To further overuse a ridiculously overused phrase, the new iPad is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. The internals get what should be a nice bump, but the screen size and resolution remains the same, and we aren't going to see any major changes in the new tablet's interface or functionality. For the most part, it can do everything the original iPad could, just faster. Current iPad users who aren't bothered by the first-gen device's lack of a camera won't likely find a must-have reason to upgrade, especially since the first iPad will likely be supported by iOS 5 and beyond.

At the same time, users who found themselves unimpressed by the original iPad are unlikely to be won over by the iPad 2. A speed bump and a pair of cameras aren't enough to make the iPad more like a notebook if that's what you want.

However, the new iPad does attempt to further blur the line between full computers and tablets, a line that is only going to get blurrier as more Honeycomb tablets invade the market. The iPad still lacks a dedicated keyboard, which will probably always hamper its utility as a content creation device for me, but iMovie and GarageBand join the already existing iWork apps as decent tablet versions of desktop programs.

The iPad continues to be a good purveyor of the Apple Experience, a middle step between the iPhone and iPod Touch at the low-end and the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro at the high-end. We're missing a few performance and hardware details, and iOS is beginning to look a bit dated in comparison to Honeycomb, but none of these issues will likely stop the new iPad from being just as hot a seller as the previous version. 

The Software - iOS 4.3, iMovie, and GarageBand
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  • strikeback03 - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    Bet we won't hear much about "fragmentation" among iOS devices though
  • Focher - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    You confuse fragmentation (ie. the Android market) with product generations. While one can argue that Apple expires enhancements to older products too soon, that's not fragmentation.
  • wpwoodjr - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    I've been using a great open source program called Subsonic. Its a service that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It will stream your music and videos to your browser or to your iOS or Android device over wifi and 3/4g, so you aren't tethered to your house. It does transcoding on the fly to reduce bit rates to your phone if required.

    There are 2 or 3 Subsonic player apps for iOS and 1 great free app by the Subsonic developer for Android. I have replaced the media player on my Droid X with Subsonic and now access my full music collection (and also several friend's collections) anywhere I go.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    Subsonic is really nice
  • Juzcallmeneo - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    Wow, that sounds awesome! I am going to look into that. Granted, for my music I use my Cowon J3, but I would use the video part for sure.
  • worldbfree4me - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    The price seems resonable until you consider that those of us who already own an iPad and want to buy a new one will have to fork over even more than before! With Apple bringing the price of a refurbished model down to a low $349. My gently used base model probably now only has a fair market value of only $299. Thus it has depreciated at least $200 in less than 12 months and will now require me to come up with a difference of at least $200 just to get into another base model. Sure for my $200, I'll get a second core, 2 cams and more ram. But is that worth $200? I think Apple miscalculated the early adopter, and as a result, they will ultimately sit this round out and patiently wait for round 3 IMO!
  • Juzcallmeneo - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    Whooooaaaaa now... Apple gradually putting out minimalistic hardware to try to coax people into wasting their money time and time again? kuuraazzzyyy person alert
  • smithg5 - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    I just did an "Instant Sell" (where eBay makes you an offer) for mine on eBay yesterday for ~$65 below the new retail price. I saw some go for about $100 less than the old retail price last week in auction - so I think the trick for a yearly upgrade is to sell as soon as the next iPad event is announced.
  • bplewis24 - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    Good summary Andrew.

  • techbwoy - Thursday, March 3, 2011 - link

    I have to disagree with Anand about iOS looking long in the tooth. Major issue with android is its vertical integration. I have not used Honeycomb but from what I can see its still half baked and was only released to try and get a footing in the market before iPad 2. Having the ability to customize is cool however I am into how can I use this thing. Netflix came to Windows phone 7 before android. Apple is trying to make a device a child can use I know to some in the tech field that may be not as cool but Apple don't forget about people with handicaps when making the device something that is a awesome feature that is useful and changes lives. I am just tired of mind less fanboys. The Xoom has a camera but what can you do with it edit a movie or create music with something similar to Garage Band NO. I want to try out a google device but its annoying that even the flag ship nexus devices can't get timely updates. The market will decide the winners and losers. There is genius in simplicity that must just don't get but then again its genius so must people will not get it. Buy the product that appeals to you and let the product live on its own merits. Competition is good and the more the better for the consumer. So funny how things have change for Apple from the 90's to now. THINK DIFFERENT still rings true.

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