Product Type: Apple Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
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The Only Tablet Worth Considering
Apple iPad 2 Wi-Fi 64 GB
Member Name: jCon86
Apple iPad 2 Wi-Fi 64 GB
Advantages: Traditionally high quality design from Apple, amazing screen, game changing device
Disadvantages: Limited peripheral support, poor camera quality.
On January 27th 2010 Steve Jobs, founder and chief of Apple, announced a device that would come to shape the consumer technology world for the foreseeable future. Speculation had been rife for months that Apple had been working on a tablet based device, that would attempt to fill the gap between the smart phone and the laptop, under the moniker of "iSlate".
During the Apple keynote the iPad was unveiled to the world. A device that many saw no gap in the market for. Yes, its portable and has a good quoted battery life, but lacked processing power, a CD drive and not even a single USB port. A flash in the pan, a fad, a blip in Apples history of game changing devices?
So far millions of iPads have been sold and accounted for 83% of the total tablet sales during 2010. The iPad took the world by storm. Release day dawned and queues of people formed at every Apple retailer. People waited for hours to be among the first to get the device. Celebrities including Stephen Fry were interviewed outside of Apple retailers, musing on the impact this seemingly magical device would have on the world.
All this was merely 18 months ago. And yet, just as you thought you had reached the pinnacle. Just as you thought you had got all the gadgets you needed. Apple unveil a faster, thinner model that rekindles all of those needs, cravings and desires. The iPad 2 was unveiled during Apples keynote on the 2nd of March 2011. It retained all of the key functions, features and integrated design tweaks that although may not be deemed evolutionary, consolidate this device as really being the only true tablet contender on the market. All of this whilst maintaining the same price point as the first generation.
As a device its specifications are not infallible. Many other devices boast better screen resolutions, peripheral support and functionality. Yet it is the total user experience that keeps the iPad and indeed nearly all Apple products on top of their respective piles.
The level of design, the implementation, the user interface and the applications available are variables that success and failure within the technology industry hinge on. What is also important about these areas is that the are discipline in which Apple excel. While the App store currently has 65,000 applications in its store that are designed to fully utilise the features of the iPad, the Android store has merely a few hundred. This stat alone is extremely prominent in an area of technology that has seen a decline in the amount of stand alone web browsing that is undertaken on devices. Much of the information and features are now harnessed within specially designed applications. These applications allow the authors of this content to create a specific stand alone interface, increasing their ability to refine and control how their content is presented.
Apple has long since been criticised over their "need" to control all aspects of the devices that they distribute. This can be seen as a negative, not allowing users the ability to fully customise their experience and integrate features that Apple may have decided to not incorporate into the operating system. However, it can also be flipped around as a positive, in Apple striving to ensure the users of its device have the most stable and reliable operating system possible. It can also be seen as Apple attempting to protect its users. It has previously been reported that a number of Android applications have been removed from the market place due to their malicious content.
However, in some cases Apples level of control threatens to alienate certain sections of the market as they seemingly attempt to flex their corporate muscle. Job's rather public spat and complete boycott of Adobe Flash is one blemish on Apples public image. Flash may well be an archaic, CPU hungry and insecure, but with many sites material encoded using Flash it has meant a somewhat reduced user experience when browsing the web through Safari.
As of yet iPad has outlasted early rivals such as the first Galaxy Tab, the only real competitor to the first generation of the iPad, and I believe it will continue to prosper against the likes of the Blackberry PlayBook and the Galaxy Tab 10.1. A simplicity and purity of design accompanied by a solid infrastructure, a strong and unwavering focus on the objectives for the device and extensive developer interest in the platform means many competitors may have already been left for dead.
So far the iPad has revolutionised the average consumers ideas on computing. It has provided a medium for which schools, institutions and the military can utilise for teaching, demonstrating and engaging people in a way that has not been seen before. It has caused its competitors to tear up their designs and return to the drawing board and drawn plaudits and endorsements from high profile sources. Even the car industry is basing many of it's vehicles user interfaces around the device.
I too have an iPad. Sat proudly open its stand on my desk right now. Its role within my day to day computing activities has greatly differed over the 8 months that I have owned it. From a pure web content device, glorified iPod, to full blown home PC esk word processing, database creating and media player applications. It has handled everything I've thrown at it remarkably well. The battery life exceeds that of its competitors and enables a full days use. The build quality and reliability of the iPad are extremely impressive as I have not had a single issue with the device since its purchase.
Areas that the iPad is let down in is mainly the cameras and the peripheral support. The cameras are not going to be able to capture high quality video or DSLR standard stills, but that is not what they are designed to do. The main focus of the cameras (excuse the pun) was to allow video chat and to take spur of the moment pictures.
No matter how many units are sold, the level of customer feedback or celebrity endorsements the device will always have its doubters and critics, as will Apple themselves. But at the end of the day Mr Jobs reckoned, 2010 was the "Year of the iPad". And he predicted that 2011 will be the "Year of the iPad 2". On the evidence we've seen so far, he seems to know what he's talking about.
Summary: It just works!
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