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Happy iPad 2 Day!

on March 11, 2011 8:11 pm

As you may have heard, today is the release day for the Apple iPad 2. Luckily, my husband, Butch, was already scheduled for vacation today, so he was kind enough to sacrifice half his day waiting in line at the local Apple store. Butch told me that the Apple employees provided coffee, water, and even lollipops for the people who were waiting. After I picked up my daughter from school, I joined him on line for the last 45 minutes of the wait. There was a large crowd, and we were about 40th in line. Everybody there was friendly and excited, so the wait wasn’t so bad.

The doors opened promptly at 5:00, and the first 30 or so people went inside. The store was loaded with employees, and each served as a personal shopper for each customer or family group. Obviously everybody knew what they were there for, so turnaround time was short.  When it was our turn, Lori greeted us at the door with a smile and handshakes.

We were lucky enough to get the two white 32GB WiFi-only iPads we wanted, and we were even able to get our first choices for the Smart Covers – the blue polyurethane one in the pictures is mine. Butch got green.

We rushed home, ripped open the boxes, and started the long process of getting all the dozens of apps, hundreds of books, and pictures onto our new iPads. The process takes forever when you want to play. It seems especially long for me because Butch earned the right to have his set up first.

My first impression was that this thing is very light! It feels considerably lighter than my first iPad. And it’s very thin.  It may look in the picture that the old one is propped on the edge of the iPad 2, but it’s not – it’s just that much thicker than the iPad 2.  The curved back and the thinner profile makes it very comfortable to hold.  It even seems easier to hold in one hand because of the lighter weight, but the metal back is still slippery. I think I’ll use two hands to be safe.  The white bezel makes the iPad 2 seem smaller than the original one. When the screen is lighted up, the white bezel really looks like a picture frame – more so than the black bezel did. I don’t find it distracting though.

I like the look of the Smart Case. It goes on as easily as Steve promised. It really does wake the iPad when you pull open the cover, and you can hear the iPad go to sleep when you close the cover.  Very cool!  And I like the way the cover folds into a stand; it will be very nice to not need a separate stand.

I’ve only had a few minutes with a loaded up iPad 2, but it seems noticeably faster than the iPad.  The Gadgeteer website loaded in about half the time.  The touchscreen is very responsive.  Even though it’s still lacking stereo speakers, the sound is much better – clearer and louder.    Screen resolution is of course about the same as with the original iPad.

This isn’t my first Apple product, but it was my first time participating in one of the Apple release events. Apple employees made the process as quick and easy as possible. They truly seemed as excited as we customers were. As fun as the purchasing process was, I’m sure exploring my new iPad 2 further will be even more fun!

Oh – and I thought photographing the original iPad was tough… That black/white contrast is a killer!  I’m sorry if the photos are a little difficult to see.  I think I’ll need to experiment to learn how to best light the iPad 2.

This photo is in answer to Jackie’s question about the hinge.  (You can click it to enlarge.)  There is no gap on the iPad where the cover fits.  The back of the iPad is rather like the back of my iPod touch (2nd gen) with it’s smooth, gently sloped sides.  The cover itself has a hinge system that’s shaped to fit the shape of the iPad 2.  The long bar (parallel to the green polyurethane hinge) is magnetic and there are magnets inside the iPad along the edge.  When you bring them close together, the magnets grab each other.  The little metal piece at the bottom moves freely to allow you to open the cover.  You can see it has a bean shape so it fits the curve of the side.

Comments

  1. 1
    killerconceptz says:

    Give me your 1st gen :)

  2. 2
    Jackie Cheng says:

    Just curious…how do they get those smart covers hinged on there? Is there a missing “gap” if you decide not to use the hinge?

  3. 3
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @killerconceptz I’m afraid you’d have to fight my niece for it. She may be little, but she’s scrappy, so you’d have a fight on your hands.

  4. 4
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @Jackie Cheng I added a picture and a description above about how the cover attaches. The iPad back is smooth, so you won’t have any ugly gaps on the iPad 2 if you choose not to use the cover.

  5. 5
    Jackie Cheng says:

    @Janet – Thanks for the description on it. Interesting design.

  6. 6
    killerconceptz says:

    Haha, well it maybe worth it, just kidding, but seriously

  7. 7
    ButchV says:

    Thanks for the quick review, Janet. I’m curious – is the spine of the smart cover where it attaches to the ipad padded, or is there a risk of scratching the ipad’s aluminum side/back cover?

  8. 8
    WiiDeals.tk says:

    Can’t wait to get my hands on one.

  9. 9
    Julie says:

    I didn’t get lucky yesterday… The nearest Apple store is over 70miles away and I didn’t feel like driving up there after work. The local Walmart only had 4 iPad 2′s and they were sold out within a couple of minutes. I’m stuck with ordering one online.

    Thanks to Janet for letting us all live vicariously through her! :)

  10. 10
    Julie says:

    I just ordered the 32GB White Wifi with a Green cover :)

  11. 11
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @ButchV There’s no padding – a bare metal bar attaches directly to the metal back of the iPad. I can wiggle the attached bar around a little on the back of the iPad, but I have to use a bit of force to do it. I don’t think you’d get a lot of scratching from the cover being attached, because it’s stable and secure. Last night while surfing to find news about the iPad 2 (on my iPad 2!) I saw a picture of a man holding his iPad by the open cover with the iPad 2 dangling over a floor. I even tested to see if my cover was attached so securely, but I dangled mine two inches above my soft mattress – not the hard Apple store floor. It held – not the slightest feeling that my iPad was going to drop off.

  12. 12
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @Julie I still say they should have held one for you at Walmart. You ARE The Gadgeteer, after all! You’ll love the white one with the green cover, though!

  13. 13
    Julie says:

    @Janet Well, I try not to use my super gadget star celebrity status for things like that. ;) Like I really have any ;)

  14. 14
    1000Acres says:

    I ordered an iPad 2 online yesterday but passed up the Smart Case because of no protection for the back. Do you really like the Smart Case? I like the Apple notebook style cover for my original iPad and thinking I will wait for something similar.

  15. 15
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @1000Acres I do like the Smart Cover. I like that it can be a typing or viewing stand, I like the way it looks, I like that it adds little weight, and I like that it wakes my iPad without going through the lock screen. I have a ZAGG skin for the back of my iPad 2 on order to protect the metal from scratches.

  16. 16
    1000Acres says:

    Convinced! A green Smart Case and Zagg full body. If only all the pieces could be here NOW!

  17. 17
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @1000Acres I think you’ll like your setup. I agree, I wish the Zagg skin would get here soon!

  18. 18
    Shel says:

    Out of curiosity, since you say there are magnets in both the cover and the iPad 2, does that mean the smart cover won’t work with an iPad 1? I don’t care about the sleep/wake thing, I want the built-in stand!

  19. 19
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @Shel I tried the Smart Case with the iPad 1. First of all, I was mistaken about the hinge on the Smart Case being magnetic, apparently. In any event, it would not stick to the iPad 1 at all. Even if it would stick to it, it was the wrong shape for the iPad 1. The case hinge is designed to fit the really curved shape of the iPad 2, and the iPad 1 is flat around the sides. Sorry!

  20. 20
    Raj says:

    Wow….I only wish that Apple launches its product in India too.

    It will get at least a million customers.

    Nice review Janet :)

  21. 21
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @Raj Thanks! I’m sure there will be a much more detailed review on The Gadgeteer soon.

  22. 22
    Jerry says:

    Pretty amazing the difference in thickness, the 2 feels a lot lighter and easier to handle. I was on the fence to upgrade until I saw the posting. Now the decision on how much memory. My iPad 16G still has plenty of room, but with Airplay who knows if that will be enough….

  23. 23
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @Jerry It really is amazing how light the iPad 2 is. Even with the Smart Cover in place, it doesn’t seem to weigh as much as the bare iPad 1.

  24. 24
    Shel says:

    @Janet Cloninger – Thanks for the info. I didn’t figure it would work, but I thought I’d ask!

  25. 25

    Hmmm… 2 hours of standing in line and empty hands and soul at the end. It will be another gut-wrenching 2 weeks before I have mine in my hands… At least I can shop for covers and cases! Good review, Janet.

  26. 26
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @thedigitaldoc The wait will be worth it when you finally get the iPad 2 in your hands.

  27. 27
    Jerry says:

    Janet, could you give us an idea of how well the Smart case is working out after a week or so?

  28. 28
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @Jerry It’s been 4.5 days or so, and my light blue cover still looks brand new. I use my iPad many hours per day, and I was afraid the polyurethane covers would pick up dirt. That hasn’t happened. I still love the Smart Case, and I love the sleep/wake function. It works great as a stand, too. My review of the iPad 2 will be posted this afternoon, and you’ll find a lot of info about the Smart Cover in it.

  29. 29
    Derek. says:

    Nice review Janet. But overall is it really worth getting the iPad2 when I have the ipad1 ?

  30. 30
    Janet Cloninger says:

    @Derek I posted a more in-depth review of the iPad 2 today. If you read it, you’ll see that my answer is a resounding “Yes!” :)

  31. 31
    Derek. says:

    Thanks Janet. Looking forward for the ipad2 to come to Ireland.

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