Apple iPad 2 review

The best tablet of the year or an unnecessary consumer bauble? We take an in-depth look at the 16GB WiFi iPad 2 to see whether you should deploy it in your business.

Bright and Shiny

Contrary to pre-release rumours speculating otherwise, the iPad 2 retains the 1,024x768 pixel resolution of the original. It's not as high as the 1,280x800 or 1,366x768 resolution of other, as yet unreleased tablets, but we found that the squarer 4:3 aspect ratio makes the iPad 2's screen better suited for reading than a 16:9 or 16:10 widescreen 10in tablet display since we didn't have to constantly refocus our eyes or adjust the angle of the iPad as we read down a page from top to bottom. The 4:3 aspect ratio does increase the size of the black bars in widescreen videos though.

The screen itself looks great. It's very bright, even when reduced to 50% brightness to conserve battery power. Viewing angles are very wide so colleagues don't have to strain their necks when you're demonstrating something on screen. The glass front is quite reflective and picks up fingerprints easily, but it's easy enough to simply wipe them away.

Smile for the cameras

Like the iPhone 4 and the current fourth-generation iPod Touch, the iPad 2 has two cameras, one rear facing and the other forward facing, which can be used for video conferencing using the included FaceTime app. The app can place video calls to Macs, iPhones and iPods also running FaceTime as long as all are connected to the internet via WiFi. We suspect other video conferencing apps will appear shortly supporting the iPad 2's cameras.