iPad 2 – Some Quick First Impressions

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After a long wait in line yesterday at my local Apple Store, I walked out with a shiny new iPad 2 at around 5:15 yesterday. We have family in town this weekend and we were all out to dinner last night almost straight after getting home with the new iPad 2 – so I didn’t have it fully synced and setup until around 11:30PM.

Since then, I’ve spent a fair amount of time using the new iPad 2. Configuring most of my favorite apps, catching up on the news, testing out Safari, and getting started on getting to know the new device.

I’ve got some very early, very quick first impressions to share – here they are in no particular order:

— You’ll read this elsewhere as well and it sounds like a throwaway line, but you really do need to hold the iPad 2 to appreciate the thinner, lighter nature of it compared to the original model. It feels good, and easier to hold for longer periods in various positions.

— It is very noticeably faster, just about everywhere. Launching apps, switching between apps, loading web pages, switching between open pages, all feel significantly quicker. As they should, with the new dual-core processor, doubled-up RAM, and improved Safari performance in iOS 4.3.

— I haven’t tried out the cameras or camera apps as yet – so I’ll post later on those.

— I got one of the new Smart Covers for it – a dark blue leather one. It is super impressive how it automagically attaches to the iPad 2 perfectly as soon as you move it close to its left side. It’s even more impressive the way it automatically wakes and sleeps the iPad 2 when you just flip up the right edge of it, remove it, or place it back on.

It’s not that great to use if you like to have a case that you can fold round to the back of the iPad when using it heavily. The Smart Cover doesn’t stick to the back of the iPad, so you need to hold it in place with a hand, and because it’s so easily foldable it tends to flop around when in that position. This can also cause the iPad 2 to go into sleep mode when you don’t want it to.

I’ll write more about the Smart Cover soon as well – as I find it fantastic to use in some ways, but also awkward to use at times. I have a feeling it may end up being my ‘sometimes’ great companion for the iPad – replaced when needed by one of the two Marware cases I’ve already ordered.

— One thing I’ve noticed on the new design is that the sync / charge cable does not connect to the iPad 2 as easily as it should. It’s awkward to get in successfully, and takes a lot of fiddling in order to do so without forcing it. I could see this causing some headaches and even returns if the connector port gets damaged while trying to insert the cable.

UPDATE: Getting Apple’s own Camera Connection Kit to connect is even more awkward. It works, but again it doesn’t feel right and is very fiddly to make work.

That’s about it for my first couple hours thoughts. I’ll share lots more thoughts as I spend more time with the iPad 2.

How about you guys? What are you thoughts on the iPad 2? Did you get Smart Covers? How’s the sync / charge cable working for you?

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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5 thoughts on “iPad 2 – Some Quick First Impressions”

  1. In regards to the Smart Cover not attaching when folded around the back, try folding it in half and then folding it around. The magnets grip the two halves, and then it makes for a nice grip when flip around behind :)

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve tried that now, but I find it doesn’t help much. The smart cover still wants to flop around and needs to be held in place.

  2. Sounds great Patrick. The form factor was one of my biggest reasons for wanting to upgrade. Mossberg also mentioned the post connector being fussy in his review hopefully it doesn’t become a true problem over time.

    I just got the shipping confirmation from Apple today fortunately the first wave has shipping much sooner than expected. At the time of the order it was ships in 3-5 days. Actual ship date was in 24 hours.

    Good thing to as I’m finding that sorely miss my magical device.

  3. After you insert the dock connecter a few times, it gets easier. I think that the opening is just a bit snug initially. I have no trouble inserting the dock connecter now that I have done it several times. Note that it SEEMS like the connector should be angled when you hold it, but the connector is parallel to the screen.

    1. Yeah, I’ve had it in and out quite a number of times over the course of the weekend. It does get a little easier with practice, but honestly still feels stupidly awkward. I can imagine a fair few complaints and returns coming on this.

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