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iPad 2, Smart Cover unboxing and early hands-on

updated 09:35 pm EST, Fri March 11, 2011

We unbox the iPad 2

We left the Apple store this afternoon with an iPad 2 and have given it an early shakedown along with its frequently joined-at-the-hip companion, the Smart Cover. The iPad itself instantly feels much smaller and lighter; although the dimensions haven't changed much, in practice it's much easier to hold in any orientation. The dual-core processor and extra RAM are noticeable, too, and even casual tasks like Google Maps are faster; the JavaScript improvements in iOS 4.3 are only part of the story.

As expected, the cameras aren't great for still shots, especially in low light indoors or at night. Some quick video tests did show the rear camera comparable to the iPhone 4 for video, although we know that's not entirely true since there isn't the same autofocus or low light sensitivity. We're looking forward to using iMovie and GarageBand in earnest.

The Smart Cover is much as you'd expect; it's simple to use and works a treat for lifting the iPad. Ours was a black leather version that had a wonderful texture (it's Italian aniline) and look. We're still concerned that it doesn't protect the back, but we'll see how well it works out in practice.

We're so far persuaded that it's a much larger upgrade than we thought it might be at first, and we suspect it will be hard to leave the store without buying one. Check in for a full review sometime next week, but in the meantime check our gallery below.

by MacNN Staff




    Comment buried. Show
  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I can not _believe_ how bad the camera is

    And I had to slice plastic off my USB cable to get it to fit. WTF is going at Apple????????? Not &*&^$#$^ impressed. The camera is the most sorry POS excuse for a camera on any device I have ever seen. Free T-Mobile phones have vastly superior cameras than my $829 device. WTF!!

    NOT. $&%#@$&. IMPRESSED.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    go get a Xoom or G-Tab

    Let us know how that works out for you. Yeesh.

  1. facebook_Jeff

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2011


    Sucks to be you

    Wow can you be anymore a whining little petulant child? You're a dumba$$ for buying a tablet computer for it's camera. Now go drink your juice box...

  1. Gazoobee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    cover in portrait mode?

    Most people use the iPad in portrait mode when they are reading and writing on it.

    One thing I have yet to see in any video or review is how easy this is to do with the smart cover on, (which seems pretty much dedicated to those who use the iPad in landscape mode). How about posting something on that?

    Can you really fold it behind? Can you really thumb type on it easily in that configuration? Enquiring minds want to know.

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