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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Video Controls

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.

Video Controls Image
The video controls appear when you touch the screen.

Video Management

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.

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Video Formats

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.

Internet Video

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).

Internet Video Image
Fancy some Alfred? "Good evening. You are watching me using Hulu Plus on the iPad 2".

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.

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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