APPLE IPAD 2
WHAT WE LIKED: The device that started it all remains the world’s favourite fondleslab. And ours as well. Metal solid, beautifully constructed, undeniably powerful, with—most importantly—a very slick OS and a veritable plethora of software to harness that combo. The ipad 2 remains unsurpassed (and the benchmark) in both user experience as well as sheer magnitude of magical content and native, tablet-optimised applications. The recent IOS 5 update has made the best only better with somethings borrowed (notifications) and somethings new. Few among its combatants can touch the ipad’s battery life at 10-plus hours, let alone surpass it. WHAT WE DIDN’T: Certainly not without blight, the ipad’s screen resolution is the first and most visible target. Its camera output too is bettered by many a rival. It doesn’t do Adobe Flash—now whether that’s a good thing or a bad will always remain with the jury. But the lack of inherent USB, HDMI and memory card support definitely makes many of us gnash our teeth. Most surprisingly, compared to the first ipad, the audio output of the ipad 2 mono speaker has deteriorated in both volume and quality. Limited video formats are also a major pain-point for the video fans. VERDICT: Love it or loathe it (yes, some do), the ipad remains the king of the range—in performance, popularity and purposefulness. Others may have outclassed it on the hardware front, but the refinement and usability of the complete ipad complete package—device, operating system and vast applications catalogue—make it stand out above the others. Of course, all this comes at price!