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By 3 March 2011 | Categories: news

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Apple's CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the company's latest creation, the iPad 2, with his presence at the event (he's actually on medical leave) generating almost the same level of excitement as Cupertino's new device. As can be expected the tech press was out in full, and here's what they had to say after some hands-on time with Apple's latest device.
 
Fast, fast, fast
 
Engadget was initially not overly impressed, since commenting after a brief hands-on session that the iPad 2 is “very much the same, save for that new body.” After a bit more quality time with the iPad 2 they came back with the new conclusion that the iPad 2 is “insanely fast”, but believes that the device is evolution rather than revolution. 
 
Gizmodo thinks that the iPad 2 is “qualitatively different” than the previous model, also noting the Hussein Bolt-like qualities of the device, calling it “astonishingly fast”. They did reckon that the speaker could have been louder, while also making it clear that whatever you do, do not buy the beige Smart Cover case. They concur with Engadget, stating that Jobs did not reinvent the wheel though. 
 
Beautiful design
 
Quite taken with the design of the new iPad is TechCrunch, stating that, “It’s everything you love about the original iPad, but better.” This is almost stating the obvious for people keeping tabs on Apple’s recent product roll-out. They also like the feel of the device, which they attribute to the fact that it’s thinner than the previous model, but also to the “unibody build”.
 
How will the iPad 2 do against the new Android Honeycomb models in the market? TechCrunch didn't mince their words when they stated: “If the market right now is iPad 2 versus the Xoom, let’s be honest, there is no competition.”
 
Geoffrey A. Fowler And Nick Wingfield of the Wall Street Journal reckons that, "Viewed from the front, the iPad 2 looks largely the same as its predecessor, aside from the addition of a small camera." They pointed out that unlike some other Android 3.0 tablet offerings (as well as some models of RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook), the iPad 2 isn't 4G enabled.
 
The New York Times was interested in the fact that Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs took time off his medical leave to introduce the iPad 2, commenting that Jobs did not state when he’ll return to work again. They did say that the mere presence of the man “lifted the mood of Apple’s fans and investors”.
 
What’s not included
 
The iPhone blog (TiPb) listed the functions they wanted to see in the new iPad 2 that Apple didn't include. Besides the obvious lack of a retina display, TiPb agrees with Gizmodo that although Cupertino's second generation tablet boasts a new, bigger speaker design, it lacks premium level stereo speaker quality. The tech blog mentioned HP roping in famous Hip-Hop producer Dr. Dre to give its TouchPad the Beats by Dr Dre treatment as an example.
 
Also high up on the list was Apple not including the new ThunderBolt I/O (like on the new MacBook Pro) port, built-in USB port or even an SD card slot, as the company's propriety dock connection remains the only data port for the  iPad. 
 
Conclusion
 
In general one does get the impression that the iPad 2 came out pretty much as expected. It’s fancy, fast and contains enough improvements, including a new colour, to entice both new customers and original iPad users to purchase Jobs' latest creation. Let's hope the iPad 2 does not take a year to land on SA’s shores.
 

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