My new iPad arrived today. I have never bothered to upgrade the first version to iPad 2 and the first impression of the hot new item confirms how sensible this was. Even in its new release, it is still remarkable how incremental the update is. Some of the benefits of the iPad 2 have been taken a step back: the new iPad is thicker, heavier and a bit slower than its direct predecessor. In comparison with the first release, however, the benefits still exist.
The discussion so far, of course, ignores the fact that the resolution doubled, i.e. the display pixels quadrupled. The display is awesome. It is brilliant and sharp, especially when you turn up the brightness level. The text content is perfectly sharpened, though I have seen some font hint problems with very small fonts. This problem should actually already have been solved since Type 1 hints. Unfortunately, the larger display, as compared to an iPhone 4, mercilessly uncovers the low-res images in pre-Retina content. While one can expect that popular apps will soon be adapted to the new resolution, it remains to be seen how that adaptation process will take place on the web.
Upgrade process is still a pain. Even though I take a full backup of my old iPad, my unsync’ed apps (too many different devices to leave it on) have to be selected and installed from my laptop. I’d expect that a backup and restore takes care of the apps too. Apple will have to improve this, hey, it even works with MacOS upgrades.
In summary, its the best iPad ever and the issues mentioned above are marginal. Let’s see how it performs in the long-term.