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Customer Review

1,352 of 1,405 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but a few cautionary points., 19 May 2011
This review is from: Apple iPad 2 16GB (Black, Wi-Fi Only) - Genuine UK Stock (Personal Computers)
I'm sure the vast majority of those buying an iPad 2 will be very pleased with it. For the most part it lives up to the hype and is a very seductive piece of kit. After downloading iTunes onto the computer and registering, setting up the iPad is a doddle as it's simply a case of connecting it to the computer and the automatic 'synching' process does the rest.

Connecting to the internet via Wi-Fi with my 'N' router was as easy as entering the password and I have to say the response time of the Safari web browser was very impressive, with pages loading very quickly making web browsing a joy. The screen is a gem being bold and bright and large enough to be regarded as a serious web browsing monitor. The only slight criticism, which is often referred to, is how quickly the screen becomes covered in fingerprints. But I hasten to add the need to clean it only becomes apparent after you've turned the thing off and isn't a problem during use.

Of course, Apps are a huge attraction and there's a lot of fun to be had from browsing the App Store and downloading from the huge amount available, many of which are free and even the paid ones don't exactly break the bank. And apps can be downloaded directly onto the iPad, there's no need to sync them from the computer to the device.

If, like me, you enjoy keeping up with the news and catching up with missed TV programmes then apps like BBC iPlayer, Sky news for iPad, and the (currently free) Channel 4oD are obvious choices and are very impressive on the iPad. A YouTube app also comes as standard and there have been comments about losing Wi-Fi connection whilst using it which I did experience a few times. This may need to be fixed in a future update but it reconnected quickly and wasn't a big problem.

Criticism is bound to be subjective but there are a few things I'd refer to. Firstly, it seems that most people don't appear to have a problem with setting up their email account on the iPad, but for me it was a non starter. I have Outlook Express on my desktop PC and have never had problems setting up email accounts before. But my iPad just wouldn't receive emails - sending emails, yes, but it wouldn't receive them. I spent the better part of two days trying to beat this problem, but tech help both at Apple and my ISP along with lots of forum trawling couldn't resolve it. I tried setting it up manually, then synching OE from the computer, but all to no avail. Others seem to have had no problems in this respect so maybe it's just my bad luck.

The second thing is battery life. In just about every iPad review I've read, 10 hours seems to be the boastful claim and I notice other reviewers here are similarly impressed. Well, perhaps that 10 hours is possible with Wi-Fi turned off. But in my experience using the iPad with Wi-Fi turned on drained the battery in half that time. So, maybe time between charges depends on how much you surf the net. If not, then maybe mine had a substandard battery.

My third criticism is maybe due to the success of the iPad design. It's a beautiful thing and deceptively solid and strong, which is a good thing, right? But it's sleek, slim, highly polished profile makes for quite a 'slippery' unit. Using it on your lap or a table is fine but holding it as, say, an ebook reader (and iBooks, together with the Kindle app, are excellent by the way) can sometimes be a little frustrating as you try to work out the best way to hold it for any length of time.

Then there's the lack of Flash support which means that if you're someone who likes to watch video clips on the internet, or indeed any video content that requires Flash, then you're going to be frustrated by Apple's stubborn refusal to allow it to run on the iPad. There are a few apps and freeware programs out there which attempt to get around this issue but I wouldn't put too much faith in them at present. But if Flash is of no concern to you then obviously this can be discounted.

And finally, there's the price. Although the iPad2 is good value when compared to the original I think those of us in the UK still get legally mugged. To some extent we can thank the VAT hike to 20% which means that no less than a hefty £90 of a 64Gb iPad2 price is VAT. Of course, that's no fault of Apple but it does make the overall cost an important consideration.

If price isn't a concern and you don't mind shelling out so much for something that will probably be superseded by iPad3 in less than a year - and you're not frustrated by the email account problems I had and the niggles I refer to above then I'd say the iPad 2 is a serious contender for anyone looking for a tablet which, by all accounts, sets a standard in terms of design, build, and sheer usability that the 'android' competitors are still struggling to compete with.
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Showing 1-10 of 31 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 May 2011 17:11:52 BDT
SWF says:
i had problems emailing with my iPhone for 1 year. Had it replaced, then all of a sudden tried the email settings again from scratch as i had done a fw times b4 and this time it has worked. during this time i had tried not syncing the email part of the sync. tried using yahoo send or receive settings as apparently this can work. tried calling my service providers ie easily/123 reg absolutely nothing works. its really hit and miss now after 18 months im thinking to not get another apple product as it causes so much hassle with email!!

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2011 15:02:40 BDT
Last edited by the author on 31 May 2011 15:09:20 BDT
David Hall says:
In the latest issue of 'Apps' magazine there's a feature entitled 'Fix your iPhone, Touch & iPad' which, among other things, tries to address 'Outlook Mail not working'.

This merely served to confirm that my own input settings to get Outlook Express up and running on my iPad were correct. I carefully followed these instructions again just to make sure but it didn't cure the problem.

I've read so many 'solutions' by admirable contributors on help forums and have tried everything they've suggested, but still no joy. I'm left wondering that if all the accepted configuration procedures have been followed correctly and the problem still exists, what more can you do?

I'd suggest maybe it's specific to certain ISP's but I'm with the second largest provider in the UK so I doubt this is the cause - otherwise this issue would surely be regarded as a major iPad flaw. As it is, it just seems to be a flaw for a minority of unlucky iPad owners like me.

Posted on 3 Jun 2011 11:05:12 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jan 2012 01:41:18 GMT
bigbuds says:
i have an ipad 2. i think your review is good. 2 things i don't agree on=1 setting up the email is very easy and reliable. i have a samsung galaxy phone and it is alot harder to set up and is not relible at all. i have linked 5 email adresses to my ipad. 2 the battery on my ipad lasts a minimum of 10hrs i never turn my wifi off, when its not on wifi its on 3g. i use it alot threw the day. the battery lasts from when i get up to when i go to bed. i find if you turn your brightness down it lasts alot longer. this is my first apple product ever. i agree about the flash player comment. i hardly use my laptop anymore for browsing the net. books on this device are fantastic and clear. i don't however find it comfortable to hold i find its edges are sharp so i use a griffin case.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2011 08:14:12 BDT
there is plenty of ipad cases about that will adress the holding issues.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jun 2011 08:33:38 BDT
Very good review, even though I have promised myself hell will freeze over before I buy any Apple product!
Some years ago I set up gmail accounts which 'mirror' my work and general email accounts in Outlook (the main version in Office, not Express). All inbound emails to my Outlook accounts (via a UK ISP) are automatically copied to these gmail accounts, as are some outbound emails. I work usually in developing countries where Internet access can be iffy.
This means on my Samsung Galaxy Tab and Galaxy S2 smartphone I easily have access when away from my desktop notebook. Configuration was no problem.
Try it.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2011 11:38:53 BDT
Voyager says:
R H Jones) "hell will freeze over before I buy any Apple product!". Why are you reading the reviews? Are you just an 'Apple basher'?

Posted on 4 Aug 2011 10:55:57 BDT
CrazyPaulo says:
You're very forgiving - I'm trying to decide which tablet to get, but a major requirement will be email functionality. To give it 5 stars and put a major deficiency down to bad luck, seems to be letting them off the hook when they've got hold of over £400 of your hard earned cash! There is no excuse (on their part) for your emails not working - either bad software or bad customer support!

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Aug 2011 17:54:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Aug 2011 18:58:19 BDT
David Hall says:
If you look a little more carefully, CrazyPaulo, I awarded the iPad2 four stars, the email problem being the main reason for that missing star.

I don't blame you in the slightest for regarding the potential email issue I had being a determining factor as to whether you purchase the iPad2 as email functionality is clearly a prime consideration in your case, as it is with many other iPad users, I'm sure.

Yet, whilst you're absolutely right about there being no excuse for Apple not being able to fix the problem I had, this inability to receive emails doesn't appear to be something experienced by the vast majority of iPad users. And that being the case, I can't help but feel mine was one of those seemingly irresolvable 'gremlin in the machine' issues experienced only by an unlucky minority of users and one that, fortunately, doesn't affect the majority.

If you're of the opinion that's still not good enough, believe me, as the one on the receiving end of this frustrating problem I'm only too ready to agree with you. But I'd hate to think my bad experience in this one, albeit very significant, regard might deter you from choosing a tablet which (a) in most other respects seems to outclass the competition and (b) I can't help feeling you'd be very unlucky to have the same problem with.

The bottom line is that insofar as we put our faith in the endless media tablet 'group tests' - of the many such reviews I've read I've yet to see one in which the iPad2 isn't summarised as the standard bearer of build quality, design, and functionality and the one the rest are still playing catch up with. And although I know I'm leaving an open goal for the many 'Android' devotees who may provide a link to an exception - and I certainly wouldn't criticise their preference for an alternative - I think it's fair to say that the iPad still rules the roost.

Thanks for your input, CrazyPaulo - and that goes to everyone else for their valuable contributions, too.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Aug 2011 08:07:05 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Aug 2011 08:07:58 BDT
Jood says:
Maybe RH Jones reads the reviews to confirm what he/she already thinks? Nowt wrong with that ;)

Posted on 9 Nov 2011 09:53:52 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Nov 2011 10:14:25 GMT
loveclose says:
Agree with you over the flash business - Apple should take note of the comments here and do something about it. It would only add to the iPad's enormous capabilities, and would stop the continued frustration of being unable to view Internet video after fast access to the Internet page accessed!

I am surprised you had problems with e-mail. Whilst I didn't get mine working first time, it was working ok after ten mins or so. Definitely set up from scratch though - especially if your e-mail account is pop3. I had more problems setting up my Yahoo account on my PC due to conflicting settings with the e-mail account and anti virus settings.

You need to make noises about your battery. Definitely sounds faulty. Mine lasts at least a day, sometimes two, and that's after fairly intense use!

Thought your review was good, but the e-mail bizz and battery issues should be resolvable. It sounds like you've really tried hard to solve them, without much luck, but keep persevering - it should be solve able.
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