Product Type: Apple Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Newest Review: ... download iphone apps for the ipad and use them in the same way, they just look a little different on the screen. The biggest advantage of ... more
An Apple a Day....
Apple iPad 2 Wi-Fi 16 GB
Member Name: loopy-lou33
Apple iPad 2 Wi-Fi 16 GB
Disadvantages: Doesn't support Flash
For quite a few years, my family has coped quite well with just having the one PC. It sits in the living room and most of the time, someone is on it, either working, playing games or searching the internet.
However, now my son is 11 and due to start secondary school, he expressed a desire for his own computer. A lot of the homework at secondary school is done online and I also thought that it would be a nice gift to celebrate the fact he was making such a major transition.
At first, we were happy considering laptops, but when my friend suggested an iPad, my son was convinced that this was the perfect computer for him, largely due to the coolness factor, no doubt!
The average price for an iPad 2 on the high street and online seems to be about £329 for the 16GB version with wireless internet. Obviously, you would pay more for the 3G option or more memory, but the 16 gig version was fine for us.
Luckily for me, I managed to find one even cheaper in our local Argos clearance store and managed to bag my iPad for a mere £299.99, which I thought was really good value considering the fact that even the cheapest Windows laptops cost more than £300.
The main difference between the iPad 2 and its predecessor the iPad is the fact that it has two cameras, a front facing one and a rear facing one. I will go into more detail about this later.
Setting up the iPad
Setting up the iPad was a doddle, even for me, and I am not all that tech savvy.
The pad comes ready charged for setup, although it only has a very small amount of charge.
Everything about the packaging and the product is minimal. In fact, the box only contained 3 items: The pad itself, the charger and the usb plug adaptor. The user manual is on the iPad itself, which I thought was a fairly clever idea and certainly saved on packaging. To be honest though, the iPad is so intuitive that I have not even had to use the manual yet.
The pad itself is also very minimal in appearance. At first glance, it appears to have no buttons at all, and it does not need any, because all the controls are available via the touch screen. A brief word on the touch screen, it does get very "fingerprint" quickly and it is definitely worth investing a couple of quid into a screen protector, available from Amazon.
I had a couple of niggles setting up the iPad. Firstly, I set it up with my son's details, so the IPad would not let me download any apps, because he is under 18. I just went back to the start and used my own details instead, and it was fine. To use the app store, you do need to input your credit card details, but you can protect you information with a password to prevent your child downloading all the expensive apps without your permission!
The second niggle that I had was that there was a problem with the servers at Apple, which meant that they asked me 3 security questions, but I was unable to input the information. This meant that I could not download more than five apps that day. The next day, however, Apple seemed to have sorted the glitch and I was able to input my security questions, no problem.
Setting up the internet was easy. The pad detected my wireless connection and it was just a case of inputting the password.
When you first turn on the iPad, you slide the touchscreen slider to unlock it and then you are faced with a simple menu screen. Some of the icons are as follows:
Camera Photo Booth
There are also four icons at the bottom of the screen, which are:
Safari web browser
There is also plenty of room to add your own links and icons and to customize the pad exactly how you want it, based on the apps that you use most often.
You open the apps by touching them and close them by making a pinching movement on the screen.
I am not going to touch on every feature of the iPad, but here are some of the apps and icons that we use most:
The camera may be only 5 megapixel, but it is lots of fun to use and very simple. You can use the inward or outward facing lenses to either take a picture of someone else, or of yourself and then use the photo booth option to mess about with the picture.
The size and shape of the iPad does not really lend itself to replacing your existing compact camera, but it is a neat feature to have.
The real beauty of the camera function comes in the Facetime feature. This is a bit like Skype, where you can have a face to face conversation with a friend or family member who also has an iPad. This is a really useful function, so long as your hair is straight and you have your makeup on. Maybe one of the good things about regular telephone calls is that nobody can see you with your rollers in and your fluffy slippers!
Wow! What can I say? When Apple say there is an App for everything, there really is an app for everything!
One of the first things that my son did with the iPad was download his Fifa game and Football manager games. These games are a lot cheaper than PC or console games, and sometimes apps are even free.
I wondered how he was going to play Fifa, since there were no plug in controllers, but the iPad cleverly creates a touchscreen joystick, which allows you to control the players.
We also downloaded a racing game, where you control the car by tilting the iPad from side to side.
Of course, we had to download our favourites, Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. It just didn't seem fair not to include them!
The good thing about the App store is that all the apps have been approved by Apple, so won't contain any nasty viruses. At the present time, the iPad is not at risk from viruses like a regular PC, because it is a bit like a gated community and anything you download officialy should be perfectly safe.
To download apps, you need to create an iTunes account, which is really easy. When you download a paid for app, you card is billed and you will get an email with the full details on it.
iBooks is an app that lets you download ebooks, a bit like a kindle. When you download this app, it creates a virtual bookshelf, where you can see your books.
The books look exactly as they would in their real format, complete with pictures and text. I love the way that you can turn the pages realistically by swiping your hand across the screen.
IBooks downloads books in an epub format, which allows you to highlight, make notes and scribble in your book, virtually of course!
Safari is the Apple web browser. Having only ever used Internet Explorer, I wondered how easy it would be to get used to a different browser.
I must admit that Safari was intuitive and easy to use. It has a google search box in the top right corner and a larger box to the left of it to enter web addresses. You can bookmark pages and shuffle forward and back just the same is internet explorer. It was very easy to use and very quick.
This option allows you to change specifics, such as adding a password to lock the screen, shifting to airplane mode or changing the background and wallpaper.
You can also access the iCloud which is a handy place to store all the bits and bobs that are cluttering up your memory. You can basically send everything to the iCloud, buy a new iPad and import the lot back into the new iPad. It is a great way to protect your documents and valuable data.
The iPad is great for anyone who likes a gadget, but it has so many practical uses too.
It is a lot lighter than a laptop and very easy to slip into a bag due to its slimline design, making it perfect for business people, but it also equally as good as a gaming machine for kids.
The graphics are pin sharp and the HD adds an almost 3D element to many of the games. The colours are rich and vibrant.
The sound likewise, is clear, with no grainy interference, adding to the immersive experience of using the iPad.
With so many apps, the uses of the iPad are truly unlimited and it can be personalised to the needs of the individual user.
The nature of the iPad means that currently it does not need antivirus software.
An iPad 2 now costs less than a cheap Windows PC, but in my opinion, is a superior product.
Apple have a freephone helpline for customer support, which is useful, as I hate paying companies to solve probelms caused by their own products!
One of the main cons of the iPad is that it does not support Flash. Flash is a computer add on that allows you to play games with animation. For example, my son enjoys playing miniclip and club penguin games, but he cannot do this on the iPad, he has to use the PC. Also, other sites we like to use, such as King.com have restricted content for iPad users because many of the games require a mouse or keyboard to play, rather than a touchscreen.
Another drawback of the iPad is that you are limited to using the iTunes store for anything you buy. Your music and games have to be bought through Apple. You cannot use discs to play games, which upset my son, who loves Zoo tycoon on the PC, but cannot get the exact same game via the app store.
I love the iPad 2. It is innovative and fun and suitable for so many different things. My son loves it and so do I. When he is out at school I love to play on it and discover something new that it can do!
Summary: Cool gadget
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