★ My Very Late iPad 2 Review

Here are my late, if not quick, thoughts on the iPad 2. First some background. When the iPad 2 originally came out, I wasn't compelled to buy it. The reduction in size and weight, along with the addition of the traditional and front facing camera weren't enough to justify the purchase of a new iPad. a few months after its release, the company whose product we represent announced a sales contest in which the grand prize was a 3 day vacation for two to any location in the US. My eyes weren't on that prize however. The prize for those who met the minimum quotas was an iPad 2.

The company promised a mid level 32 GB wifi only iPad 2. however, due to certain accounting reasons, instead of shipping us actual units, it was much easier to send checks for the amount of the iPad. And due to tax reasons, they sent us enough money to get us a top of the line 64 GB WiFi 3G iPad with enough money leftover for a smart cover.

As an original iPad owner, the thing I immediately noticed was how thin the iPad 2 is. Even after having this thing for about a month, I still marvel at how thin it is. Even with the smart cover covering the front, it is still thinner than the original iPad. Along with the thinner form factor, the iPad 2 is 33% lighter. Again, it doesn't sound like much but in actual real life use, it's noticeable. With the original iPad, I would feel uncomfortable bringing it out to use in public. I'm sure part of the reason why was it's novelty but second, I felt like the device was too bulky to carry around, especially when carried around with a case. But with the iPad 2, I don't feel awkward carrying the device around. Even with the Smart Cover attached.

You can read other reviews and read how fast it compares to the first iPad and I can vouch that those claims are true. The feature that actually motivated me to earn the iPad 2 was FaceTime. I currently own an iPhone 3GS and am waiting for the iPhone 5/4S release to upgrade. And aside from a beta version of FaceTime available for Mac OS X, I don't have a FaceTime compatible iOS device. Being in a long distance relationship is not the easiest thing and while cell phones and instant messaging helps, nothing beats seeing the emotion on someone else's face. Using FaceTime on the iPad makes it feel like it was initially designed for this device, rather than the iPhone 4 it debuted on. I still am amazed whenever I use FaceTime.

If you're on the fence about the iPad 2 and you've never owned one, I can't recommend it enough. If you own the original iPad and have the funds to upgrade, do so. If not, start saving your money for an iPad 3. I can't imagine what new features they'll come up with by then.