Apple made the iPad 2 thinner, lighter, and more powerful than the first-generation tablet. The iPad 2 also has front- and rear-facing cameras, which enable FaceTime video chat, and at least one high-profile launch app iPad 2 exclusive in iMovie.
While the iPad upgrades qualify as something more than a fresh coat of paint, the functional differences between the first generation iPad and iPad 2 are minimal. The iPad 2 is essentially the same device that reinvented the tablet market in 2010.
This time though, Apple does not have the luxury of setting the standard. Competition from Google in the form of Android Honeycomb has pushed tablets further in function with Flash support, widgets and slick 3D effects. Hardware makers like Motorola and Samsung have upped specs to near notebook levels, including screen resolutions approaching true HD.
If Apple wants to maintain its sizable market lead, it will have to do more than just play catch-up with each successive iPad release. It will have to continue to innovate and offer the best tablet experience available.
Does it succeed with the iPad 2? Read on to find out.