I love technology. Who doesn’t? I mean, the fact that you are even on this blog means that you are at least moderately savvy as far as computer tech goes. And in the world of moderately savvy computer tech goes, there’s not much else out there as cool as an iPad. After the first round of laughs (about it sounding more like a feminine hygiene product than the next big thing in computing) subsided, the iPad performed extremely well. It performed so well, in fact, that Apple decided to release an iPad 2. The only question that remains now for those who have already bought into the iPad craze . . . should you upgrade?
Fortunately, we can compare apples to apples here. (Pun completely intended.)
For starters, let’s examine what they have in common. They both have the same 9.7 inch screen, with the same resolution capabilities (1024 X 768) at 132ppi. That means visuals are a wash, so no points for either one’s tally there. Surprisingly enough, that’s where the notable similarities end. Although I feel I should mention that, though not a technical measurement, they both still make you feel like we are one day closer to the robot apocalypse. But I digress. Let’s take a look at the real meat of the issue. What separates the two?
The iPad one has the A4 chip, which clocks in at a potential 1Ghz processing speed. It has 256 MB of ram, and comes in one color. Black. If you want a 3G connection, your new best friend will be AT&T. As of the writing of this article a first generation iPad starts at $399 for the base model with limited features. The iPad 2 uses the new A5 chip which clocks in at a potential 2Ghz processing speed, has 512 MB of ram, and comes in two colors. Black or (drumroll please) white. Who would have guessed it? Oh yeah. Everyone. And believe it or not, this one feature will be enough to convince many current black iPad owners that the iPad 2 is worth the upgrade. Go figure.
The iPad 2 also offers you the ability to choose to go 3G with either ATT or Verizon. It is 33% thinner, 15% lighter, and has both front and rear facing cameras. Here, in my opinion, is where the iPad makes its most convincing case for being worth your hard earned dollars. The front facing camera has the capacity to capture video at 720p, which, for all you non HD fans out there, is a passable (if only barely) HD format. Also, since it is the new kid on the Apple block, most apps going forward will be created with the iPad 2’s processing powers and features in mind, not those of the iPad. The price? The iPad 2 retains the first generation iPad’s original starting price of $499.
If you’ve bought the iPad already, it probably isn’t worth upgrading to the iPad 2 just yet. That is unless you really, really need to video chat with your grandma back home. And while the video chat is cool, and the extra processing power doesn’t hurt either, the original iPad is still very functional. For the average, moderately tech savvy user, the original iPad’s capabilities are more than sufficient. If you haven’t made a tablet purchase yet, and the extra $100 doesn’t bother you, I say pony up the money and enjoy the marginally better performance and updated video capabilities.
Yes, the generation 2 owners will be able to load pages 3-5 seconds faster than the rest of us. Yes, they are 33% skinnier than us. And yes, they have lost 15% of their weight thanks to the Steve Jobs weight loss plan. Congratulations. The rest of us will just have to suffer with being marginally thicker, slightly heavier, and generally slower than you. On the up side though, we will have more money in our pockets and Angry Birds will still waste just as much of our precious hard earned free time.
About the Author: Sally is an avid blogger who enjoys writing about technology and encouraging consumers to be smart and informed. Her new obsession? Reading and writing articles related to iPad application development and its impact on health and education.