My Initial Impressions of the iPad2

Well, I gone and did it. I came home from my business trip and my wife and I headed out to Bestbuy to pick one up.

I didn’t order this online, nor worry about not getting one. Living where I do in Rochester, New York, it’s not a sprawling metropolis like Miami, or San Francisco, so there wasn’t the mob of hundreds or thousands. It was about 7pm when we got to Bestbuy, and it was a mob of about 10. I didn’t have much trouble getting one. Talking to the sales associate, he said they sold about 120 units since 5pm, when they started selling them.

Once we got home, we un-boxed it. Nothing special with the packaging, it’s the usual Apple minimal affair, the iPad, the charger and sync cable. I bought the white version because I decided to have it stand out in comparison to my iPad1. The first thing I did notice is the slightly smaller size. At first I couldn’t figure out where the size difference was, but then I noticed that the iPad2 is flatter and doesn’t have flat side. The edges immediately taper down to a flat bottom. When placed on top of the original iPad, The iPad2 actually fits within the iPad1’s unibody shell. The screen also looks smaller because the white border no longer masks the screen, which is now a very visible 9.7″ sea of black in the center of the tablet. The heft difference between the two tablets is very slight, but the slimmer profile of the iPad2 and its lighter weight does make it feel better, and there doesn’t seem to be any loss in build quality.

I bought Apple’s new Smart Cover also, and a Zagg front screen cover. I’m not sure about the Apple Smart Cover. I tend to baby my gadgets and even though Apple tout’s that the iPad aluminum body can take a beating, I would probably feel more comfortable with an all around case. I actually wonder if the Zagg wrap around protector will still allow the Apple Smart Cover to work? If it does, then that might be a decent solution…

I’ve only had a short amount of time to play with the device, I did however, put a few of my more demanding games on it, such as Infinity Blade and Dead Space. I ran them side by side to see how the new A5 dual-core processor performed, and for Infinity Blade, it made a significant difference in load time. Also, it seems the new graphics processor in the iPad2 added an extra bit of vibrance to the color in the game. I’ll write back later when I have a chance to really use it. I’d like to see if Sketchbook Pro and my other productivity apps behave more responsively.

In the meantime, feel free to check out these videos I made of the unboxing and performance of the iPad2.