Apple iPad 2 review First Look

The much-rumoured iPad 2 has finally been announced. Read on for our first impressions of the sleek new tablet, including how it feels compared to the original model.

Reviews
3 Mar, 2011
Verdict 
The iPad 2 may not be the dramatic improvement over the original version that some of us here at ITPRO were hoping for, but it does match many of its upcoming rivals in specifications. It also has one advantage those rivals don't - a set UK release date of March 25th. Other manufacturers will have their work cut out for them.

Apple has finally launched the iPad 2, the eagerly anticipated second generation version of its tablet computer and we managed to get a hands-on preview at the company's London launch event.

As with the first iPad, the new model will be available both with and without built-in 3G. Apple claims its revamped design is 33% thinner at 8.8mm versus 13.4mm for the original version. Apparently this is even thinner than the already-svelte iPhone 4. Although this doesn't sound like much, the reduced thickness is immediately noticeable when held in the hand and makes the original feel like a slab.

The iPad 2 is also noticeably lighter than the original tablet. Apple claims the 3G version weighs 613g instead of the porkier 730g of the previous model and this sounds about right as it did felt noticeably lighter, but not dramatically so. It's still made out of aluminium, so it feels just as rigid and sturdy as the first iPad. From the back, it looks like a larger version of the current iPod Touch with a flatter back than the slightly curved behind of the original.

The good-looking, high quality 9.7in screen appears unchanged. This includes the 1,024x768 pixel resolution – some rumours indicated a significantly higher resolution was in the works but this turned out to be untrue.

Presentation givers will appreciate the optional HDMI adapter which plugs into the iPad 2's dock connector. This allows you to show any content or app on a high definition TV or projector. It will cost $39 in the US, but UK pricing has yet to be announced. This means that there's no HDMI port on board, nor is there a built-in SD card slot or USB port as some rumours suggested.