tablets

Apple iPad 2 Tablet eBook Reader Review

The iPad 2 is lighter and faster than the original.

March 11, 2011
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Controls

Most of your interaction with the iPad 2 will be through the touchscreen. The only physical controls are the home button on the device's front, the power button on its top, and the silent/screen rotation lock and volume controls on its right side.

The iPad 2's touchscreen is incredibly responsive and accurate. While typing on it isn't quite as fast as using a keyboard, once you've gotten used to the interface the controls are incredibly easy. The only thing the iPad 2 lacks is a form of haptic or tactile feedback.

Controls Image
Controls Image 2

Connectivity

There are two different models of the iPad 2: the WiFi and WiFi + 3G. Both devices support Wi-Fi over 802.11a/b/g/n.

The 3G model is available either on AT&T or Verizon in the US. Internationally, it'll be sold with access to a national carrier, and unlocked, meaning it'll work with any GSM network that runs on its frequencies.

The iPad 2 supports the following frequencies: UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz) and GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz).

Both iPad 2 models support Bluetooth version 2.1 with EDR technology. We found the devices didn't support the full range of Bluetooth profiles, however: while A2DP and AVRCP are supported, we found HFP (the hands-free profile) was not. It is also not possible to transfer images over Bluetooth to or from the iPad 2.

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Battery Life

We expected that the iPad 2 would have identical battery life to the original iPad, given that the battery is about the same size. But we were wrong: the iPad 2 has significantly improved battery life for reading eBooks and playing video. However, the eBooks battery life remains significantly shorter than those we got from eInk devices like the Kindle and Sony Readers. The bottom line is that the iPad 2 will be fine for a daily commute or a day or two out of the office, but you'll need to recharge for anything longer. It is also worth noting that the iPad and iPad 2 took a long time to charge: both required several hours connected to the included charger or a powered USB port before the battery was 100% charged.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Music & Audio
  7. Movies & Video
  8. Email & Web Browsing
  9. Internet Apps
  10. Apple iPad Wi-Fi (16 GB) Comparison
  11. Samsung Galaxy Tab (T-Mobile) Comparison
  12. Amazon Kindle Keyboard Wi-Fi Comparison
  13. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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