While thanks to my lovely wife, I do as she braved the cold on a Michigan winters day to stand in line for 5 hours to acquire one of Job’s Gem’s for me as I flew back from Houston. While my iPad I was only the basic 16 gig WiFi unit bought to see if I would even like it about 6 months ago, the new iPad II is an all out 64 gig WiFi/3 g (wait where’s the 4g aren’t we missing a “g”), so as you guessed I ended up liking the 1.0 version which is one of the reasons I jumped to the new version to get more storage.
However what about the whole package, as the price point is the same as the original which is an interesting marketing ploy as instead of driving the price point down commoditizing the device and cutting their own revenue stream. Here is something which will be discussed in MBA classes for years to come as Apple is giving strategic support to their PE (Price Earnings) ratio which is typically not a trait of Technology Companies who chase lower revenues at high volumes.
Enough with the business talk, was it worth it, should you get one if you haven’t or even maybe wait a year for the iPad III as you know there will be one. Well here is my summary of the changes and the value:
- The A5 Processor, only one thing to say upgrade for this alone as the dual core Arm makes this a real computing device instead of an over sized smart phone. After the multitasking version of iOS came out on my iPad it felt lacking as the screen re-paints where driving me nuts. None of that here, smooth and seamless (until the new apps start chewing up those extra cycles).
- Front and Rear facing cameras, well I don’t think these are the same as the iPhone and have read they are the same as in the iPod and think that to be the case. For Face Time and Skype ™ there good enough however their small pixel (site) size means they need LOTS of light to work while otherwise they are quite grainy, would expect to see better in the next version as if your buying this as a camera, or even a sorta camera, don’t.
- Size, the weight is about the same however the balance is off to my feel as to cut the width of the unit believe they had to disproportionately move things around inside which give it an odd feel. However the weight itself is basically the same and noticed no difference there, however where I did notice a size change is the thickness. It doesn’t have any, and feels strange to hold unlike my iPad I (part of this is the imbalance in weighting). My wife reminds me that I’m not of an average size and to her it’s just fine, now I’m not sure this just might be a ploy to talk me out of the new one (as she is getting my old one).
- Screen, while no change was announced, the screen seems brighter and clearer so not sure whats up there, however it is a nice find.
- The Flip Cover, well forgot to tell the wife not to get it and she did (the $80 black leather) and while neat it’s not that effective or stable for the money, however the magnets are cool. Would suggest waiting for an aftermarket. Also believe this plays in to Apple’s ™ obsolesces plans as if you use the Apple ™ cover the rest of the unit is unprotected and it will surely be scratched up in no time, as after just an hour or so of use it was already showing marring. My two cents avoid it (check out here for some real deals: http://www.ithrough.com/ ).
- Hot Spot, again love it as I no longer have to carry a MiFi which will lighten my load and I got the GSM version for use around the world. As a side bar, this and Face Time were key factors in my upgrade decision.
- Internal Speaker, much better than the old one in fact will allow me to drop carrying a small add-on speaker for use in hotel rooms while traveling.
One of the interesting things is my wife was around 100th ( hey while waiting in line what do you do other then count the people) out of around 300 in line and when the clock ticked 5pm the Apple employees came out and handed everyone a slip for the unit they wanted. She says this was handled all very nicely as well as they had hot drinks catered. However the point is by the time they made it to her, they where basically out in fact they couldn’t even promise she would get one even with a ticket.
This is interesting in itself as I would have guessed they would have had far more than they did. However believe with all the competition they wanted to get the “II” out in order to minimize defections to the Honeycomb. As they Apple ™ store employees said there would be a 4 to 6 six week delay for online order and couldn’t say when they would restock the stores. Also the packaging for Apple ™ was not typical Apple ™ as while acceptable, it appeared to have been hurried. So it might be like the old auto adage goes you don’t want a car that was built on a Friday or Monday, so waiting might be worth it…