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  • Destiny - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    If Apple iPAD 2, NVIDIA's Tegra 2, TI's OMAP 4 and Samsung's Exynos all use the same Dual Core ARM Cortex A9... why are there performance differences shown in your testing and benchmarks of these products? Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    iPad uses iOS the others use variations of Android with who knows whats loaded in the background.

    But the simple reason is different OS's provide different performance characteristics as they handle processes and memory loads differently.
  • Destiny - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Thank-you for the reply... now my knowledge and processor IQ just went up a notch... : ) Reply
  • solgae1784 - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Yep. All that hardware specs means nothing if your software can't utilize it. That much is clear even way back in the days. Reply
  • vol7ron - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    It's not just due to the OS, it is also due to the other hardware coupled with the A9. For instance, more RAM means application data can be loaded quicker, rather than from the HD. The GPU and screen size/resolution also effect benchmarks - the amount of effect depends on the type of test.

    Also the different hardware vendors may have modified some of the firmware instruction sets to make it more efficient.

    But that's a big reason why these benchmarks are used, to have some sort of common ground that more accurately compares the different hardware/software combinations.
  • MonkeyPaw - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    We also don't know the clocks of the A5. Maybe it's not safe to assume it's running at 1.0ghz? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Er you're very right about that. Geekbench reports 900MHz :)

    Take care,
  • tipoo - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Its 1GHz. Geekbench reports the instantaneous speed, so you'll hear different numbers from that depending on what it ramps its speed down to to save power.
  • dagamer34 - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    It's all about the OS at that point, just like how iOS 4.3 gives 2.5x increase in Javascript performance compared to iOS 4.0 even using the same original iPad. Reply
  • vol7ron - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    That isn't the OS, that's the JS engine. Both software, both different roles. Reply
  • erple2 - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    In the iOS case - they're synonymous. You can't get the "new" browser without also getting the new OS update. Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    In addition to software differences, each company also tweaks the design of the Cortex A9 to their liking. After ARM licences it out they can do pretty much whatever to it. So you might see Qualcomm adding cache, Nvidia doubling the bus, or whatever. Reply
  • metafor - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    ARM core licenses do not allow you to modify the CPU design. ARM allows different options when configuring cache size and bus width and co-processors but only with their macro-generator. There's definitely flexibility, but it's not "whatever you want". There are limited flavors if you will of yummy goodness. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    While the underlying architecture between those devices may be similar, there are some differences. For example NVIDIA's Tegra 2 only has a single channel 32-bit LPDDR2 memory interface while TI's OMAP 4 has a dual-channel LPDDR2 memory interface.

    Tegra 2 also lacks an MPE (SIMD engine) while the OMAP 4 doesn't.

    Take care,
  • tipoo - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    I'd be interested in a comparison between all these mobile processors. I understand its difficult since the iPad uses a different OS, but given the numbers where do you think it stands compared to Tegra 2 and the like? Reply
  • zhill - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    My understanding is that the ARM Cortex A9 is just an instruction set and architecture specification/chip design. Each company manufactures the actual chips themselves so they can make additional changes at the hardware level such as lithography, voltage, clock frequency, cache sizes etc. So they license the design from ARM, but build the silicon themselves so each design may vary in terms of actual implementation and performance.

    Software also certainly makes a difference.
  • winterspan - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    you are right to an extent. There are actually two different licenses, a manufacturing license and a "design" license. Basically, if you pay more for the design license, they can make a custom core that implements the ARM Cortex v7 instruction set. This is what Qualcomm does with their Snapdragon. Most of the other guys just have the manufacturing license and this enables mild adjustments, but essentially they all have to use a similar Cortex-A9 core.

    Not sure what the Apple cores are... Standard Cortex-A9 or something more custom from Intrinsity/Samsung?
  • jmmx - Sunday, March 13, 2011 - link

    "If Apple iPAD 2, NVIDIA's Tegra 2, TI's OMAP 4 and Samsung's Exynos all use the same Dual Core ARM Cortex A9…"

    There is more to it than this. The simple fact is they do NOT "use the same Cortex A9." They each user their own implementation of the A9. Additionally, A9 is the core cpu design, but the chips are SoC chips "System on a Chip" That is, they contain a lot more than just the A9 CPU but other non CPU functional units as well.The configuration of these units can significantly affect performance.

    This is my understanding of the situation. (Caveat - I am a software engineer not hardware.) Someone out there feel free to correct me if I am mistaken about this.
  • str1ke007 - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Can the ipad2 be tetherd to an iphone ?? (so i can use the 3G data i allready pay for rather then paying for another sim/plan) Reply
  • kmmatney - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    There is no reason why you couldn't, and this is what I plan on doing. However I would like to know if the map and GPS apps work well on an iPad without 3G. Do you need to get a 3G for the GPS to work properly? Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Depends on what you mean by "properly".
    In the city iPad location services work astonishingly well. God knows how they do it, I guess the SkyHook database is just huge.
    On the other hand, if you plan to go hiking with your iPad, you might be disappointed.

    One way to test this (if you have a mac) is to see how well your mac provides location. Grab a location-aware app (google maps in Safari is an easy choice) and ask it to locate you. (Note that you need WiFi to be on for this to work usefully, so if you're doing it at a desktop mac, make sure WiFi is on.)

    If you have a portable, try it in a few different places. Are you happy with the results? Because that's about what you'll get from iPad without GPS.
  • Mr Alpha - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    I don't believe it can. According to another famous Steve Jobs email iOS doesn't support getting internet access via tethering. On the other hand iOS 4.3 added hotspot to iPhone 4, which you should be able to use to get internet to a WiFi only iPad. Reply
  • solgae1784 - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    It looks like AT&T will allow iPad 3G to be used as a personal hotspot. Not sure about Verizon.
  • ATC - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Yes you can. I have an iPhone 4 with 4.3 installed and with the new HotSpot feature of iOS 4.3 you can do just that. However, in the US my understanding is that you need a tethering data plan and AT&T or Verizon will charge you more to activate the HotSpot feature. Of course you can always get around that by JB your iPhone.

    I'm in Canada and the HotSpot feature works here for free and works great (I've been using it for the past 3 days to share my 6GB data with my iPhone). But there are a few things to consider when doing this. One, your iPhone's battery runs down much faster (it's using 3G data and Wifi at the same time). Second, while I haven't tested this, I think you lose location service/GPS on your iPad because only the 3G iPad has a GPS (I could be wrong though).
  • 3DoubleD - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    I would be cautious here. I bought a Kindle with only WiFi thinking I could just tether to Android phone for internet access on the go... I was WRONG.

    In the case of the Kindle, the WiFi chip does not support connecting to non-router based wireless networks. So the Kindle cannot connect to any wireless network that you created with your phone, tablet, or laptop.

    So, the answer to your question is dependent on the wireless chipset used in the iPad. My recommendation is to find proof that someone has successfully tethered an iPhone with an iPad2 before wasting $800.
  • silverblue - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Definite improvement there; can't wait for HDR and more shader effects such as bump mapping to appear in mobile games. I knew years ago that the SGX was capable of AA but it's not something we've really seen up until now.

    I wonder how much faster this implementation is as compared to the SGX540 found in Hummingbird?
  • rish95 - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Well Imagination Tech says a dual core SGX543 is over 4X faster than the SGX 540.

    So even though the iPad is at 1024 x 768 you can still expect 60% higher frame rate, but the power per pixel is much higher.
  • tipoo - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Well that's disappointing. I hardly expected it to replace a dedicated camera, but with an iPhone 4-ish camera and the processing power it has it could have allowed for some neat things. But if the camera sucks, meh.

    Also, whats that vintage camera shown in all the test shoots?
  • Sarah_ - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    It's a Kine-Exakta II, made in 1948 :)
    The one in the picture is not functional but it definitely looks cool!
  • tipoo - Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - link

    Thanks! Reply
  • rom0n - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    The reason why Ipad webloading tests may be better is that it is missing flash. It is not rendering the full web page.
    Unless anandtech is using initial Xoom firmware without flash. The new android 3.0.1 brings Flash 10.2 as well as other performance and stability improvements.
  • tipoo - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    I was going to bring that up too. If the Xoom has Flash enabled, its numbers are more impressive. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    The test is run apples-to-apples, there's no Flash enabled :)

    Take care,
  • VivekGowri - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Apples to Androids? Reply
  • arthur449 - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    zing! Reply
  • iwod - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    I really hope the A9 is true. Since there are reports they are Dual Core A8. ( Yeah i know ARM doesn't have that basic design ). But if we get A9 now, there is every chance the Apple A6 will be A15 plus Power VR 6. ( The same as Sony Ericsson ) on there next iPhone / iPad.

    But why apple only said 2x CPU Power when clearly Dual Core 1Ghz A9 should be at least 2 - 3 times faster. And test results doesn't always show the IPC improvement in A9.
  • winterspan - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    There is no Cortex-A8 multi-core ... Its either a Cortex-A9 or a modified custom-core like Qualcomm's Snapdragon that is a bastard child of A8 and A9 that supports SMP.
    Given the fact that despite the Intrinsity/PA SEMI purchases, the iPad/iPhone ARM chips have all looked like standard Samsung ARM parts, I highly doubt the iPad 2 is running a custom core. It is far more likely it is a standard Cortex-A9, with some custom power IC and other stuff.

    Regarding the benchmarks, there are many other examples where going from Cortex-A8 to dual-core Cortex-A9 doesn't show >100% improvements...
  • metafor - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    Because 2x the cores does not translate to 2x the performance under all but the tiniest fraction of circumstances. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - link

    They were probably being conservative, as very few apps will scale 100% performance wise across both cores. Reply
  • LeTiger - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    "Other hardware chances are the addition of front and rear facing cameras for FaceTime and taking pictures, but unfortunately, they seem to be pieces lifted from the iPod touch and nothing near the iPhone 4's 5 megapixel shooter."

    "chances" might actually trying to be "changes"?

    Just a thought. Thanks again for the write ups lately, It felt ridiculously relieving to get Anand's take on the new mbp and ipad line, I felt like I couldn't trust any other news site's objectivity until I had the scoop with Anandtech :) (and as always, this is the only place I go for legitimate reviews with ACTUAL analysis instead of spec-chimping)

    Keep em' coming!
  • Griswold - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    There are reports of light bleeding through the edges of the ipad2. See video above.

    Would be cool if you look into this and get to the bottom of it. I dont want to buy one if its a serial flaw.
  • sean.crees - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    I really don't understand the complaints with the camera's. You're never going to get "good" quality photo's from a form factor that flat. Physics just doesn't allow for it with current technology. If your getting a tablet for the camera then your an idiot.

    It's obvious the only reason the cameras exist at all is for facetime, which they seem perfectly fitted to work with. If you want to take pictures, then buy a DSLR.
  • Griswold - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Thats nonsense. The iphone4 (and many other smartphones) prove that its possible to produce good quality pictures. Good is not professional level, mind you.

    However, even if the pictures the iphone4 shoots are not "good" by your standards, there is no reason to sell junk cameras like this in the ipod touch and ipad2 only to come back later this year / next year with a new model that "magically" is capable of doing much better - there is not the slightest doubt it will pan out this way.

    They do this on purpose. Thats the beef people have with it.

    But yea, I would never use my ipad to take pictures, I use my iphone for it, or my dedicated camera if I have it on me. But Facetime with something better than VGA or a backside shooter with more than a one megapixels isnt too much to ask... again, the issue here is not primarily the lense (though, that will suck too).
  • solipsism - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    The iPhone 4 dimensions are thicker than the iPad 2 and the display on the iPhone 4 are fused in a way that make it thinner. That isn’t to say there is not enough height in the iPad 2 where the cameras are located, but your assumption, in and of itself, is flawed as you did not consider that actual internal room in your presumption. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Okay, so because Apple decided to make the iPad2 so thin they couldn't even put a halfway decent camera into it, we shouldn't complain? This is exactly why I personally do not want an Apple product (although the iPhone4 does have a great display I miss that on some android phones):
    with Apple, function follows form, they decided to make the iPad2 thinner (was there a call from the Apple community that the iPad is too thick?), but in return they couldn't (if what you say is true) fit a decent camera into the thing. And the (potential) customer is supposed to shut up about that and not complain.
  • ltcommanderdata - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    The complaint was that the original iPad wasn't comfortable to hold for longer periods of time. Making it thinner, lighter, and curvier was a move to address this.

    Quoting Anand:
    "The iPad 2 is slightly lighter but easier to hold than the previous generation. Laying in bed and reading is probably where the difference becomes most apparent. The gentle curvature running around the edge makes the in-hand feel surprisingly different, as does the considerably thinner profile. I'm actually shocked at how dramatic the difference is."

    Yes apparently a compromise had to be made. No doubt Apple actually considers that they optimized on the side of function. ie. the thinner iPad 2 actually functions as an ebook reader now that it's comfortable to hold. Given the typical use case for the iPad will be holding and reading something rather than taking high-quality still pictures, this is probably the best choice for the majority of users.
  • Juzcallmeneo - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Retina is nice..better than an old LCD. Nothing close to as beautiful as Samsung's Super AMOLED (Plus).

    I see many people trying to make excuses for the cheap plastic Apple tries to call a camera..but there is no real excuse except that it's just another part of their money making strategies. I know that these devices will never come close to my 7D, but it could at least be slightly better than almost worthless. IMO with cameras this cheap they might as well have not put any on.

    I feel that if Nokia can have at least a decent quality camera in a phone several months ago then it should be easy to replicate. (Nokia N8)

    The thinness is definitely better for holding, it just scares me how flimsy it might be.
  • Seurahepo - Sunday, March 13, 2011 - link

    > Nothing close to as beautiful as Samsung's Super AMOLED (Plus)

    I'm a bit puzzled. The Samsung phones I have seen have mostly been disappointing when it comes to the screen quality. The image is fuzzy and it seems almost like there is a template in between the screen and the glass, generating a strange patterns. I assume this to be because of the pentile layout, but I cannot be sure.

    Maybe the effect goes away with higher PPI, but currently I can just say that PPI of a traditional RGB layout is not directly comparable to PPI of a Pentile RG BG, which Samsung seems to be using.

    > if Nokia can have at least a decent quality camera in a phone several months ago then it should be easy to replicate. (Nokia N8)

    Nokia N8 does have a decent camera. The thickness of the camera module of N8 is about double of iPad 2. In optics thickness really matters.

    So yeah, it would be easy to replicate by doubling the thickness of the iPad 2 at least where the camera module is. But I fail to see the reasoning. Does iPad 2 really need that to be a good product?

    The raison d'être of N8 is to be a phone with real pocket camera like quality, that is not what iPad2 is about, far from it. Therefore it would be quite foolish to try to optimize the camera.

    I agree the cameras could be better, but the fantasy about N8 (or even iPhone 4) quality camera for the iPad 2 is a bit crazy.
  • NCM - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Death666Angel (!) writes:
    "Okay, so because Apple decided to make the iPad2 so thin they couldn't even put a halfway decent camera into it, we shouldn't complain? This is exactly why I personally do not want an Apple product..."

    Surely even a moment's reflection would make obvious that a 10" class tablet is wildly unsuited by its form factor for anything but desperation photography. The iPad 2's camera is there for FaceTime video, with still photography enabled only because they can.

    Contrast this with the iPhone 4, which is very usable for photography has a surprisingly capable camera.
  • rish95 - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Well on paper the dual core SGX543MP2 graphics processor is about twice as fast as the Tegra 2's GeForce ULV. I'd like to see how that plays out in real life. I'm worried that iOS's 60 FPS cap may skew the results of some less intensive tests.

    And since the iPad's screen res is lower than the Xoom, you can expect an even bigger margin.
  • ltcommanderdata - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Just divide out whatever whatever graphical benchmark result by resolution to get a relative power per pixel measure.

    On this subject, hopefully Anand can update this Preview with GLBenchmark results as soon as they are available rather than waiting for the Review. This will be a very interesting result and I think the SGX543MP2 can potentially be 3 times faster than Tegra 2 if the drivers are well optimized.
  • slickr - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Please Adand could you tell me the point of this device?

    You can't carry it in the pocket, its not a gaming device, its not a texting/writing device, its not a office device, its worse than PC and laptops for everything and too big to have over a phone and not to mention no phone connectivity.

    So it seems to me its just a huge, bulky web surfing device and even mobile phones have a better camera so its not good even for pictures.
  • stealthy - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    This is exactly the device what I'm seeking. As most of the time in the evening I'm just websurfing/chatting with my girlfriend in Japan or emailing.
    I dont need to have a full blown pc to comfortably do this,
    The ipad is fully supported by my cable provider. I can program the digital box with the device and watch a second program in parallel to my tv. Easy to follow two soccer matches :)
    Apart from that I can control my home domotics system from my couch.

    All this is the reason for getting the ipad.
  • Juzcallmeneo - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Most people just use it as a toy..or a trend.

    The purpose is to bring things like reading books, browsing web, casual games, movies, a more mobile state than a bulky laptop with a giant keyboard attached. You can easily cradle it in your arms and walk around with it..sit in any position. Smartphones are more mobile, but not as comfortable to use in the sense that the Tablets have nice large screens.

    They would be even more useful if they were all built like my new Eee Slate with the Wacom Digitizer technology on it. I do all of my computing on this thing now, especially all graphic & web design. The only downside is the battery life but it's good enough and worth it to have Office pro, CS5, and FL Studio on a tablet.
  • name99 - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    For me it's a device for reading technical PDFs. It does this far better than
    - a laptop (keyboard gets in the way)
    - a kIndle (PDF display is crap for technical PDFs, not to mention SLOW)
    - any Android device (faster, nicer screen, apps that handle the details, like margin cropping, well)

    If you doesn't do what you need, why not just STFU? I don't run around the web sites for fancy camping equipment saying "Well, who really needs this equipment? Why don't you just stay at home where it is more comfortable?"
  • CAR67 - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    LOL, thanks for making me laugh.

    I always think along the same lines as your reply when people piss and moan about how something is useless to them, so no body else should want one and so it should cease to exist.
  • Azethoth - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Speaking purely of my original iPad :
    1) It paid for itself by replacing my NY Times habit at Starbucks with various free news apps (NY Times & BBC being my favorites).
    2) It made me fork over $100 for an Economist iPad subscription, doh. I really like the solid reporting they do.
    3) It controls both of my Squeezebox Touch music players with nice touch interfaces and glorious album covers ($10 SqueezePad app).
    4) Using the Calorie Counter app I have lost 10 pounds in the last 2 months. I could use it on the iPhone in theory but in that small a form factor ... just not gonna happen. Same on my comp, I am just not gonna run to the computer room every time I eat something, especially when not even at home. Another 20 pounds lost and I will be at a healthy weight: priceless.
    5) I love reading, a lot. But my place cannot handle more paper books. I have read books using iBooks and the Kindle app. The iPad is fantastic for reading at night or twilight. I even read outside in the Sun, but not with the sun relfecting off the pages. But thats ok, I do not read regular books with the Sun bouncing off their pages either. The only scenario not supported is reading in a nice warm bath: I cannot have my iPad get wet.
    6) Home automation. It is a niche thing but the iPad is a breakthrough interface in this arena. I am just getting started but I can control the furnace, a/c and fireplace so far.
    7) Free phone calls using skype & wifi.
    8) I use a small leather backpack to lug it around along with my coffee mug, water etc.
    9) It is a gaming device. My favorites are Plants vs Zombies, Infinity Blade and Osmosis. I have played more games on it than my XBox, although Kinect is changing that. It does not replace PC gaming, but it enables games not possible on the PC.
  • slickr - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    So it other words its just an expensive, huge and bulky device just for web surfing.

    In better times we would call people that purchase these things stupid, laugh at them for making a bad choice and educate them how to recognize true value for money and make a smarter purchase tomorrow.

    Guess times have changed for the worst, where the unacceptable is acceptable and the worthless is cool and trendy.

    Whats next they are going to invent a Stone 2.0 with WiFi and an apple picture of the back of it and people are going to shell out hundreds of dollars for the cool rock 2.0.

    Amazing, just freaking amazing.
  • AlexTheUkrainian - Sunday, March 13, 2011 - link

    Sniff, sniff... can anyone else smell an angry troll?

    slickr, I am sure you're just trolling, or deeply jealous, but if not, just buy an iPad and see for yourself. It's frankly a device you can hear about a million times and never get it till you use it. There's just something magical about software always working, having an app for just about everything you can think of, and enjoying superb mobility, etc. Cooking? Just attach it to your kitchen cabinet and watch a video instructing how to make a dish. Taking notes in class - perfect companion! Want to connect to your windows pc remotely from your couch and still enjoy touch screen? Done.

    And yes, the games rock. And they'll rock 10 times as much once they learn to use iPad 2's power.

    TO ALL OTHERS: I just got hdmi adapter for this and I have to say, it's amazing for gaming! Now I can play and girlfriend can watch on big screen. But it's even better with games that don't require use of touch screen, such as Real Racing which can use just the accelerometer. Sooo recommend it. It's becomes a mobile xbox almost ha
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Yeah I'm sure slickr is just jealous. He wants to be a dumb yuppie. Some people live and die by these money black hole devices. As soon as you start paying for something due to its "coolness" factor, it's all over... Bottom line is these are $200 devices. They offer nothing vs an ipod touch, except the ability to hold it a bit further from your face. Reply
  • Seurahepo - Sunday, March 13, 2011 - link

    Is there a problem with the comment system? This comment looks like it was from March 2010. :)

    Joking aside, I am not sure what you are comparing iPad with, but it is hard to see how it would be huge and bulky. Sure it is bigger than your cell phone, but it also gives you about seven times the screen area (comparing iPhone and iPad), which makes a big difference to how apps should make the layout and how gestures work.

    You claim people purchasing iPads (and other tablets?) are stupid, which would be the better choice for them? Mobile phone? netbook? laptop? something else? Another tablet, just not from Apple?

    Web browsing is one thing you can do with it, you can do your mail, you can play games etc. But the main thing is *apps*, which app is the killer app for you, I cannot know, but there are 65 thousand already out there and the number is growing. iPad like tablets is the future platform for a big group for apps. Not Windows PC or even Macs, those are the dinosaurs of the past, post PC-era is here.
  • vision33r - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    If it's pointless device to you then why do you bother reading this article and make complaints about it?

    Seems you got some anxiety or insecurities to work on.

    Same question can be asked about anything in this world.

    What's the point with a convertible sports car?

    Why do some people use a briefcase and not a backpack?
  • sean.crees - Sunday, March 13, 2011 - link

    Majority of my time lately online seems to be reading web pages, watching video's, checking email, listening to music.

    All of which is much more convenient on an Ipad. Notebooks are bulky to walk around with because of the attached keyboard. Smartphones are too small to clearly see what it is your doing. Smartphones may "work", but tablets make it more enjoyable.

    So what i end up with is the freedom of a smartphone with the display size of a small notebook. Best of both worlds IMO.

    I may not be able to put it in my pocket, but at least i don't need a chair to use it like a laptop. Have you ever tried using a laptop in your hands while you walk around with it? Its incredibly difficult.

    While the ipad may not fit in my pocket, its small and light enough that i wouldn't mind just holding it in my hands as i walk around, or tossing it in a backpack/purse, or perhaps even getting a larger pocket sewn into the inside pocket of a jacket.
  • NCM - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Over 15 million buyers seem to have figured out the point of the original iPad, enough to pay $500 or more for one. Rather a lot to ascribe to mass hysteria. Maybe it's something in the water?

    Or did we somehow miss the news reports about hordes of disgruntled buyers demanding refunds for their "pointless" devices?
  • nitrousoxide - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    Please explain me this: In your XOOM review, it loads in 603.1ms while it takes 2000+ms in this preview. Have you changed your benchmark suite?

    Anyway I believe that Google's Android is simply a waste of hardware power. It's a poorly optimized OS, no matter Gingerbread or Honeycomb. The only way for it to keep up with iOS or Windows Phone is using superfast chips but when that hardware advantage is gone, it stands no chance.
  • Seurahepo - Sunday, March 13, 2011 - link

    Yes, they changed back to hand timing, because the results from the Android browser were strange. Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    "The iPad 2 maintains full 5 GHz (802.11a/n) support, "

    This is not so. As far as I can tell, for example, 5GHz 40MHz channels are not supported. This is the big one. I don't have the kit to test it, but it would not surprise me short guard intervals and some of the other optional protocol niceties that buy you a few percent (to, sometimes many 10s of percent) here and there are also not supported.

    More generally, might I make a plea that you institute some sort of standardized benchmark for testing the quality of WiFi (and 3G, though for iPad I care about this less) implementations?
    The reason I ask is that
    - for reasons I don't understand Apple (quietly and behind the scenes) seems to keep pushing to always have better wireless kit than the competition (eg 3 active antennas in the newest MacBook Pros and Airport Base Station) while the competition lag BUT
    - the quality of wireless in these devices is an easy target for improvement right now, adding in more antennas and smarter decoding algorithms.

    In other words, it seems to me that an OBVIOUS way for the next great tablet to differentiate itself from iPad2 is through having multiple antennas (both WiFi and 3G) hooked up to competent firmware and OS code, such that it could achieve double or better WiFi bandwidth, and a much more robust WiFi and 3G experience.
    It would be nice, if this happens, for AnandTech to be able to verify the truth of the (doubtless exaggerated) statements the marketers will make, and more generally to play the same role here that it has played in SSDs in just pushing awareness of the state of the art forward and not allowing manufacturers to get lazy. (I'd regard, for example, Apple's unwillingness to boost the WiFi here over iPad1 as an example of being lazy because they can get away with it. They have no competition in the tablet space, and it's not something reviewers look at carefully and complain about.)
  • Seurahepo - Sunday, March 13, 2011 - link

    While making a better wifi implementation may seem like an obvious way of differentiating from iPad it is far from it. Better networking implementation is very hard to market for the general population. The only viable way seems to be marketing by buzzword, marketing the same buzzword with "better implementation" will be hard.

    For the non-geek the speed is often more than enough, they are used to the fact that computers take their time. And even if they found it to be slow, they would not know what is the reason.
  • Brian Klug - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    So the iPad 1 and 2 both only support the long guard interval (65 Mbps) MCS on both 2.4 and 5 GHz channels, with only 20 MHz support.

    I consider this "full" mobile support only because the majority of "802.11n" mobile devices do the same thing - 65 Mbps, or in rare circumstances short guard interval 72 Mbps.

    Keep in mind, the iPad 1 already was the differentiating product, as it was the first smartphone/tablet that came with 5 GHz support at all. The myTouch 4G and Galaxy S 4G both also have 802.11a/n support with 72 Mbps.

    I've definitely been testing/pushing for more/better antenna and connectivity, and it's interesting that Apple chose to essentially keep the same WiFi stack as they had in the previous version. That said, baseband has definitely improved ;)

  • btdvox - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    I disagree with your comment on the White iPad, I had a choice between the White 32 and Black 32, and after seeing demo models of both yesterday, it's clear the White looks very cheap, the Service Rep told me it's actually not covered with glass but rather the components of the white macbook and can be prone to staining.

    Sure it doesn't show finger prints, but watch any movies, and websites that use dark schemes (Which every movie does and most websites do), even the top bar is black (status bar), and with a black bezel, these components all "seam" together, and even the hardware (things like the light sensor, camera etc, are barely visible).

    With the White bezel all these components make the ipad less seamless and I thought the display on the white looked worse, simply because of it's bezel.

    The same goes for TV's, would you rather watch a movie on a TV with a white or grey bezel or a glossy black one? I'll always choose glossy blacks, it makes the display look better.

    Still pictures suck on the ipad 2, just like they do on the ipod gen 4 but Video is really good, on par with iphone 4! Sucks that they didn't spend the same components on the iPad 2 camera, wish they did!! No autofocus kind of sucks too!
  • Brian Klug - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    That's weird that the apple rep would say those things. The current MacBook is entirely hard plastic, and lacks the matte soft-touch material that used to stain. The current iPad is actually indeed covered in glass the same as the black model, so it will absolutely not stain.

  • podpi - Sunday, March 13, 2011 - link

    Hey Anand

    Let me preface this by saying I'm a huge Anandtech fan, and really trust and appreciate your word and the deep, thorough reviews you do. That's what sets you apart from the other tabloidy, first out, sort of content. They do anything to have content out first. I believe some write the reviews before they test the equipment.

    Now, whenever any big product comes out, I may glance at the Engadget/Wired reviews, but I keep checking Anandtech everyday, waiting eagerly in anticipation. The other sites try and up the number of views, so they launch bit by bit and try and draw it out, but also try and be out first with a brief headline-like review. Quality suffers. So I keep checking AT, and waiting for a thorough, unbiased, great reading review. And when it comes out, sometimes up to a week later than the rest. By then the hype had died, down, and it has a chance to come in clean, and see what someone who put the effort in actually thought of the product. The fact that your reviews tend to be a little later show to me how much effort you put in, and how much you care about quality. And this is what I appreciate.

    Now, with the iPad 2 review, it seems to be coming in drips and drabs, to try and what appears to be to keep up with the competition? I think it's natural to get into a race with those sites. But how can you win a race against tech-tabloids? If you blend in with the crowd, then there is little differentiation. I don't think you can have best of both. In my opinion, taking your time and giving a full long in-depth review, like a short story, provides a unique, quality characteristic to your reviews, site and brand.

    Thanks for the great work.
  • Brian Klug - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link


    I actually agree with you that we really excel at the longer reviews, and it's good to hear that even though we're sometimes much later than everyone else, that it's still useful. I know I enjoy spending a lot of time being exacting about things and sometimes going behind schedule just to uncover absolutely everything.

    We were able to get a preview out on day one this time around just because we have about four people with iPads this time around, where with most things we'll only have one (or in extreme cases, two) units. Each of us working in parallel really sped things up and we thought we'd just share some quick impressions.

    The big review is still coming (today actually - 3/14) and will be the usual length/depth for certain ;)

  • Belard - Sunday, March 13, 2011 - link

    As an owner of a Galaxy S series, with poor support from Samsung/at&t and my experience of using an Android device phone for almost 6 months.

    Using the iPad2 was a breeze, its was fast and fun to use. Yeah, the missing USB & SD slots still sucks... but that won't effect sales much.

    We then went across the isle to the Samsung Galaxy Tab which costs the exact same $500. It was easily heavier, thicker... the GUI looks and functions mostly like my own phone so I had no problems "using it".

    So after that experience, we both agreed... why spend $500 on an Android, when we could get a much snappier, larger screen and much easier to use device. BestBuy was sold out.

    If the Galaxy Tab was $300~350 - it would be a more fair deal.
  • podpi - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Thanks Brian - looking forward to it :) Reply
  • ssvb - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    VFPv2 unit in ARM11 is actually pipelined:

    And yes, naturally it is much faster than Cortex-A8 on floating point code.
  • NCM - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    AT: "Laying in bed and reading is probably where the difference becomes most apparent."

    You should never read in bed while laying—your partner will be offended.
    It's perfectly all right while lying in bed, however.
  • eanazag - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    I really appreciated the mouse over images changing comparison. It really gave a clear picture of the difference in the images. Reply
  • retnuh - Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - link

    So.... being the 16th should we assume its getting the super mega awesome thorough testing treatment? Reply
  • UNLK A6 - Thursday, March 17, 2011 - link

    I'd like some clarification about LINPACK and Geekbench. Are these benchmarks created by compiling some portable code for each platform as a measure of floating point performance? Or, is this supposed to be some measure of how fast one can do linear algebra or DSP on the platform? On Mac OS and iOS, one wouldn't compile say LINPACK for this but use the hand-tuned LAPACK/BLAS and DSP routines built into Apple's Accelerate Framework. The difference between the two can be huge. Which do these benchmarks purport to supply--generic floating point performance or available linear algebra and DSP performance? Reply
  • retnuh - Thursday, March 17, 2011 - link

    Last I read it was a production issue, they wouldn't be able to make enough Qi screens to fill Apple's demand. That seems to be an issue for AMOLED displays as well.

    Anyone know actual numbers on this?
  • AverageCustomer - Tuesday, April 05, 2011 - link

    Just a heads-up for all those who live in belgium and are planning to buy an iPad: people always praise Apple customer services.

    But in Belgium, things are not as rosy: Apple does not have stores in the country, they have "Associates". And they have a return policy VERY different from what I have read everywhere.

    I have purchased an iPad 2, unfortunately it suffers from the "backlight bleeding" issue everyone has been talking about on the Apple Forums. (And, to those who doubt, yes it is a real issue. I love Apple products, but defects happen.)

    So I went to exchange it, thinking: "Ok, I got a dud. No big deal. I'll get another one, and that will be the end of it."

    Not possible, according to the store! They HAVE to send all Apple items for repair, and it takes 3 weeks to get a new one!

    The guy in the Apple section of the store then had the nerve to tell me that I should have taken an AppleCare plan to get a replacement in 48 hours!

    All that for a product that was defective right out of the box!!

    So, if you are planning to buy apple gear, and live in Belgium... Watch out. NOT the same quality of service as in France, or elsewhere.

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