IPad2 Review

First I should start off by saying that I have never been an apple fan. For as long as I can remember I have always been anti-apple, but i'm not sure why. I think it has something to do with thinking that I had to choose a side Microsoft vs. Apple. Or more recently Google vs. Apple. If you didn't know (you're not a complete nerd) there is a rivalry between Apple "Fan boys" and .. well I guess everyone else who doesn't like apple. You'll find it all over the internet and in almost every comment on every tech blog. "Apple is god, apple ftw" no matter what the review is about. I don't know how else to describe it other than Ford vs. Chevy, Mustang vs. Camaro, Britney Spears vs. Christina Aguilera. Sides that are taken, and dwelt on that have an added passion to protect the reputation and uphold their praise.

I have to admit that I took sides, but also have to admit I wasn't necessarily "Bi-platform-curious" But I also didn't really have a good reason, or any reason to be against apple. I wasn't a "Microsoft fan boy" or a google fan boy, but I am a tech-fan boy.

The reason I considered getting an Ipad wasn't because i wanted an IPAD, but because I wanted a PAD. I've had multiple laptops/ nettops/ etc. But I never seemed to use them - BUT I do use my phone almost constantly. Whenever something comes up on tv, whenever I want to research something, or find out who sung what song - what that movie title was - checking my horoscope, updating my netflix Q ETC. Stuff that I could do away from my computer. I figured I did that so much from the couch - on my phone - that a pad would actually be more of a productivity/ research tool than a toy.

I would have gotten a GalaxyTab, or a Xoom over an Ipad but thats where my reason for questioning my loyalty - or my biased started. A tab that would run Android would be exactly what my phone was - but only bigger. The only advantage would be the screen size. I couldn't really justify getting an Android tablet, so when the Ipad2 was announced I asked myself: Why not? Why was I really against apple? I didn't have a good reason.

Seeing that i'm a total tech nerd I knew full well about the massive amount of apple apps - things that weren't available on Android. Seeing as i'm a writer - and my focus will be on digital publishing - including apps - it made sense to get an Apple product to gain access and get used to the apple world. Selling books through ipads makes sense. Making an ipad app - makes sense.

I also realized that the rivalry doesn't make sense. Why not have both? It seems that having access to the full range of technology makes someone more fully rounded and savvy than only choosing one side.

So I took the plunge and ordered a White 16gb wifi Ipad2. It took almost a month to come, but I finally am playing around with my first apple product.

My initial reactions were interesting. I've read many reviews and to me what were listed as the ipads biggest strengths were.. not. When I first held it, I expected it to be lighter and thinner, but maybe because thats some of its biggest praises? The over all design of it isn't "Breathtaking" it's just simple and boring. I don't have complaints with it, but when I held the Xoom I was a lot more impressed. Simplicity isn't my thing.

Also noteworthy was the fact that it wouldn't turn on until I plugged it into my computer and downloaded Itunes. What about those who get one and don't have access to a computer? That would be a huge frustration.

Since I have never played for more than 20 seconds on a iphone or ipad I have no idea how they work. But within 30 mins I had everything figured out and set up and had some songs, videos, pictures, and even my books loaded on the Ipad. Easy. Another complaint about the ipad is it's reliance on Itunes. I completely agree. Being new to the program made it even more frustrating - why can't I just use it like an external hard drive and load things manually?

Another note on the Hard drive size- I only got a 16gb version cause.. well I dont need to spend 200$ on 64gb which is not much more than 16. I find the decision to offer 3 versions 16, 32, and 64 to be almost fraudulent. The only reason really seems to be giving the illusion of having a top of the line model - and a cheaper model to sway people into paying a ridiculous amount of money on a ridiculous amount of hard drive space. HD space is SO cheap I can't imagine that putting an extra 64gb in it would cost more than a few dollars. If I were apple I would have just made one option of 100gb and leave it at that. OR include the option of a SD expandable memory slot. That goes right along with forcing people who want extra space to have to buy the 64gb model instead of offering a sd slot that could be upgraded to even more than that - for 40$ I'm not worried about it, but I do find it wrong.

The screen looks nice. Not as nice as my Vibrant phone's. Using it outside in day light was good, but taking it in the house made it great. I agree that apple should have upgraded it to the retina display for the second generation Ipad.

 The other big Quibble people have are the camera's quality. I am not planning on using it as a camera - so the quality was fine by me. Actually better than expected. I have plenty of other cameras to use that are a lot easier to take pictures on. But.. I dont understand why they couldn't have at least put in a little better camera.. the one on my vibrant is So much better an it's already a year old. ehh. Not a deal breaker just disappointing in principal.


My only other complain - before I get to what I like - is the keyboard. Granted i'm new to it, but it seems that it should have more digital keys/ options/ like a number row and more symbols. Its big enough and i would take slightly smaller keys and less spacing between them in exchange for more of them being displayed. Again, something to get used to. I'm sure i'll get to the point where I can type fast on it.

GOOD POINTS:

The email program is amazing, even better than on the computer and my phone combined. It actually combines my aol mail and gmail - and is easier to use than ever before. That alone is a really big plus for me since i've found gmail to be annoying.

The WIFI speed is realllllly good - even from my backyard! Way faster than my phone. Its almost like being on my computer with a hardwire cable connection when on sites like twitter and facebook.

Speaking of which I actually re-activated my facebook account after almost a year - just to use it on the ipad and the experience is better than phone/ computer too. Twitter as well.

Watching youtube clips and finally streaming netflix is going to be a great option as well. I can only imagine how much of a fun time killer this thing would be on a plane, or .. anywhere really. I'm sure i'll eventually regret not getting the 3d version. (oh well)

Oh another HUGE selling point for me personally is the ibook functionality. I recently got a Kindle and it blows it away in speed and clarity. I wouldn't have gotten it if I knew I was going to get the Ipad, well and if I didnt need it to format the kindle-version of my book. I didn't realize that the Kindle wasn't back-lit and you need to have a light on to read it at night. The only advantage to the kindle is the size/ weight/ battery life/ and a screen that is comparable to a real book.

So, so far it fulfills the main reasons I got it - Social networking, emailing, and web site research.

My initial impression is probably an 8/10, or a B+. A Xoom or Android tablet is more my style, and the customization and extended (advanced user) functions are better. But I have that in my phone, and I'm excited to experiment with my new techuality.
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