I finally got some hands-on time with Apple’s iPad 2 this past weekend during a visit to the local Apple Store.
It’s very nice. Much nicer than the iPad 1. It feels significantly lighter and slimmer. The smart cover is very cool. And Apple’s obsessive attention to detail is apparent, including a new, quieter, easier-to-double-tap home button.
Anyone who buys the iPad 2 should love it — and tens of millions will probably buy it. And if money is no object, and you already have an iPad 1, you can’t go wrong with the upgrade, once Apple gets more in stock. (I joked with the Apple Store guy, “I’ll take two!” Not funny, I guess.)
But based on what I’ve experienced so far, I’m not buying an iPad 2, and will hold out for an iPad 3. I think most iPad owners will do the same. (Although I know some who are upgrading to use FaceTime, and obviously a lot of developer-types are upgrading for “work” purposes.)
Why am I telling my gadget lust to back off? Because while the iPad 2 is noticeably quicker, it doesn’t seem all that different than the iPad 1 I already have, and I don’t even use that very much.
Most importantly, feature-wise, it has the same screen as the first iPad. I’ve decided that I’m holding out for an iPad with a “retina” display like the one on my iPhone 4, which still blows my mind almost a year later. That upgrade would be worth the price. Heck, I’d probably even pay twice as much for it. Reading, photos, the web, and games would be much cooler.
But the iPad 2 screen just isn’t enough of a step up to justify the upgrade cost after just a year owning the iPad 1. (Also, I recently bought a new MacBook Air, which has been getting a lot more use than my iPad.)
Here’s what could change my mind and get me to buy an iPad 2 after all.
If software developers — Apple or third-parties — make a few earth-shattering apps that take advantage of the iPad 2’s significant graphics chip upgrade.
This could be a game, some sort of “augmented reality” app, or something else. It would have to be so awesome that it’d be worth the cost of upgrading just to use it. I am personally sceptical that it will happen, but I’d love to see it.
Otherwise, I’ll see you in the iPad 3 line.