The Apple Ipad 2 is currently streets ahead of every tablet on the market, although companies like Blackberry and Samsung are catching up on the mobile phone front, they seem to have been left behind by this innovative device and lately we’ve been putting the I-Pad2 through it’s paces. We thought we’d write an initial review and give our opinion. The model we have is the 32 Gigabyte, wi-fi version in black. The Ipad2 comes in several versions, black or white, 16, 32 or 64 Gig and wi-fi or mobile. If you buy the mobile version you will need a contract to use it on the move. We opted for the wi-fi version simply because it’s cheaper and it can be tethered to a mobile phone for use on the move anyway and this is something we regularly do when taking the ipad 2 out and about.
Now technical details aside, what does the Ipad2 actually mean for us around the home?. Well the ipad2 comes equipped with front and rear cameras exactly the same as a smart phone. One of the most popular Ipad2 Apps is Skype. You can see where this is going?, with Skype installed you can literally sit on the couch hooked up to the wi-fi talking too and viewing a friend or family member at the other end and we’ve been doing just this with ours.
Apps are also available for You Tube , BBC I-Player and several other TV Stations enabling you to watch catch up or on demand TV whenever you want. You can sync films from your I-Tunes account too and for TV and film the ipad is just superb. Several newspapers have ipad apps too and our favourites are the Daily Mail and the Telegraph so our ipad2 doubles up as a newspaper on occasions too.
The ipad2 comes with a built in ipod, there is a small ipod icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen and simply touching this icon pulls up the music player, if you already have an ipod, as we do, you’ll recognise the screens instantly. We’ve already reviewed and ipod classic for the site so we won’t dwell on the music player, suffice to say it’s every bit as good as an ipod. One thing we haven’t seen yet is a docking station that will take an ipad2, all the ones we’ve seen so far are for an ipod but we are sure an ipad2 compatible docking station will be along if it hasn’t arrived already, just because we haven’t seen one yet doesn’t mean they aren’t available right?.
There are also icons for photos and you can store galleries and galleries of pictures on the ipad2. A mail icon gives instant access to your email, we set ours up to access our Google email account the same as we have on our smart phone and the ipad2 now provides us with one touch access to this. The default icon along the bottom of the screen is the safari web browser which brings us neatly to the internet itself. You can sit and browse the internet from the comfort of your chair or sofa and we’ve found the ipad2 excels when it comes to lounging on the sofa surfing!.
All the usual apps are there for the ipad 2, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, skype and many others, in fact there are so many apps available for the ipad 2 that you can literally do anything with it, and we mean anything!.
The ipad 2 plugs into your PC exactly the same way an ipod does and you can use the I-Tunes software to sync files from your PC onto your ipad 2, it really is exactly the same as putting songs on an ipod. Once hooked up to your wi-fi you also have access directly to the App Store so you don’t need to continually sync an ipad via your PC, apps can be done from the ipad itself.
Battery use on the ipad 2 is superb, you can get roughly 10 hours to a charge which is excellent, the unit comes complete with a charger and it will charge in just a few hours. Since we purchased ours we’ve used it for chatting to friends and family, banking, watching TV, reading a newspaper, playing games, updating Facebook and Twitter and general web surfing. We haven’t touched much on the games available for the ipad but suffice to say there are thousands of them, in fact there are probably more games available for the ipad than there is anything else.
Despite regularly doing all these things on our ipad2 we still feel like we’ve really only scratched the surface, there are all kinds of categories in the app store, books, business, education, entertainment, finance, lifestyle, navigation, music, photography, travel, sports, social networking and many more. This incredible little tablet is a must for any house hold, we promise, once you get your hands on one, your PC or laptop will virtually become redundant, the ipad2 really is that versatile and that good!.
Leather Case. As with all expensive devices it pays to protect your purchase so some kind of case is a must in our view, if you shell out £400 - £600 for a device you really need to look after it!.
Screen Protector. Again being a touch screen device you want to keep the screen in tip top condition, just like screen protectors for your smart phone, they are also made for the ipad 2 as well, definitely worth having!.
Ipad to HDMI Converter. You can also plug your ipad 2 into your TV via a HDMI Converter and a HDMI Lead, this is ideal for playing games or watching programmes off the internet, some of these ipad to hdmi converters also have a usb socket on them too so you can transfer pictures direct from a digital camera.