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iPad 2

The second generation of Apple's iPad.

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A Portable Magazine; it's ALL about looks!

  • Jul 30, 2011
Warning: Once you held it you won't want to let it go!

For the last 3 days, I've spent a great deal of my time "readying" the iPad for my dad's usage. The old man wanted to buy one for stock trading. So, I got hold of an iPad in Hong Kong, which I was told has the cheapest iPad across the region, if not the world. Yes, indeed, it was at least around 10-12% cheaper than its competing city Singapore. Partly it was due to the weakness in the US$ (HK$ is pegged to the US$) and partly due to the lack of GST in Hong Kong.
When I got to the store, to my surprise, the 3G models are sold out in the first 2 shops I went to. 3G models are selling like hot cakes! My sister who was the early adopter where the iPad is concerned, had gotten it on the day of launch. She bought the wifi models instead.
Now, I know I had to get the 3G+wifi model for my dad. This is through my own personal experience with the Samsung Galaxy Tab. There lies the main observation about tablets, both for the Androids and the Apple's version.
This is something you'd like to remember when considering buying the tablet (be it iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab, etc...). The iPad is a gadget that is only versatile when it's fully connected to the internet. Unlike the netbook and the laptop or even the Kindle, iPad draws resources from the internet connectivity and also its apps. It is more like a phone than a computer. 
Without continuous connectivity, iPad becomes just a Kindle or a simple game console. I do not suggest you to get the iPad if you are simply playing bejeweled or mahjong, which is what I came across the many times when transiting at the airports. My assumption is that these people don't have connectivity and hence are limited to only games that had been downloaded or books and magazines that had been purchased.
Without connectivity, now... imagine your phone where you can't dial out or received calls. You get the drift? (And, I just bought a dual-SIM card phone which is also wifi ready from Samsung for some $150 without a contract! I've many SIM cards, I can't live with no connectivity!)
Ok, enough about connectivity, now on with the hardware, the iPad!

What you need to have in consideration when buying an iPad:

1) Internet connection 
Before you get excited about using your mobile broadband, there is no usb port on this one (unlike the Galaxy Tab). Wifi is available. So, if you are lucky to have one of those mifi like I do, then no added cost is needed since you can just access it from there. You do have to carry it around with you and one big problem with the mifi is that the battery only lasts some 3 hours or so. As with the Galaxy Tab, you cannot draw power from it as compared with the laptop since there are the USB ports on them. The iPad? Well, I haven't figure a way around it. That translates to loss of connectivity after 3 hours or so if I'm hooking up through the mifi. 
That's BAD!!! 
Conclusion: If you intend to use iPad on the road, best to get the 3G model. If you use it only at home, then wifi model will suffice. You will save around $130 between these 2 models (with same capacity). With the 3G model, you also need to apply or change your current SIM card to a Micro SIM card. It was a simple enough process but I don't like it when Apple makes me work. Why is everything Apple proprietory and why can't it just conform to industry standard?! That irks me quite a bit about this brand. I don't believe in having to be different just for different sake! 

As an additional consideration, imagine having to apply for another micro SIM card when you are overseas! As far as I know, the daily or weekly SIM connections are quite readily available. But, micro SIM? I'm not so sure about that! Hence, iPad would prove to be a hassle when it comes to connecting while you're traveling on the road (out of the country). For the Galaxy Tab, at the least, the SIM card slot is one that's of a normal size.
Lesson learned: Connectivity rules in the tablet world! If you roam while traveling in different country, that won't be a cheap option!
2) Capacity
The iPad comes in 3 hard disk sizes: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
One difference between the Galaxy Tab and the iPad is iPad has no micro-SD card slot, that means the size is not expandable on iPad. That's one major misgiving I've with the iPad. Why can't I have as much space as I want? Instead, I've to do a lot of spring cleaning along the way.
Then again, considering the amount of junks I've piled up in my life, spring cleaning can be a blessing in disguise. So, what I need is a change in attitude! :-)
Conclusion: You don't need too much space. For one, cloud computing IS the future and will soon be in fashion. Everything is in the cloud. All you have to do is save as much as you can on the iPad and translates those savings into the cloud! I'd say for most people, 16GB is sufficient. This is also the best selling and most affordable model.
Lesson learned: Keep all your stuff in the cloud. 
3) Apps, Flash & the looks
Lots of apps to download. Without apps, it's like a swimmer without hands.
Many of the useful ones, especially for working adults, can be downloaded for free. I find one app particular useful. It's the app from Reuters. Reuters as we all know it, is a paid service. You need financial information, you go to Reuters. 

However, if you've tried reading news or newspapers online, you know it can be tiring on the eyes. With the iPad apps though, that has made me want to read. That, I feel, is a major feat!
One thing you must do on the tablets (iPad especially) is to get apps like Zinio and PressDisplay where you can download and/or read magazines and newspapers. Reading magazine is one of life's pleasure when it comes to iPad. This is also iPad major advantage over the Galaxy Tab. The 10" screen size is ideal for magazine reading. Not to mention the high resolution "retina" display makes it unbeatable when it comes to sharpness and beauty of the screen display. I love checking out my pictures which I've uploaded onto my website for viewing! I had recently thought of revamping the site but after accessing it on the iPad I've decided against it. It's a real beauty when it appears on iPad! The slideshow function doesn't work though so I've to think of ways of getting around that. NO Flash on iPad, can you believe it?!?!
Conclusion: Crispier images on iPad means that if you do a lot of photo viewing or even YouTube videos which appear like on HD TV (a real pleasure to the senses, I can assure you) then be sure to get the iPad! In fact, don't go anywhere without it! 
I can imagine the amount of sales one can drum up when making a presentation on the iPad! So, yes, it's a must tool for your sales team!
Lesson learned: If you squint your eyes often when reading online materials, do me a favor. Go get an iPad. If you travel mostly by car, get the iPad. If you take subways and walk a lot, get the Galaxy Tab. 1/2 the weight can mean a great deal if you have to hold this thing in your hand and stand on your feet assessing the net! 
The biggest selling point for the iPad is how good it looks! Not just the casing but the display itself. I'm convinced of getting one for myself simply because it's a boon for my eyes! Trust me, I've made a side-by-side comparison when it comes to the LCD display. iPad rules!!!
If you visit YouTube a lot, this will be the turning point for you. It's almost as good as watching TV if not better!
4) Time
Be prepared to spend countless time with this toy. Yes, it is a toy where you will bring into your bed and anywhere that's not wet, I suppose! It's certainly a great one to have when you're doing your hair at the salon! Or waiting for that delayed take-off, etc...
iPad kills time for sure.
Conclusion: My belief is that if iPad and the Android tablets continue to improve on the infrastructure, in no time the desktop & laptop will be obsolete! 
Lesson learned: We are seeing a major shift in consumer behavior. iPad will lead a trend where one day we will no longer visit websites but will instead live in the world of apps! Everything would be simplified. Learning how to use an iPad doesn't take much time or instructions. Most thing are instinctive and that's the beauty of it all. Children, even toddlers, would find it easy to operate an iPad. It's in line with our sense of touch. Not much instructions are needed. All you need is to touch the screen! Be adventurous and be in touch!
That's the beauty of the iPad (not forgetting the other Android tablets and gadgets as well). I do believe we are at the tipping point!

Life will never be the same again!
Oh wait, we have not even gotten to jailbreaking the iPad yet! ;-)

5) iTunes & Apple Apps Store
I've mixed feeling about this one. While on the iPad 2 you don't have to do the sync during start up, one still need to set up an account on iTunes for even free downloading of the apps. For some reason, I feel being tied down by iTunes. Without agreeing to their terms, iPad won't work. So, be prepared to read the terms or if not, signing up blindly is what most people do anyhow! So, know that you're not alone, hehe....

Conclusion: Once you get through with the initial set-up, everything is a breeze. 

Lesson learned: Use a credit card which has the least limit if you're concerned about having it on the file. Otherwise, better still, just buy i-tunes cards which are available in many marts and malls! They can be bought in denomination of $10, $25, $50 and $100.

6) Price
For what it can do for me and the quality of presentation, I found it a steal. Hence, I won't be worried about the next upgrade and waiting for it. By the time the upgrade comes, you'd have used so much of it that an upgrade is worth the price (& the hassle). Not to mention the amount of savings one would have on e-books and magazines!

I recently bought a full year of National Geographic Traveler for some US$3.50 for the entire year. That's 8 issues of crisp looking magazine to be kept all in my Galaxy Tab, laptop and iPad. I can even share with friends if I wish as a subscription gives you some 6 downloads of each copy of the magazine! So, think how much savings (a hard copy of that magazine costs at least some US$8-10 in my part of the world) there are if you read a lot of magazines and also how green this is! Not to mention the reduction in carbon footprint since you don't have to drive to the mall to get them!

Conclusion: Get the lower price models as most people won't need so much disk space if everything is kept in the cloud. That will stop you from having to transfer things over in the next upgrades too! 3G model overrides disk space when it comes to price. 

Lesson learned: If want to be at the forefront of technology, get into the game as soon as possible. This is something that's going to stay and not going away in the future. In fact, you'd probably get rid of the TV too after having an iPad and save lots on cable tv subscription! In fact, the young kids are encouraging me to jail break!!!

Having an iPad or Galaxy Tab is not an outlay. Instead, it is a savings in the physical world where you save on price, space and time!

(A Lunch Featured Review)
A Portable Magazine; it's ALL about looks! A Portable Magazine; it's ALL about looks!

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August 10, 2011
Sharrie, great review and great use of graphics! Eventually I will be forced to use one of these devices but right now it makes my head spin to think of all the things it can be used for. I had already been thinking that when the Vine program eliminates hard copies of their books that I would have to go for one of these devices but I guess I still have some time to put off that decision.
August 10, 2011
This is something like the stock market these days. The trend is irreversible and the sooner you get a hang of it, the better ;-) Makes life a lot easier too!
August 02, 2011
Sheesh, talk about a thorough breakdown! You make it sound infinitely cooler than I already thought it was :P
August 03, 2011
IF you can find specific uses for yourself, it is certainly a buy! ;-) There are more to write about but due to time constraint, I'll have to stop where I did :-)
August 04, 2011
Whoa, you had more to write?! :P And I have so many potential uses for it! Really tempted to get the next one...
August 01, 2011
This does appear to have a lot of utility.
August 01, 2011
Indeed it does! Possibly more than you had imagined!
August 01, 2011
I agree.
July 30, 2011
awesomely informative review! I am interested with an ipad, but I dunno, I really don't need one. I can get by with a laptop.
July 31, 2011
It's a gadget, it's not a tool, the way I see it. You'd want one, not need one, especially after you've test-drive it! Getting by is one thing, having an experience is another ;-)

I wasn't keen on it at first either, but after knowing what it can do for me, well, I'd definitely get one. In fact, I found myself wanting to stay by the laptop less after getting the tablets! It will "revolutionalized" the world, no doubt about it. At the kind of prices offered, it's not hard to make a decision at all, even for new-comers, let alone Apple fans!

Most people who don't do much work on the computer (ie, simply emailing and word-processing) will find it a must-have as it's really very good on the eyes, both figuratively and literally! It's something that's great for the young as well as the old!
July 31, 2011
well, I know what you mean. I own like how many plasma HDTVs and movies which I don't need. I guess I just don't like getting on the bandwagon for now. Took me a long time to own an ipod too....I got one when the technology almost reached perfection with little room to improve on them...funny how they became cheaper too.
July 31, 2011
Yeah, I did feel getting on the bandwagon was a turn-off initially. As for perfection, more can be incorporated. You may want to wait till next year. With regard to iPad, I think it's a yearly event. The users are also likely to scrap it as soon as a new model is out. It's definitely cheap enough to do so. As I said, it's more of an extension of a phone than a computer.
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About the reviewer
Sharrie ()
I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
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iPad 2 is the second iteration of the iPad, a tablet computer designed, developed and marketed by Apple Inc. The tablet was introduced March 2, 2011 and will be released in the United States on March 11, 2011. It serves primarily as a platform for audio-visual media including books, periodicals, movies, music, games, and web content. Its size and weight fall between those of contemporary smartphones and laptop computers. The iPad 2 has a new dual core Apple A5 processor. The iPad 2 includes VGA front-facing and 720p rear-facing cameras designed for FaceTime video messaging. The new iPad is compatible with a magnetic dual purpose screen protector/iPad stand.

The revised tablet introduced a new design that included a front and rear-facing cameras designed for FaceTime video messaging—it can now message with iPhone 4, fourth-generation iPod Touch and Mac OS X Snow Leopard devices. The iPad 2 added a dual core Apple A5 processor with doubled processing speed and graphics processing that is nine times faster. iPad 2 offers CDMA support for Verizon Wireless in the United States. The device is 33% thinner-thinner than the Original iPad—thinner than an iPhone— and 15% lighter. Apple also unveiled the Smart Cover, a screen protector that attaches magnetically to the face of the device. Removing the cover wakes the device and has a microfiber bottom that cleans the iPad. The cover converts to an iPad stand when folded. The new Apple Digital AV Adapter mirrors video ...
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