40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
I have had a black iPad 2 (black and white are identical other than the colour of the frame) since UK launch day and must say that it has completely transformed my computing experience. Coming from a PC background (desktops and laptops) but with iPhones and IPods ,I was originally sceptical about the iPad. Glorified iPod etc!
How wrong could I be! Bespoke Apps and a lightning fast browsing experience together with a very user friendly os have made the iPad our computing device of choice, replacing the majority of PC use. Magazine and newspapers have been ditched in favour of the dedicated apps, portable DVD player ditched in favour of using iPad and so, so portable.Do note that you cannot using iTunes transfer DVDs straight to your iPad and the authorised method is to buy/rent films online.
A great gaming machine (Apps are so much cheaper than traditional computer games and the quality of games is excellent) and iPlayer wherever you want it using wifi. The uses are enormous and 5 months on, we are still finding more. Combine it with an Apple TV or a digital AV cable, you can stream to your TV.
And FaceTime is excellent...I have used it several times when away from home and this is one of the iPad 2's most worthwhile new features.
The imminent arrival of the new operating sysyem, IoS5 (will be available as an update in Autumn 2011 for existing iPads 1&2) will also add expanded functionality and the means to operate updates independant of your PC/Mac for the first time.
Excellent battery life and with 3G , the means to access the internet when wifi not available (invaluable on a recent holiday using a pay as you go package) which was worth the extra £100 over a wifi only version. Whether you need 3G is however very much a personal decision.
I would also suggest getting as much storage capacity as you can. Whilst you can decide using iTunes what is synced to your iPad, it is quite easy to rapidly fill it if you have several films, lots of videos etc and a large capacity gives you that extra flexibility.
Now the iPad is not perfect. A little spat between Apple and Adobe as to which technology to adopt for video playing maens that Apple will not let 'Flash' run on the iPad which is at times irritating, especially when watching the likes of the conventional BBC website but video for key stories is usually available on the iPad BBC News App. Android devices run Flash but the overall iPad user experience is so good, you can , if you are like me, overlook the Flash issue. an oft quoted phrase is 'it simply works'... a boon to someone like me previously used to numerous PC software/hardware conflicts.
I am not a blinkered Apple diehard, far from it (see Adobe comment above!), but this latest iPad has shown that the tablet will truly change the computing landscape. The iPad is not the cheapest but in my opinion,is currently the best that others currently struggle to match.
Only choice left.....white or black? Let the domestic arguments commence!
54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on 26 September 2011
So, you're thinking of buying an iPad however, you're not so sure of what it can do and how it works. So, here is the "Dummies Guide to the iPad" to help you make that decision. "I promise to keep the jargon down to a bare minimum" : )
To begin with the iPad must be paired to an existing Laptop or Desktop PC. These can be normal Microsoft Windows or Mac PC's. Once paired you can use the iPad by itself. It only has to be paired once. Although, there is a rumour that the next generation will work straight out of the box.
You will be able to:
-Touch and pinch the screen to type words and move things around
-Send and Receive Emails
-Browse the Internet including Online Banking, Internet Shopping and more...
-Listen to Music, including the Radio when there is a Wireless (Wi-Fi) connection
-Watch Videos and Movies
-Write and Print Letters (see the section on 'Printing' further down)
-Download and Play Games
-Become a Smarter Person (more on this later)
-Display Pictures - it is an electronic Picture Frame too!
-Take Pictures and Movies, if it has the onboard camera (iPad2 and newer)
-Have a chat with the relatives abroad using Video Conferencing technology
-Download THOUSANDS of books into a snazzy Book Reader that you can actually turn pages on the screen with
-There are loads more - I'll leave them as a surprise if you decide to buy one :)
You will NOT be able to:
-Watch a special type of animation or movie using a technology known as 'Flash' - don't worry about this though, you'll hear lots of people complaining about it. It really is no big deal and you'll learn to live without it. Over time, many of the popular web sites will move away from using Flash and use a newer technology that DOES work on iPads.
-Insert a CD (there is no slot and you don't actually need one)
-In fact, there is not much else you can't do with an iPad :
No, not the ones' from Oz! Wizards are helpful programs that magically pop up and automatically configure things like the Internet and Email connections for you. The iPad has more Wizards than you can wave a wand at! When you first switch it on and whenever you need to set something up it will automatically present you with a Wizard. Therefore setting things up is as easy as 1-2-3.
The iPad is also an iPod!! - Loading music is done in one of two ways.
1 - install the free version of iTunes onto your normal PC and follow the Wizards instructions to download your music from the 'iTunes Store' or transfer your music from your favourite CD collection. Then, connect the iPad to your computer using the supplied cable and it will automatically 'Synchronise' your music to the iPad. Yup, you guessed it - using yet another Wizard!
2 - iTunes is a built in application (or App) on the iPad itself. Tap this App to search for and download your music directly to the iPad. You could even download a movie or your favourite episode of 24 too!
Once the music is on there just tap the iPod App to listen to it. Easy-Peasy!
The iPad extensively uses Apps. Apps are downloaded, using Wi-Fi. This is why you don't need a CD drive. These are the icons that are displayed on the screen.
Apps are downloaded from the Internet using yet another App called: "The App Store". Tap this icon to search for or see a list of the most popular Apps available, some are paid for and some are free! Tap the 'Install' button next to the one you'd like, follow the Wizards instructions and the App will automatically download and appear as a new icon on the screen.
These can be loaded onto the iPad using iTunes, Email or the 'Camera Connection Kit' - this is a separate adaptor (£25) that plugs into the bottom of the iPad. Just insert the memory card from your camera into the adaptor and it will automatically load the pictures into the built in Photo App.
THE PICTURE FRAME
When the iPad is locked (by pressing the button on the top-right side) and then back on again, you'll see a little icon in the lower right side corner of the display. Tap this and the Photo App will automatically display your pictures in full screen mode, converting the iPad into a digital Photo frame! It is a great feature. This means that you can leave the ipad on the shelf, literally as part of your rooms decor! You may want to purchase a 'Dock (£25)' to have the iPad tilted and supported at just the right angle.
Tip: if you need a reason to justify buying an iPad to your wife - use the Picture Frame one!!
Printing is done wirelessly, however you MUST use one of the wireless printers detailed on the apple.com website. Typically, it will not print to anything other than one of those printers. There is one caveat to this statement, it is possible to print to any wireless printer if you pay for and download a third party App that is available via the App Store - use the search keywords 'wireless printing' to find it.
It is also possible to email whatever you'd like to print and pick it up on your normal PC for printing.
Finally, I mentioned that you could become a Smarter Person by using an iPad - in fact this is not a joke. There are thousands of educational Apps including ones' for learning Astronomy through to learning how to read and play music and even Apps that will help you learn a new language. The possibilities are literally right at your finger tips!!
If you're unsure of which size to buy just buy the largest one you can afford. I have a 32GB version and have only used half of its capacity even with some very large Apps installed.
The iPad is many things to many people and the information above is just scratching the surface.
"I hope this review helps you make the right decision and I also hope that I did not use too much confusing jargon."
*** update 12th October 2011 ***
Apple have released their new Operating System (iOS 5)
Amongst many new and enhanced features there is now the ability to synchronise data across multiple Devices. They call it 'iCloud' - think of iCloud as a 'Virtual Filing Cabinet' to store your Documents, Diary and a record of your downloaded media from iTunes. Always accessible as long as there is an internet connection.
iCloud also allows the iPad to be used without having to 'Pair' it with a computer. It will now work straight out of the box!
on 19 July 2012
I am an early adopter of new technologies. I am someone who loves all products Apple - but I am also honest about when Apple falls flat on their face (e.g., first generation ipod nano, a really horrible product).
I pre-ordered my iPad 2 in the U.S. on their launch date. I was proud to receive the unit before any of my friends, and I didn't have to wait in line! That was April 2011. It is now 15 months later, and I must say that I have not gone one single day in 15 months without using my iPad.
I use the device for everything: work; play; home. It's very important to remember that the iPad doesn't REPLACE your PC, Apple computer, or other CPU device. It could if your utility doesn't require multitasking; and I know plenty of people who don't need that functionality. Just don't expect to have this tablet multitask - because that was not the purpose of this product.
WORK: I am a field geotechnical engineer and I find the iPad2 such a handy tool for so many work-related tasks: I develop documents, presentations, emails (all while standing in the field). I use the GPS for plotting sample locations; I use apps for weather to track and monitor storms that could delay my work crews; I once even downloaded a free app with a contractor's level so I could determine if a pipe that was being installed was sloping the wrong way (it was).
HOME: I have a son with autism - and he uses it for books, interactive educational apps, maps, movies, shows. His apps take up 75% of the 64 GB, but there is still plenty of room for my projects and music.
PLAY: I'm someone who only needs to sleep about 4 or 5 hours a night, which is good - because my life is pretty full. I use the ipad2 for gaming all of the time. I use games from simple things like card games, scrabble, or angry birds - all the way to interactive first person shooter games or driving games that require gaming power, slick graphics and gyroscopes. The iPad2 is a workhorse.
Let me get the very few negatives out of the way, first.
1. The cameras stink. Really, truly... they are horrible. Come on Apple? PLEASE do better than this. I find that they are good enough for video (ironically) but horrible at taking still photos. Try taking a photo in low light? Forget it. Don't even bother.
2. If you don't use a cover for the back, the metal they use scratches and gets pitted very easily.
3. Doesn't multi-task (see above). Don't expect it to multi-task and you won't be disappointed.
4. I'm tired of all electronics companies having proprietary charging cables. At least Apple has consistency across their products, except that this product uses a power brick that is 10W and 1100 mA - don't use your old ipod brick to charge the device. I would like to see USB micro as the industry standard, and shame on Apple for not having a USB port.
5. Their attachments function well, but are costly. USB reader / microSD reader, HDMI or VGA outputs, etc... Wouldn't it be great to have industry standards so you only ever needed 2 or 3 cables for all of your products?
6. The magnetic edge and smart cover. My first iPad broke and needed to be replaced because I went to pick up my keys which were sitting next to the iPad. The magnetic bond was strong enough to just catch the iPad as I lifted (but not strong enough to retain the bond) - so the iPad crashed to the floor with a resounding and glass shattering thud.
1. For me, it's the perfect size. If I wanted a phone, I would get a phone. I wanted a tablet that was big enough to do work, write reports, and have an enjoyable time playing games and/or watching movies.
2. Resolution. I like it. I'm writing this review AFTER the new iPad (gen 3) was released. The new retina display is awesome, but quite frankly - the iPad2 resolution suited my needs. I liked watching movies either streaming or from iTunes, and they all looked great. The only place where the resolution lacks for me (which I didn't realized really lacked until I saw the retina display) is in reading books.
3. Portability. It's easy to take the iPad with you. There are so many 3rd party vendors who build cases, bags, knapsacks, satchels, messenger bags, etc. around the shape. I take it with me everywhere I go.
4. Fast and powerful. I play some memory intensive games, and it starts up quickly and doesn't ever have an issue trying to maintain the resolution.
5. Apps for everything. "There's an app for that"... it's true. I can't believe how many things I can do with my iPad - and how many things I still haven't tapped into or tried. I like that for the price of lunch at the local pub, you can buy a really good version of Pages or Presentation or Numbers. For $30US I can have a good working version of the programs I use to do my work. I make amazing presentations standing in the middle of my geotechnical work.
6. AUTISM - the apps and educational opportunities for children and adults with autism have been documented by people far more eloquent than I. My son loves his iPad and I will share two highlights. Within 3 hours, he learned how to tell time - regular time and international/military time. He can read analog, digital, and knows more about time than most adults I know. Coins - he couldn't figure out money to save his life. Within one weekend, a subject that his teachers tried for a year to teach - he learned and mastered.
7. THE BATTERY. Really, and truly, they don't lie. It's a 10 hour battery. If I watch movies, and use it for other games - it sometimes gets me only 8.5 hours. The thing that will kill your battery power is unused and open apps. Apple should develop a "kill apps" app (maybe they already have) so I don't have to go in and close them down one by one after my son has played on it for awhile.
My wi-fi works very well. I rarely have issues, and it's pretty easy to trouble shoot with the iPad. If there are issues, the forums are filled with people with the same problems, and answers to just about every issue.
My 3G network works well, but that's all about where you work, live and recreate.
In short, I think that the iPad2 is the most amazing product, and I believe that every family should own one. I look forward to their 4th Generation model (next year?) where more improvement is made beyond the cameras and the resolution. I couldn't justify trading this one in and buying the 3rd generation - but I hope the future brings greatness.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2013
Wonderful piece of kit, I use it everyday, I also have a Macpro and the same applies to that, (How anyone stays or sticks with Microsoft crap is beyond me)
To be honest I only bought the 64g on advice, but i dont use anywhere near that? the 32g would have been perfectly fine for me and I could have saved some money? but this purchase has been a very wise move.