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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Apple's second iPad is dramatically thinner and boasts front and rear cameras, FaceTime video chat, a faster processor, and 3G options for both AT&T and Verizon.
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The iPad's screen resolution hasn't budged, photo quality is mediocre, there's still no Adobe Flash support, and ports for HDMI, USB, and SD all require adapters.
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Unlike with the original iPad, you now have a choice of two carriers (Verizon and AT&T). Choose carefully, though, since the Verizon version of the iPad can't be made to work on AT&T and vice versa.
Caption by / Photo by Josh P. Miller/CNET
The iPad 2 is thin--so thin, in fact, that it feels like a different device. Measuring just 0.34 of an inch, it's thinner than the iPhone 4 and one-third thinner than the original iPad.
Caption by / Photo by Josh P. Miller/CNET
On the bottom you'll find the iPad's universal dock connection and the internal speaker. The speaker's perforated grille now wraps around the back, giving it more surface area and noticeably better sound quality.
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The iPad 2 refines an already excellent product. Its slick interface, vast app catalog, and marathon battery life bolster Apple's claim to being the king of tablets.
Caption by / Photo by Josh P. Miller/CNET
On the AT&T model of the iPad 2, a micro SIM card slot can be accessed on the left side.
Caption by / Photo by Josh P. Miller/CNET
The iPad 2 accessory that's really getting all the attention is Apple's new Smart Cover. An answer to all the bulky, overdone, rubber third-party cases made for the first iPad, Apple's unique hinged cover comes in two materials--leather ($59) and polyurethane ($39)--and multiple colors.
Caption by / Photo by Josh P. Miller/CNET
The iPad 2 (left) doesn't have the screen resolution or Adobe Flash compatibility of the Motorola Xoom (right), but its substantially thinner design and broad app catalog put it over the top.
Caption by / Photo by Josh P. Miller/CNET
Here you can see the original iPad stacked on top of the iPad 2. Aside from its thinner profile, the iPad 2 also benefits from a flatter, more stable footprint.
Caption by / Photo by Josh P. Miller/CNET
The top of the iPad 2 features the same headphone jack and sleep/wake button as the original.
Caption by / Photo by Josh P. Miller/CNET
As accessories go, the Smart Cover is nifty--not so much for the protection it offers, but for the convenient stand it provides when rolled up.
Caption by / Photo by Josh P. Miller/CNET
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