Compare iPad with iPad 2

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The long-anticipated announcement for iPad 2 happened this week, leaving many Apple fans wondering if the upgrades are worth buying the new iPad when it debuts today. Following are the major changes between the two models to help you decide.

iPad 2 is Lighter

The first generation of iPad weighs in at 1.5 pounds for the WiFi-only model. The iPad 2’s WiFi-only model weighs in at 1.3 pounds. While this does not seem like a big difference, for users who carry the iPad alongside stacks of books or other materials, every .1 pound counts!

iPad 2 is Thinner

Apple loves to make their devices as thin as possible. The MacBook Air even fits easily into a standard manila envelope! iPad 2 is not that thin, but it is 33% thinner than the original iPad.

iPad 2 is Faster

The new generation of iPad 2 boasts a dual-core A5 processor, an upgrade from last year’s A4 processor. Apple promises the added power will not diminish battery life, but we are skeptical.

iPad 2 has FaceTime and Cameras

FaceTime is more popular than we thought it would be. Apparently, people do like to see the people with whom they are speaking. iPad 2 adds FaceTime functionality through both front and rear-facing cameras. That’s right: iPad is now a digital camera on top of everything else.

iPad 2 has Smart Covers

Smart Covers are new for Apple products. These microfiber lined covers snap onto the iPad 2 to both protect and clean its screen. When the cover is open, iPad wakes up; when closed, the iPad sleeps. The cover plays double-duty as a stand.

Is iPad 2 Worth the Upgrade?

There is no doubt the iPad 2 will be a great tablet, but for current iPad users, it might not be worth the upgrade, unless FaceTime is important to you. The processor upgrade is nice, but it is not necessary. The Smart Covers are also nice, but iPad has covers that are similar and frankly, good enough.

One other upgrade not mentioned here is the ability to plug the iPad 2 into a TV via a $39 HDMI cable. For those who buy a great many iTunes videos, this may be worth the upgrade. iPad 2’s prices are the same as iPad’s, starting at $499 for a WiFi-only model.


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LAST UPDATED 3/10/2011