Steve Jobs took center stage at the Apple iPad Event and presented the iPad 2 to the world.
The iPad 2 is evolution, not a revolution like it’s predecessor, but it’s clearly the 800 lbs gorilla of the tablet market.
They gave the iPad a specs boost to rival the top tablets being released by Motorola, HP & RIM. They also kept the price low and beat the competition; which is unusual for Apple.
Cover (not a case)
One of the new features that Apple revealed was a nifty magnetic cover that unlocks the device when you open it. The cover also allegedly cleans the screen.
The cover is cool, but at $40 for a plastic cover, and $70 for a leather cover, the prices are fairly insane. The profit margins on those covers must be outrageous.
iMovie & GarageBand Apps
The standout of today’s press event were the iMovie & GarageBand apps. They look gorgeous and functional.
My biggest complaint about the iPad and tablets in general is that they are terrible for content creation. If you want to code or write, the damn things are basically useless. However if you play to the hardware’s strengths and turn it into a movie and music creation platform, you might be able to make some really cool things with them.
I had an iPad from work, and it didn’t do much for me. For the first time I’m thinking about buying a tablet of my own specifically because of these two apps.
I really like Android phones, but looking at the current and upcoming batches of Android tablets nothing is really blowing me away.
The Motorola Xoom is competitive with the iPad on specs, and Android Honeycomb is nice, but the app market isn’t there for Android tablets, and the Xoom is way too expensive when compared with the refined experience that Apple is offering.
Motorola seems like it is trying to make the Xoom a premium product, but I think it’s generally unwise to attempt to out-premium Apple. It’s a losing battle.
The HP Touchpad and Blackberry Playbook have some cool features, but they are too late to the market. They may rival their competitors with a few features, but I doubt they will introduce anything so magical as to even dent Apple’s tablet dominance.
If you really want a tablet now (or in the next six months), the iPad 2 is the way to go.
If you’re willing to wait a while, I bet there will be some sick Android tablets available around Christmas.
If you wait a year (maybe less?), the iPad 3 is already rumored as a full revolution of the tablet market.