Apple has a new iPad on the way, but you've probably gotten pretty chummy with your original model. For a first-generation product, the Apple iPad is a fine tablet that can do tons of different things and hasn't lost any of its functionality in the last few days. Sure, the newer iPad 2 is more compact, faster, and adds cameras, but besides that, there's not much more in the way of upgrades. So, should you make the move to the iPad 2?
Well, the new one has a camera, so you can use FaceTime, Photo Booth, and other fun iLife apps that focus on taking photos or videos. If your best friend or favorite relative has an iPhone, iPod touch, or a Mac, this would be the perfect way to get some video calls going without getting a new cell phone. And its faster CPU and graphics processor means it's better suited for the apps and games of the future. Still, there are several good reasons why you shouldn't ditch your old iPad just yet. Here are five of them:
It's as good a media player as the iPad 2
The iPad 2 doesn't increase the resolution or improve the brightness or colors of its display over the first iPad, so as a plain movie viewer, there's no compelling reason to replace your iPad. There are no movies you can watch or songs you can listen to on the iPad 2 that you can't on the original iPad.
On Thursday night's show, O'Brien claimed that Apple and its team of engineering wizards was "getting a little cocky". Team Coco then proceeded to spoof the iPad's desktop, thinness, "a pair of cheap cameras," and how we Americans seem to take everything said with an accent and lend it more credence than it actually deserves.
O'Brien, whose humor is perhaps more warm-hearted than his late-night rivals, completely leaves Steve Jobs or a parody of Jobs out of the fake launch video, almost certainly because of Jobs' struggle with cancer. The omission allows the humor to fall where it should: on Apple's iconic status, and how the iPad 2 might be considered a bit more like an iPad 1.5.
No, the Apple iPad 2 is not a game changer. Instead it simply, firmly establishes Apple once again as the front-runner in the tablet wars. Apple and chief executive Steve Jobs (who made an appearance and received a standing ovation) focused on all the right areas to ensure that the Apple iPad will remain the tablet you have to rule out before you buy any others.
As I predicted, Apple added not one, but two cameras. This makes perfect sense, though I was not particularly happy to hear an Apple exec say on stage that the iPad is perfectly suited for these cameras and FaceTime. Why couldn't the first-generation iPad, which I own, also have been considered perfect for at least one camera? Apple didn't say anything about the resolution on the cameras, though we know the rear one can capture 720P, more or less - the Apple definition for "High Definition." Please, no one tell Steve Jobs that someone on the iPad team sneaked by an accessory that outputs full 1080p from the device (more on that later).
Of course, bargain is a relative term when you're dealing with Apple. The original iPads are now $100 cheaper than they were at launch, meaning the most affordable tablet starts at $399. But with iPad competitors like the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab running about $600, spending $399 for tablet that started it all isn't too bad of a deal.
At this point, the Wi-Fi version of the iPad is available for $399 for the 16GB, $499 for the 32GB, and $599 for 64GB. For Wi-Fi + 3G, the 16GB is now $529, the 32GB is $629, and the 64GB is $729.
Those interested in a first-gen iPad, however, might want to hurry. Apple is reportedly slowing down production of the original tablet to make room for the iPad 2, which debuts on March 11.
Read More | iPad clearance
Apple's March 2 event is all but guaranteed to bring us the iPad 2, most likely with dual cameras and a revamped OS. It arrives two months after CES 2011, to a landscape littered with tablets from scores of manufacturers, most of them with one thing in common: they are running Google's Android OS. But only a handful of them run Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), the first Android tablet OS. Can tablets like the Motorola Xoom—the first Honeycomb device—take on the iPad?
If the past is any indicator, it doesn't look good. This has less to do with quality of product, however, and more to do with the manner in which the product is brought to the public.
The clear advantage Apple has over just about every competitor—except perhaps for RIM—is that it relies on no external manufacturers for its products. To clarify: of course Apple needs to farm out production of the components that make up its devices to OEMs, but when you see a new iPad, it is from Apple, running an Apple OS, for sale at the Apple store. The closest Apple comes to working with other companies is its partnerships with Verizon and AT&T for the iPhone and iPad. For the most part, however, Apple is its own, self-controlling entity. With no company—other than the carriers and OEMs— with which to coordinate, Apple can create a realistic product release timeline and stick to it.
It's been a year since Apple took the wraps off its first tablet. In those past 12 months, the iPad hasn't had too much serious competition, and has easily dominated the tablet market. But with the recent introduction of Google's tablet-specific Honeycomb Android OS on devices like the Motorola Xoom, the tablet space is finally starting to get interesting.
And while other companies like HP, Motorola, and RIM are releasing first-generation tablets, Apple is set to unveil its second-gen iPad tomorrow. The invites have been sent, and the blogosphere is bursting with all sorts of ideas about what the 'iPad 2' might look like. But as anyone who follows Apple knows, nothing is certain until it's unveiled on stage in San Francisco. Here are 11 ways Apple could knock it out of the park with its next iPad:
Add a Verizon 3G iPad
The fact that Verizon started selling the Wi-Fi-Only iPad with a Mi-Fi bundle back in October, and since the iPhone 4 landed at Verizon last month, we can't see a reason why the next iPad wouldn't be available on both AT&T and Verizon. There could be an existing exclusivity agreement where AT&T would get the iPad 2 first, and then Verizon would follow sometime later, but my fingers are crossed that this won't happen.
Even Better, Make it a 4G Verizon iPad
Verizon's 4G network has been up and running since December, and the first LTE phones are expected any day now. Also, if you buy a Motorola Xoom, it comes with the promise of a free future 4G upgrade. Why not the iPad 2? Hopefully, the accompanying data plan wouldn't be prohibitively expensive.
Apple has stopped production of its first-generation iPad in order to clear room on the shelves for the newest version of the device, which will likely be unveiled at a Wednesday press event, according to 9to5Mac.
Shipments of the original iPad have presumably stopped, the report said; once retailers sell out of the stock they already have, it won't be refreshed. 9to5Mac also cited some retailers that said they could sell out of iPads as early as today.
We're days away from Apple's March 2 press event, where Cupertino is widely expected to unveil its next-generation iPad. Not surprisingly, the rumor mill is still churning out stories, and today's tidbit is that Apple will unveil a white iPad.
Blog 9to5Mac got its hands on photos of what it says could be second-generation iPad parts - and the frame is white.
Of course, Apple has thus far failed to deliver on its promise of a white iPhone 4; the latest prediction is sometime this spring. Would it really unveil and start selling a white iPad before delivering the white iPhone 4? Or will both devices hit the market at the same time?
All our questions should be answered by Wednesday. For now, all we have is the wild speculation that happens before every big Apple event.
We've got the Verizon Wireless 4G Motorola Xoom, and in this episode we give you a nice, thorough walkthrough of the device. We show you the hardware, alongside a look at Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Get a look at the music player, YouTube for Android tablets, the front and rear cameras, multitasking, widgets, the built-in Google Books reader, and much more in our Xoom review. In case you missed it, we also have a video of our Motorola Xoom unboxing.
Yesterday we posted with certainty that Apple would be announcing the iPad 2 on March 2, a week from today. Today, Apple has confirmed that date. As you can see, their invitation to their March 2 event features an iCal icon peeling away to reveal an iPad behind it. Doesn't get much clearer than that, does it? As always, we'll have the full details live as the event happens. Anyone else crossing their fingers for some iOS 5 news to share the stage next week?