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Terrier Tech: Apple iPad 2

A face-lift for the world’s best-selling tablet

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In the video above, “Terrier Tech” hosts Warren Towers and Courtney Bogard review the Apple iPad 2. Photo by Vernon Doucette

During the summer months, BU Today is revisiting some of our favorite stories from the past year. This week we feature the video series “Terrier Tech.” Cohosts Warren Towers, Courtney Bogard, and special guests give you the lowdown on the apps and gadgetry making a splash in the mobile market.

This week “Terrier Tech” reviews the Apple iPad 2. Less than a year after the iPad’s initial release, the product that definitively created the tablet market has been given a face-lift.

Apple’s latest updates make the iPad 2 one of the best tablets on the market, but fret not, early adopters: your original iPad isn’t obsolete just yet. The screen in the original is as top-notch as in the new model, and the battery life is solid and reliable in both.

The Apple iPad 2 starts at a relatively affordable $499 for a 16GB Wi-Fi-only model and can cost as much as $829 for a 64GB 3G model through AT&T or Verizon. While Wi-Fi is widely available on campus, 3G service will come in handy nearly everywhere else. We enjoy the flexibility of being able to choose between AT&T and Verizon, but found, after some testing, that AT&T’s service was more consistent in the Boston-Cambridge area.

Most notably, the iPad 2’s new features include two cameras and a more powerful processor that Apple claims is nine times faster than the original. We feel that the processor is actually only five to seven times faster—but who’s counting?

Although fairly invisible behind normal processes, the new 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor’s presence should become apparent with the increased graphic quality of certain apps, particularly games, especially as developers harness the iPad 2’s increased speed.

As for the iPad 2’s cameras, they are, we are sorry to report, surprisingly bad. Picture and video quality are grainy and inferior to the Motorola Xoom, which we recently reviewed. Another big disappointment: Mobile Safari in the iPad 2 still doesn’t support Flash.

In terms of design and ergonomics, Apple’s sensibilities remain impeccable. The slim silver trim on the original iPad is gone, replaced with an even more minimalist monolithic appearance. The buttons, headphone jack, and speaker are well placed. The new model is about 33 percent slimmer and 15 percent lighter than the original, so one could argue (not us) that the iPad 2 feels almost too streamlined.

“You forgot the most important part,” says “Terrier Tech” host Warren Towers. “The iPad 2 now comes in black or white. Solid work, Apple.”

Want “Terrier Tech” to review a gadget? Post it in the comments section below or DM us @BUToday.

Alan Wong can be reached at alanwong@bu.edu. Joseph Chan can be reached at joechan@bu.edu. Aaron L’Heureux can be reached at aaronlh@bu.edu.

This article was originally published on April 28, 2011.

7 Comments

7 Comments on Terrier Tech: Apple iPad 2

  • Anonymous on 04.28.2011 at 9:23 am

    Apple iPhones were tracking the position of the user...

    … The iPhones were tracking the user’s position and Apple collected the data. (Financial Times, page 13, 04/28/11) I am leery of mobile internet phones and computers. I don’t even like to give my discount card to the cashier in a supermarket or pharmacy, because it tracks where I’ve been and what I’m purchasing. I fear the day when I no longer can expect even a modicum of privacy. You’re thinking who cares? Perhaps you should. So, frankly, I don’t care about how cool the iPad 2 looks, now.

  • Anonymous on 04.28.2011 at 9:30 am

    I love the new iPad. I just got mine couple of days ago. I got the 64MB WiFi version and it works perfectly smooth. Great battery life, excelent screen, and plenty of memory for editing and uploading photos while traveling.
    No need to drag my laptop anymore :)

  • Anonymous on 04.28.2011 at 11:42 am

    Aparently the iPhone doesnt track your exact location but the cell towers you’ve been using. They do this in order to provide you with a better and stronger signal. The only thing they will fix is the number of days that this information is being held on the device.
    please note that Google is doing the same thing on their android devices:

    http://www.moneynews.com/StreetTalk/WSJGooglesAndroidAlsoTrackingUsers/2011/04/22/id/393785

    http://www.macrumors.com/2011/04/25/steve-jobs-on-ios-location-issue-we-dont-track-anyone/

  • Anonymous on 04.28.2011 at 11:57 am

    big disappointment: flash

    Its hardly a surprising fact that the ipad doesn’t have flash. Apple is fully backing HTML5, a newer and far superior technology.

    Comparision between HTML5 and flash:
    http://html5vsflash.tumblr.com/

  • Anonymous on 04.28.2011 at 12:06 pm

    tracking discount cards

    If you care about supermarkets and pharmacies tracking your purchases, fo what I used to do. Trade discount cards with someone else, then they are tracking someone else. — I did this for a couple of years with about 1 in 4 people agreeing to trade. Lately, I don’t bother :) …. As for the iPAD2, I bought a cheap Kindle style color reader for 1/4 the price. WiFi no 3G, Android apps, but good enought for me. To each her own.

  • Anonymous on 04.28.2011 at 5:34 pm

    It is important to note that Flash is quickly becoming outdated in favor of other formats such as HTML5. By not having to deal with Adobe’s crap, Apple is ahead of the game.

  • Anonymous on 04.29.2011 at 9:35 am

    TomTom: Another electronic device used against customers

    Another piece of disturbing news… In today’s “Financial Times,” a headline at page 13, reads, “TomTom apologises to customers after selling driving data to police.” What next? The police used the data “to catch speeding motorists.” My goodness gracious me! I think I’ll continue to use my paper maps the way I have for the past 30 years.

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