Final Words

If Apple's A5 is any indication, Samsung's 32nm HK+MG process is extremely capable. Assuming Apple didn't change any fundamentals of its microarchitecture, the iPad 2,4's gains in battery life can be attributed directly to the process. The gains themselves are significant. We measured a 15% increase in our web browsing battery life, a nearly 30% increase in gaming battery life and an 18% increase in video playback battery life. Although Apple hasn't revised its battery life specs, the iPad 2,4 definitely lasts longer on a single charge than the original iPad 2.

If you're in the market for an iPad 2, the 2,4 is clearly the one to get - if you can find one that is. Unfortunately there's no sure fire way to tell that you're getting a 2,4 without opening the box and turning on the tablet, and I suspect most stores will get a bit irate if you're constantly buying and returning iPad 2s in search for a 32nm model. Presumably over time more of the available inventory will shift to 2,4 models, but based on our experiences in trying to find a 2,4 it's still pretty tough.

I would like to applaud Apple's 32nm migration plan. By starting with lower volume products and even then, only on a portion of the iPad 2s available on the market, Apple maintains a low profile and gets great experience with Samsung's 32nm HK+MG process. It's very clear that this is all in preparation for the next iPhone, which will almost certainly use Samsung's 32nm process and require it in significant volumes. It's obvious that Apple employs some very smart chip heads in Cupertino.

What I'd really like to see is a 32nm version of the A5X used in the new iPad. I don't know that there's much reason for that this year, especially when the 4th generation iPad will likely ship in the first half of 2013 with yet another new SoC (dual-core A15 + Rogue anyone?), but it'd still be nice to have. The power efficiency improvements are substantial and the 3rd gen iPad could definitely use them. Those of you who are waiting for the next iPhone should also be pretty happy about these results. Apple could easily deliver a higher clocked version of the A5 for the next iPhone while keeping power consumption equal to if not lower than where it's at today. The move to 32nm is going to be good all around it seems, and Samsung appears to be a very capable foundry partner for Apple. Despite all of the rumors of a rift in the relationship, the foundry side of things is working out well.

Power Consumption, Thermals & Performance


View All Comments

  • sonci - Saturday, May 05, 2012 - link

    In the hype of Galaxy S3, immediately an Apple Review!! Reply
  • tytung - Sunday, May 06, 2012 - link

    Anand Please review Galaxy Note. Thank You. Reply
  • gkbeer - Sunday, May 06, 2012 - link

    And why aren't they printed on the box? I thought that was a requirement. Reply
  • Takoru - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    I just bought an iPad 2 16GB, black via the Apple Store Germany. I ordered it online.

    My iPad was manufactured on April the 17th in China. (The white one in this article was manufactured on April the 14th, in China).

    Sadly, i got an iPad 2,1 with a 45nm SoC.

    It's really sad that not every iPad will get the new 32nm SoC.

    If someone knows where I really have the chance to get one, I'ld be happy about a private message here on anandtech.

    My iPad 2 is going back then. Also, the black smart cover I ordered has white lines on it.
    I thought Apple stand for quality, bleh.
  • Takoru - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    Maybe it's a help that my serial number is starting with "DV". The serial number of the white one in this article is starting with "DM". Reply
  • Takoru - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    Xerazal posted that his Serial number also started with "DM". So I'm sure now: Every iPad 2 16GB with a serial number starting with "DM", which is manufactured in April is the new iPad 2,4.

    Sorry for triple posting btw., but I think my comments are useful.

  • Mrmixor - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    Absolutely essential, bought a model 2,4 yippie, Reply
  • goober296 - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    i purchased a ipad2 16 gig wifi white at the mall of america apple store on 5-12. The serial number started with DM It was identified as a 2.4 using one of the free apps mentioned in the article. Reply
  • Mrmixor - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    Went to Target, looked at what they had. They had one wifi only white iPad 2 with an ICloud logo sticker. I asked the salesperson if they are moving them pretty regularly and if they are getting in new iPad 2's every so often. he said weekly!!!! I knew my odds were improving that this one would be a recently received item. Anyway I bought it, also bought Geekbench for .99 in the AppStore. Says I got a 2,4 and man this thing is sooooo light and man I have been surfing for 1 hour and the battery went from 66% to 62%!!! That's what I really like about this iPad 2. I owned the iPad Retina and sold it to a friend in South America, and it's really really nice, but too heavy for me. A noticeable difference. What I would like to know is if this iPad 2,,4 I now own ... Is it lighter than the iPad 2,1 or not. I owned the iPad 2, 1 up till the march release and it seams slightly heavier than this one. The 16% increase in battery life, 399 price and the lightness are all deal makers for me. Local Apple store had nooooo clue what I was searching for, we're not cooperative. TARGET ROCKS. very happy man... Do it show? Reply
  • Mrmixor - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    Feels lighter. Runs cooler, battery lasts shockingly longer. Very happy. Reply

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