Initial Hands-on Impressions of iPad 2

Submitted by lalit on March 4, 2011 - 10:59am.

Apple allowed some hands-on time with the new iPad 2 for journalists after its introduction on Wednesday. Many journalists have posted their initial impressions after playing with the iPad 2 for sometime. Most tested the performance and also new applications like FaceTime and Photo Booth. Initial takeaway from hands-on time with the new iPad 2 is as follows.

Engadget’s Joshua Topolsky points out that the new iPad is “insanely fast”. Everything on the new tablet feels like “it’s in turbo”. Every other journalist also pointed this out, and in addition everyone was impressed by how super thin and sleek the iPad 2 is. Kat Hannaford wrote on Gizmodo “It boggles the mind that it's thinner than an iPhone 4, yet doesn't seem to have that "ready to snap" cheapness other super-thin products have.”

FaceTime and Photo Booth both worked extremely well, with Photo Booth churning out 9 simultaneous live video feeds without breaking a sweat. iMovie and Garageband for iPad also impressed everyone. Both the applications were easy to use and very well designed.

Chris Davies of SlashGear even ran SunSpider browser benchmarking tools on the new iPad 2 to test browser performance. He found that iPad 2 was 4X faster than original iPad, which completed the benchmarking test in 8594.9 milliseconds (ms), whereas iPad 2 only took 2121.7ms.

Overall, iPad 2 is way ahead performance- and design-wise, both from its upcoming competition and the original iPad. Andy Ihnatko of Chicago Sum Times puts it the best “But you kind of have to hold the iPad 2 to really get the redesign. It’s thinner by a third, plus its edges taper to a thin line of metal. It’s almost inconceivable that this thing you’re holding is a multicore tablet computer. The Xoom tablet is trim, light, and very pretty ... but when you place it next to the iPad 2, it looks as though it was designed and built by angry Soviet prison labor instead of by Motorola.”

Checkout the introductory video of iPad 2 and Hands-on video by Engadget below.