We’ve been waiting patiently for Steve Jobs and Co. to announce the highly anticipated iPad 2, and finally that day has come. The folks at Apple like to keep their projects on a tight leash, so finding out exactly what’s different in a new product release comes after their on stage announcement. At this point, it would seem the only differences between the first generation iPad and the iPad 2 are the size, cameras and dual core processor. The problem with the size difference is the original iPad accessories won’t fit snugly around the new iPad 2. Of course, they just had to make it thinner, not to make money off of accessories or anything.
Otherwise, the dual core processor is nice, but the iPhone/iPad/iPod OS is very careful not to kill the battery processing data. Unless that changes significantly, there won’t be much for that 2nd core to process. Lastly, the cameras are a nice addition, but only if you plan to use FaceTime frequently. It’s just not practical to carry a tablet around for general photography purposes.
So what is the iPad 2 missing? Not anything that’s a deal breaker. The screen resolution could be better, but that would reduce battery life. A built-in SD reader would make video editing easier, but they sell an add-on for that. They could include some additional accessories, like keyboards and docks, but that would just raise the price. The bottom line – unless you plan to video chat on your iPad, you’ll probably continue to be happy with your first generation iPad. On the other hand, if you’re out looking at the closeout $400 first generation iPad, wait until March 11th and pick up the iPad 2. It is worth the $100 difference.