Apple iPad 2Still the tablet against which all others are judged; find out what makes the iPad 2 a great gift idea.
-The Apple iPad 2 is not just a tablet. This is the tablet, and in this product spotlight, I'm gonna show what is all about why there's nothing else quite like it. There are 2 main models of the iPad 2, one that connects to the internet using a combination of Wi-Fi and 3G from AT&T or Verizon and one that just relies on a connection Using Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi models are priced at $499 for 16 gigabytes, 599 for 32 gigs, and 699 for 64 gigabytes. Versions with 3G are available on the same capacities, but are priced at $130 higher. All of them come in either black or white and all of them do same thing and just comes to how much storage you need, and how many ways you want to connect to the internet. So, what does it do? Well, I like to think of the iPad as a cross between a smartphone and laptop. Like a smartphone, it's using a touchscreen interface filled with little apps that can be used for checking e-mail, browsing the web, checking your calendar, getting directions and more. You also get Apple's built in App store where you can find things like games, Netflix streaming video, Amazon's Kindle e-reader software, stuff for kids, stuff for work, you name it, and there's probably an app out there for it, but so what. You already have smartphone, so why get an iPad. Well, that big all 9.7-inch screen gets you in a ballpark of laptop experience. So, that means it easier to type on, movies pop, web pages appear at the natural size, and there are games here at just aren't gonna be on your smaller screen smartphone. Let's also not forget about battery life. The iPad 2 clocks in at around 10 hours of mixed use, which is far better than you're gonna find on a laptop. Another advantage, the iPad 2 offers over a laptop is its thin lightweight design. The weight of the iPad 2 is 1.3 pounds and it measures just 0.34 inches thick. That's almost half the thickness of the original iPad. The iPad 2 offers 2 cameras, one on the front and one on the back, which people really wanted on the original model. This camera don't hold up to the kind of photo quality you find on the iPhone, but they make it possible to record HD videos, takes out portraits, and participate in face time video calls with friends and family. Now, with the introduction of iOS 5 in October of 2011, that iPad has a few features to keep things interesting. There's a messages app now that allows you to instantly send text and photos to any other iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch user. A reminders app helps you make sure work of daily task or manage multiple checklist of things you'd to accomplish. The new stand app down here collects all your magazine and newspaper apps into one place and running behind it all is Apple's new iCloud service, which gives you a way to back up all of your data and settings without having to manually connect the iPad to your computer. Now, few other small changes have been introduced including the ability to split your keyboard for easier thumb typing. There's a notification bar that pulls down from the top and 4-finger gestures are here for quickly switching between apps or pulling up the task bar. Now, the iPad isn't your only choice when it comes to tablets. Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy tab and doesn't of others do an admirable job matching and in some ways exceeding with the iPad can offer. Some have better screens, some work over high speed 4G connection, but there's still something missing. One obvious thing is design. The iPad is mixed of glass and aluminum. It's unmistakable and most of the competition still uses a plastic construction that just doesn't measure up. Still, we're not a nation of designs snubs. The real reason the iPad has been such an unbeatable successes that it's such as fun product to use. The navigation is intuitive. The app store feels like a candy shop, the games are topnotch, and the iTunes store is stuffed with all the best music and video content you could ask for at prices that are very reasonable. No one else has been able to put together that kind of design, content, and ease of use in quite the same way. So, that's the Apple iPad too. It's a CNET editor's choice and the top pick for out tablet category. If you're picking one up for yourself or someone else, we recommend grabbing a cover, some headphones, and screen cloth since none of those come included and they are all very handy to have around. CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell showing you the Apple iPad 2.