getting rid of my iPhone 3GS in favour of an Android phone.

      People have opinions, we just don’t want yours.

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      1. Huh? Why would I not want to read his opinion? It was a perfectly valid list of drawbacks in the iPad.

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      2. Hey! what’s wrong with his list? Not like such things are missing from the competition or anything… Just look at the XOOM and others. They have a USB port… in many cases it only works for charging but that’s not the point. They have SD card slots to expand memory too… so what if they cannot use it once they expanded the memory they couldn’t get at purchase… I have yet to meet anyone who wants both memory expansion AND access to movies and photos through that SD slot.

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      3. It’s valid to point out an Apple product’s weak points, though it seems no tech reviewers want to do that anymore. Every user should always point to any device’s weak points to push the company to do better.

        Seriously, 0.7MP cameras? Apple can do much better than that!

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    2. “I’ll wait for the ASUS android tablets.” Really!? Haven’t you had enough disappointment in life?

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    3. “I’ll wait for the ASUS android tablets.”

      Cool, perhaps someday you can snag a job as a head waiter!

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      1. And you can get SD and USB, Through a camera connection kit

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    4. There’s a reason for that, I’ll explain to you NAND Flash is about 45x faster then a sluggish SD Card, that’s also the reason why the androids do not respond so well to your touch. No USB because you want a wireless device.
      Flash can be used on any iDevice from iOS 3.1.3 and later through SkyFire. The XOOM(which I own) can’t still not use flash. And the apps on CrapDroid really suck compared to my old iPad(I have to wait till 25th of march before it becomes available in the Netherlands.
      Even the informative lockscreen(through jailbreak software LockInfo) looks better and shows more info. Even the widgets(also through jailbreak) look and work better.
      The XOOM is the worst fail I’d ever bought.
      Owner of a HTC Desire HD, SamSUCK Galaxy S, iPhone 3GS(gave it to my wife), iPhone 4 and the ‘old’ iPad.
      Still I think it will take another two years for the android devices to come close.
      Love my iPhone and iPad(Jailbroken). And will buy the iPad 2, iPhone 5 and iPad 3.
      Only when Crapdroid will become significantly better I will NEVER buy it again.

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      1. Skyfire only converts flash video. If you think that’s all that flash is used for then maybe your should visit some financial sites. Whether we like it or not flash has a wide range of usefulness that HTML5 hasn’t caught up to yet.

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      2. @crazy, have you tried visiting most financial sites on an iPad or iPhone? Most of them work just fine, and many financial sites ALSO have an App that you can use in addition to the web.

        Name a site that you think, requires Flash to use.

        In truth theses days Flash really is all about video and sites that feed video are smart enough to skip the Flash player for an iPad/iPhone and download the video directly. That means I play video sooner on an iPad since I don’t have to download the Flash player before I ever see the video…

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  9. “Android tablets will soon overtake ipad sales and totally dominate over ipad sales within the year”

    So what’s the point ? Android tablets are STILL not convincing (and, man, your Archos example, awww – not the good one, really) – it will change soon (Google promised) but it does not turn you as an Apple zealot to recognize that the job has been fairly done one more time.

    On a sidenote : easy to “overtake” the market with cheap 200$ stuff. Cheap PC’s did the same at the end of the 80’s.

    iPad is not “soon”, it is here and now. Deal with it.
    Peace.

    NB : by the way, i’m NOT interested by tablets – but tested a good bunch of them.

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    1. No one will ever get ppl in lines to buy, thats apple magic, all they can do is only dream, the competition is over and apple is far ahead, the xoom launch was so hidden cuz of its incomplete capabilities, launching something with those features missing in ipad and still those so called winning features dont work at all, apple cant launch incomplete product, atleast they have courage and guts to tell that they will not deliver sd & flash, but ur xoom just lied they gave u sd slot for no expansion just fingure fucking……..lolz

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  10. Good review, but the video buffs really slow. Tried other sites, and my internet connection is fast, I dunno.. Maybe it’s your video player or server.

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  11. The facetime looked a little laggy on this end. Is that due to a poor wifi connection on the kid’s iPhone 4? Or because the iPad screen is so big? I thought the faster chip would render the video much better.

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    1. I think there are two reasons for the FaceTime performance: first, the lighting in my son’s room isn’t great and second: he was moving around like a Mexican jumping bean. ;) I use FaceTime with him on a daily basis since he lives with his mom and I’m constantly telling him to sit still. When he does, the quality is quite good.

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  12. The fact is the new iPad 2 is a cool new product but apple dropped the ball and cheaped out. Instead of praising it all of you should expect and demand more from apple. The “cameras” for taking pics on the go, WTF kids toy cameras they sell for under $20 have more mp’s. And what about a USB port a mouse would be great every once and awhile along with other USB devices. This Is just a start to their laziness and proving they put out a product and no matter the quality we (me included) line up to buy it. Yea the iPad 2 is a cool new toy but as consumers we need to spread the word, stand together, and demand more.

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    1. Ever heard of Bluetooth dumbass, a Logitech DiNovo keyboard and mouse, will satisfy your every need, on an iPad. So there are no wires attached

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      1. You are saying this meaning, after you jailbreak it, right? The iPad is designed NOT to use a mouse. The only way I’ve heard of getting a mouse to work with it is via a jailbreak = void warranty.

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      2. @crazy, what the hell do you need a mouse for on a TOUCH SCREEN DEVICE.

        What are you typing with if you have no fingers?

        I noticed you skipped right over the fact that keyboards work just fine (and you can use any USB keyboard even if you use the Camera Connection Kit).

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    2. I can’t argue with your comment on the camera quality. IMO, the issue is that Apple can’t yet get a high quality sensor thin enough to fit in the new design. The cameras appear to be the same as those used in the iPod touch, which faces the same challenge due to thinness.

      While I’d love to see a boost in camera quality, most people will be fine with the sensors used.

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  13. “Android tablets will soon overtake ipad sales and totally dominate over ipad sales within the year” …. and then we will rule the wooooooooooooorld…

    Dude you sound like a B-movie from the 50’s.
    Here’s a news flash for you. Volkswagons out-sell Rolls Royce.

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    1. You’ve totally got the right comparison.
      With the iPad as the Rolls, and the Android as the volkswagon.
      A Maserati QuattroPorte S driver(Something in between a volkswagon and a ROLLS ROYCE)

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  14. Im totally convinced that this is the way to go although the price tag is a bit much for me right now, I may try the discount at http://on.fb.me/fs3tXz

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  15. Great review Kevin! Mine is getting delivered to me here in Australia on Wednesday – can’t wait!

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  16. Laughing_Boy48 Saturday, March 12, 2011

    How many consumers would be stupid enough not to buy an iPad 2? Buying a non-iPad tablet would be like playing tablet Russian roulette, especially from a company like Motorola. Nice review.

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    1. Yeah, I know. . . how silly to buy a product that has standard ports, sd expansion slot so you can expand your memory infinitely, a free path to upgrade to 4G, a browser that can use flash if you want and tabs, scores an 8/10 vs iPad 2 4/10 on ifixit’s repairability so you can easily replace the battery when it dies, has an OS that has real multitasking, great notification, much more flexible. . . I know. . . just stupid.
      /s

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      1. “has real multitasking, great notification, much more flexible”…bulkier, heavier, less apps, more expensive, esthetically uninspiring,…

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      2. @OPad
        You’ve seen all the Android tablets that are going to be released this year, held them, played with them all? Wow. . . I want your job or connections. . whichever. /s

        Sorry, but there are a wide range of them and some have great design while others are more utilitarian. And apps will come very very quickly, and there’s already enough quality apps for functionality and high quality games are coming every day. And I’ll take the few extra ounces if I get all the ports, better cameras, sd slot, etc. . . I’ve got the muscles to handle what a fanboi can’t ;)

        More expensive? You may want to work on your math. Even the Xoom isn’t more expensive (don’t forget to add your expensive dongles) and any Archos tablet is much less expensive, and a list of tablets with release dates/pricing has just been leaked–generally cheaper than the iPad.

        Generalizations and assumptions just make you look uninformed! To think that the Android army of tablets won’t have many different form factors and price ranges is very very naive and to think everyone thinks apple’s design choices are the best is myopic.

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  17. The Xoom fiasco signals the end of Android. I think Android is a business model that will not succeed. Linux never succeeded in user interface. Neither did Java. In the end “free” does not mean cheap, ease-of-use, or consistency. Android is no longer “open”, by the way. The sources are closely guarded.

    The only rivalry will be, guess what, Microsoft (and Windows). If Bill Gates comes back to become the CEO again, we will have the clash of the titans. He can summon the forces out there and battle Apple, again. With Nokia in its wings, Microsoft will be the only viable alternative to Apple.

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  18. Awesome video :D! That video call with your son took care of alot of doubts I had about the quality of the camera. My only real issue is the iPads capacity (Not even going to bother fetting into Flash… Damn you, Apple D:). I wish they’d make a 128 gb version (COME ON IPAD 3!!!), then I could actually use it as a serious substitute for my laptop. Anyway, good review.

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  19. video is slow here

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  20. Dude,

    You have one of the most chiseled thin face ever!

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    1. Thanks, I think. Really, *that’s* what you got out of a video of the iPad 2?!? ;)

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  21. Great Job on the Video “I’ll wait for the iPad before i stand in line”

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  22. I am loving the 1st iPad I ever bought. I could only get my hands on the Black one, although my wife wanted a white. So we’ll see how it turns out over time. I got 2 and listed the 2nd one on craigslist. 12 emails so far…I am thinking whether to sell it there or ebay it.

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  23. I think the new iPad looks great. Cant wait for it to come out in the uk!

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  24. Great review. With everything I’ve seen, I still think Apple are leading the way.

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  25. Ben Bezuidenhout Monday, March 14, 2011

    Try comparing to Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Better specs in every department except that the Ipad 2 is 3mm thinner…

    Big no no from ipad 2 is the bad 0.7meg camera (Can’t take decent images from documents to use as pdf’s…)

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    1. Ben, my thought is that the tablet market isn’t like the PC market where consumers focus solely on specs. You can certainly do that if you want to and you may have a machine with better specs, but will it provide the best experience and apps? Possibly not.

      Put another way: I’m using the Xoom as well and yes, it has equal or better specs in most cases. But it doesn’t provide the best experience for me just yet. That may change over time as Google improves Honeycomb and apps become tablet optimized, but right now, the better specs aren’t providing a better experience…. just bragging rights of better specs. ;)

      Not saying you (or anyone else) shouldn’t consider the Xoom or a Tab, etc…. but basing a device purchase decision solely on specs is short-sighted IMO.

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  26. review is good ..even better that it is a video review….like that very much…hoping that iPad 2 launches in India soon..

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  27. OK the iPAD to is nice may be the best high-end right now but I’ll wait for the cheaper androids tablets.

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