By Patrick Avenell not in Cupertino, California
Apple this morning announced the impending release of the iPad 2. Whereas the launch of the first model was heralded as a giant leap forward for mobile computing, this release has been underwhelming, with the new model only including a few extra features.
The biggest step forward for the iPad 2 is its much thinner width: 33 per cent thinner and 15 per cent lighter, according to Apple’s PR. Of course, this step forward in thinness has an opportunity cost, with this move totally dispelling any chance that of this unit having an SD card slot or a USB port.
There are two cameras, however, a rear facing 720p video camera for capturing home movies and a front facing VGA camera. This front facing camera is intended for use on Apple’s heavily criticised FaceTime program. Unlike virtually every other device in the world, which is compatible with Skype, Apple wants its customers to use the much more restrictive FaceTime, which only works on other Apple devices.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs further announced two new iPad apps: iMovie and GarageBand for iPad. These apps allow iPad users to edit movies (for viewing on other Apple devices) and perform their own musical compositions.
Here is a list of adjectives used by Apple in their official iPad 2 press release: magical, stunning, blazing, stunning (again), innovative, thinner, lighter, faster, new, black, white, innovative (again), vibrant, rich, advanced, faster (again), advanced (again), enhanced, innovative (third time), lightweight, unique, vibrant (again), rich (again), native, incredible, popular, stunning (third time), best, revolutionary and magical (again).
Current.com.au asked its consultant Apple fan Tim Cassey for his assessment of this release.
“I like Apple products because they consistently work, and whilst simple to use, they are always a powerful product,” he said. “I’m incredibly underwhelmed by the iPad 2, because I don’t want or need one, I think it’s their worst product that they have in their hardware range. I already have a Macbook Pro, so the iPad isn’t aimed at me, though I have to say that tablets were dead before Apple came in, and I still don’t see the appeal.”
Cassey went on to rank the entire Apple hardware product range currently available:
2. Macbook Pro
3. iPod range
5. Mac Pro
7. Mac Mini
8. Apple TV
The iPad 2 comes in black and white and will be released in Australia on 25 March 2011. Although no official pricing has been announced, it is understood that the iPad 2 will be released at the same pricing levels as the first range.