I have previously written about the Apple iPad…
…Here and Here, and with the announcement of its successor I wondered how much I would have benefited by waiting a few months to get my first tablet computer.
There’s no doubt that some future revision of iOS will deprecate my lovely tablet a year or so before the newer model, and in the meantime some of the new apps that I may like will take full advantage of the iPad 2’s upgraded A5 processor and seem a little more recalcitrant on my now-ancient 😉 single-core A4 machine. However, for the primary things I do with my iPad, I’m not wholly convinced that the new model is a large enough upgrade.
So what do I like about iPad 1?
…The instant-on capability, “it is always ready when I need it”, is a key functional element that no other “bootable” computer I have ever used can match. The battery really does last all day, and the “coffee table computer” aspect of it means I really don’t have to get off my sofa to quickly look something up, do some banking, check emails etc.
These three aspects are core to my tablet computing experience and have changed the way I access my data profoundly.
Yes, I have an iPhone 3Gs, but the iPad’s screen size offers that sweet spot of easy ergonomic access and a clear, bright and comfortable view that its junior siblings cannot match. Which is just as well, because it makes a great tool to display photos on and I can use it to show my portfolio of images.
The iPad 2…
…Is undoubtably a great device, and even more compelling if you don’t already have an iPad, however, for me, it’s not really offering me much more than I need right now. It has twice as many processor cores, it’s unclear if they’re individually faster than the A4 as Apple does not disclose that information, but all the same it’s an obvious processing upgrade in a multitasking environment. The graphics capability is upgraded with a much more powerful GPU core too. iPad 2 sports twice the RAM (up from 256MB to 512MB), a Gyroscope from the iPhone/iTouch and a pair of cameras for Facetime and other apps. iPad 2 is also thinner and lighter, though to be honest I’m not struggling with iPad 1 in those respects.
However, the key areas of use to me haven’t changed. The screen resolution is unchanged (one of the things I would really liked to have had upgraded to show my images in more detail), the excellent battery life is also unchanged. I don’t play high-end games, just do some web browsing, blog work and emailing, so the extra GPU/CPU power would be lost on me (until some brilliant photographic app arrives and proves this claim wrong).
The cameras and gyro are also not essential to my tablet experience, and overall, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only thing I need in the near future is for a proper connection app to appear to allow real-time viewing of images directly transferred from my Nikons while I’m shooting. I’m hoping that such a thing is not too far away, and will be fully compatible with an iPad 1 running iOS 4.3. Yes, that’s right, some of the magic of the new device will be available to me anyway with a simple software update in a week’s time when 4.3 goes live for download.
I’m looking forward also to installing 4.3 on my iPhone as well, because it will become a WiFi hotspot for my iPad when I’m away from home.
If you don’t currently own an iPad…
…then go and get one, you won’t be disappointed, but if you do then you’ve got a great gadget right there. So enjoy! 🙂