Tech Ramblings will be a new weekly feature on vDestination.com. This feature type blog post will not always be focused on VMware but instead on what’s new in the tech world, be it new gadgets, websites, upgrades, hardware or software. This blog post is meant to be just that, Tech Ramblings. The hot talk around the tech world for the past two weeks has been the impending new release of Apple’s wildly popular tablet offering, the iPad 2. Being that today was the release of iPad 2, I thought my Tech Rambling would be singularly focused on the newest iPad.

Thinner, Faster, Lighter, Cameras, Smart Cover and More Upgrades
Wow, that is the first thing that comes to mind when hearing about the iPad 2, just wow! Apple has taken an already incredibly popular product and somehow found out ways to make it even better. Okay, there were a few obvious low hanging fruits, like the missing camera in the 1st gen iPad, and only one color offering. With iPad 2 you have two cameras, just like the iPhone 4, a front facing camera and a rear facing camera. The front facing camera is a VGA camera that gives the iPad owner the option of using face time chats with other iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Mac users, definitely a cool upgrade. Apple has also now given customers the option of choosing the standard black and silver iPad, or opting to go with the all white version. Some people griped about this with the 1st gen iPad, but now you have an option.

Staying on par with most of their next-gen products, Apple has made the iPad 2 lighter and thinner. How much thinner is the new iPad? 33% thinner. The iPad has gone from 13.4 mm to just 8.8 mm. The iPad 2 is now even skinnier than the iPhone 4 which is 9.3 mm thick. Being thinner usually implies that it will lighter as well, and it is. How much lighter is the new iPad? Well, Apple claims it to be roughly 15 percent lighter Owners or fans of the 1st gen iPad who thought that it was too heavy for a tablet should be relieved by this offering.

This iPad is fast too! Much faster that the 1st gen offering actually. This shouldn’t be that big of an announcement because you would hope things would get faster with a next-gen product, and iPad 2 does not disappoint. How much faster is iPad 2? The iPad 2 gets a new dual core processor aptly named the A5. With the dual core processor, the iPad 2 is 2x faster than the original with graphics performance a screaming 9x faster that the original. I don’t think anyone was expecting a 9x increase in graphics performance, that is a huge leap for just a one gen separation.

Lastly, Apple has also release a “Smart Cover” that will be a must have accessory for your iPad 2. The Smart Cover has magnets built into it that align with magnets that are built into the new iPad. Apple claims ” In fact, the Smart Cover and iPad work so well together, it’s easy to think of them as one device.” Hmm, okay, I guess, but it’s still just a cover, and I really don’t like the look of it. While it is nice that it puts the iPad to sleep and wakes it up when closing and opening, it does seem like just another case, there are millions to choose from not sure why Apple delved into creating a proprietary case for iPad 2, oh well. You can choose from several different covered polyurethane covers for $39, or opt for a fancier leather cover for $69.

To Buy or Not to Buy?
I actually never bought a 1st gen iPad, but with the release of iPad 2 I might just have to dive in and buy one. I can say that the upgrades included in the new iPad far surpass any expectations I had for a next-gen product. The option of using face time is huge, getting to choose an all white iPad is cool, and the graphics and A5 upgrade are incredible. I can’t write a post without somehow linking VMware in with it, so I feel it necessary to point out that there are some sweet VMware apps for the iPad, in case you are interested. The iPad 2 is not available for purchase until March 11th, and I’m sure that the sales will leap right over the total sales for the 1st gen iPad in no time. The pricing will be the same as 1st gen iPad was, starting at $499 (16GB+wifi) and going up in price depending on storage and type of connectivity. What I originally thought to be just a supersized iPod touch has become much more with the release of iPad 2. I’ll be in line to buy one, hope to see you there. When I do get one, I’ll be sure to fire off a video post of the unwrapping and set up for you to see.

Greg W Stuart
Greg is the owner and editor of vDestination.com. He's been a VMware vExpert every year since 2011. Greg enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids. He works as a Sr. Consultant at VMware and resides in Northern Virginia, 15 minutes west of Washington DC.

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