To buy or not to buy iPad 2?

Apple is launching iPad 2 today where online order will begin 1.00am Pacific Time. There is no option to reserve an iPad 2 for in store pickup, so if you want to get iPad 2 on launch day then retail stores is the only way. The iPad 2 will go on sale at Apple retail stores at 5pm local time and Apple is offering free personal setup to customers.

The iPad 2 is an evolutionary upgrade to iPad which makes it very attractive: much faster speed, thinner and lighter and camera for FaceTime etc. It is by far the best tablet on the market, with the only complain is the lower resolution of the back camera.

iPad is simply a great mobile device for surfing the net with its instant on feature. iPad is great for games with the many titles available for you to choose from. Or iPad can be your ebook reader. If you do not own any tablet, it’s a good time to visit an Apple store and find out what the fuss is about.

If you do not own any iPad before and have been waiting for one, then iPad 2 is a must buy. For those who own the first generation iPad, iPad 2 might not be a necessary upgrade. The missing feature in first generation iPad is FaceTime camera, it is wise to upgrade if this feature is important to you. If you have the spare cash to spend and refresh your device every year, by all means purchase an iPad 2. Typically Apple device can last for more than a year and there is a predictable yearly cycle for product refresh. First gen iPad users might want to fight the urge to upgrade as iPad 3 is about 12 months away from release.

Updated. There are blogs on the web advising people to get the 16GB model. Unless you plan to have little apps and games installed on your iPad, 32GB model is our recommended minimum. iPad games tend to be bigger, for example Infinity Blade is more than 800M and GarageBand is over 400M. You will quickly max out 16GB if you plan to have your mp3 and movies as well on your iPad.

iPad 2 event highlights

iPad2

Apple’s iPad 2 event has just ended with Steve Jobs took the stage. Below are the highlights:

  • Over 100m books downloaded via iBookstore. Random House starts selling 17,000 books in iBookstore.
  • There are over 2500 publishers in iBookstore.
  • There are now over 200 million Apple ID accounts for iTunes, App Store and iBookstore.
  • App Store: recently just paid out $2b to developers.
  • Apple recently shipped its 100 millionth iPhone.
  • iPad is called the third post-PC blockbuster, after iPod and iPhone.
  • 15 millions iPad sold in 2010 from its debut in April to December (9 months). And has over 90% market share.
  • There are over 65,000 iPad specific apps. Compared with just 100 for Android Honeycomb.
  • iPad 2 has a completely new design. 33% thinner down from 13.4mm to just 8.8mm. It is thinner than iPhone 4 (9.3mm). It is also lighter from 1.5 pounds to 1.3 pounds.
  • Comes in black and white with white shipping from day 1.
  • New Dual Core CPU from Apple called A5. Up to 2x faster CPU and up to 9x faster graphics. Same low power usage as A4.
  • Rear and front facing camera.
  • Built-in gyroscope.
  • Same 10 hour battery life and over a month of standby as iPad.
  • Same price as iPad.
  • Wifi model: $499 (16G), $599 (32GB), $699 (64GB).
  • Wifi+3G model: $629 (16G), $729 (32GB), $829 (64GB).
  • Models that work with AT&T and Verizon.
  • iPad 2 starts shipping March 11.
  • 26 countries will get iPad 2 on March 25. The countries are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Hungry, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and UK.
  • New $39 HDMI-out adaptor that mirrored video output. Up to 1080p, works with all apps, supports rotation, no setup or configuration and will charge your iPad while using.
  • New case called Smart Covers for iPad 2. Automatically wakes up iPad 2 when you open the case and puts it to sleep when you close it. Case is held on to iPad 2 with magnet which will auto-align. Comes in 5 colors in polyurethane ($39) or leather ($69).
  • iOS 4.3 will release with iPad 2 on March 11. Increased Safari performance with 2x faster Nitro Javascript engine, iTunes home sharing, AirPlay improvements, preference for switch (mute or rotation lock).
  • iOS 4.3 will add personal hotspot for iPhone 4.
  • New Photo Booth and FaceTime app to take advantage of iPad 2 cameras.
  • New iMovie for iPad, universal app. Available March 11 at $4.99.
  • New GarageBand for iPad with touch instruments. Available March 11 at $4.99.

iPad 2 event on March 2

All Things Digital from The Wall Street Journal is quite firm that an iPad 2 event is scheduled on March 2 which is a Wednesday.

iPad 2 is speculated to have a faster processor, thinner, bigger memory option, improved display, front and back camera for Facetime video chat and a multimode chip for both GSM and CDMA network.

Via All Things Digital