Head-to-Head: Apple iPad 2 vs Apple iPad original

The iPad 2 will finally hit British shores on Friday March 25th at 5pm, but should you upgrade if you already have a first-generation model? Read our head-to-head comparison to find out.

The iPad 2 is one of the most highly anticipated portable computing products since the original iPad and it's now finally on sale in the UK two weeks after its US March 11th launch. It's very tempting if you're a first-time tablet buyer, as we discovered in our review, but what if you already own an original iPad? Here's the breakdown.

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Size and weight

What's immediately noticeable about the new iPad is its weight and size compared to the original. The new model weighs just over 600g, whereas the first-generation original weighed just over 700g. This may not sound like much but it makes a big difference in comfort whether you're holding it with both hands or resting it on your lap. The new model's flatter back means it doesn't wobble when used on a flat surface, such as a table, unlike the original.

The iPad 2 is also noticeably slimmer than the first model as our photos show. Although the original was by no means a brick, the new iPad's slimmer dimensions make it comfier to hold. All of this is pretty important for a portable computer.

Battery life

We're continually impressed by how much battery life Apple manages to wring out of its smartphone and laptops and the company's tablets are no exception. The original iPad lasted a whopping 14 hours and 12 minutes when playing H.264 videos with wireless connections disabled. That's pretty impressive, but the new iPad 2 lasts a staggering 17 hours! It's therefore less likely to run out of power when you need it most.

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If you're frequently on the road, the iPad 2's superior battery life, longer than any other tablet, netbook or laptop we've seen yet, will be very compelling.

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