Apple iPad 2 Tablet eBook Reader Review
The iPad 2 is lighter and faster than the original.
The Apple iPad 2 handles video in much the same way as audio. Open up the iPod app and you'll find your videos in their own separate section. When a video is playing, the onscreen controls will hide, but tapping the screen will bring them up again. These offer all the basic playback functionality, along with a progress bar you can drag to skip around.
Again, the iPad 2 manages video much like audio: you can sort and search the files in much the same way. Your videos will be arranged in a list you can navigate with vertical swipes along the touchscreen. The faster the swipe, the faster the list will scroll, making fast navigation very easy. For long lists of videos, use the alphabet along the right side of the screen to jump to that letter.
You can make playlists of videos just like you could with music. Either created the playlist in iTunes and sync it over, or create it on the device itself. Making a playlist on the iPad 2 is pretty easy: just click the playlist button, add playlist, and click on the different videos you want.
The iPad2 doesn't support many video file formats by default. Out of the box you'll find it plays MPEG-4 and QuickTime formats, and will also play back iTunes DRM videos. Don't expect support for Windows Media or.AVI files: you'll have to convert those files before you sync them over to your iPad 2.
Watching streaming video on the iPad 2 will open up a QuickTime app separate from your Safari or YouTube app. The video will have all the same playback features as the iPod app, and it will return you to either Safari or YouTube when the video is over. Unfortunately, unless you're watching YouTube or a file the QuickTime player recognizes, you're out of luck: these are the only ones supported at the moment. Fortunately, many sites now offer Apple-friendly versions of their sites. For those that don't, an app is usually available, such as the Hulu Plus App, which costs $7.99 per month).
Video Battery Life
The iPad 2 doesn't look to have the best video battery life. We found that the iPad 2 could run for 8 hours and 32 minutes playing back a video with the screen set to auto brightness in a well-lit indoor room. That is about an hour longer than the original iPad, so Apple is obviously doing something to make the battery last longer, which could be the more efficient processor or a change in the backlight used to illuminate the LCD screen.
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