Apple's Amazing Keynote - Revenge of the iPad!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Well, Apple did it, they actually lived up to the hype yet again. Steve Jobs coming out on stage and doing the presentation was a brilliant touch. No matter what you think of Jobs or Apple, good for him. As for the iPad 2, well, Apple didn't merely iterate slightly, they did actually make a true "2", no now all those silly rumors of an iPad 3 coming out in the fall can be put to rest. 1.3 pounds, THINNER than my iPhone 4, new A5 processor, improved graphics, dual cameras, available in black and white, AT&T and Verizon from day one, 10 hour battery life, $499 starting price (maxes out at $829 for 64GB with WiFi/3G), HDMI mirrored output up to 1080p, smart covers, etc. I think my hemming and hawing over what tablet to get was for naught as the decision has been made rather handily for me. Apple is just too far ahead of the competition at this point. Maybe that will change within a few years, but right now, all things considered, the iPad 2 is the only logical choice in tablets. It hits the US on March 11 and rolls out to 26 more countries on March 25. So, what do you guys think? Are you sold or do you think there will be better options in 2011?

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Nous
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Very impressive stuff!

Fantastic design, the most awesome ecosystem (appstore etc), lowest price (!!) and excellent spec - probably better than *any* other tablet out there right now, including the ones already announced for sometime in 2011.

Personally I am intrigued by the 9 fold GPU performance increase claim - this implies either a significantly redesigned/upgraded GPU (because a simple dual core GPU wouldn't provide that kind of improvement) or perhaps they're using a dual-core CPU + quad-core GPU now??

That would bring it a BIG step closer to the NGP IMHO ... and still $499 ?? Wow .. just wow.

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Bill Loguidice
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Agreed
Nous wrote:

Fantastic design, the most awesome ecosystem (appstore etc), lowest price (!!) and excellent spec - probably better than *any* other tablet out there right now, including the ones already announced for sometime in 2011.

No doubt due to them buying up all the components as rumored. They're very much in control of the supply chain obviously.

Nous wrote:

Personally I am intrigued by the 9 fold GPU performance increase claim - this implies either a significantly redesigned/upgraded GPU (because a simple dual core GPU wouldn't provide that kind of improvement) or perhaps they're using a dual-core CPU + quad-core GPU now??

That would bring it a BIG step closer to the NGP IMHO ... and still $499 ?? Wow .. just wow.

Yeah, I doubt real world performance will be that great, but this does illustrate how annual major updates for smartphones and tablets will quickly outpace what both Nintendo and Sony can do using their traditional handheld generation of 5 years+ on the same handheld hardware...

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Nous
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Yes and No!
Bill Loguidice wrote:

Yeah, I doubt real world performance will be that great, but this does illustrate how annual major updates for smartphones and tablets will quickly outpace what both Nintendo and Sony can do using their traditional handheld generation of 5 years+ on the same handheld hardware...

I don't know what the real world performance will be (certainly it seems to be FAR superior to the iPad anyway).

However, my point was that ok, so they now have a dual core CPU - therefore CPU performance, they say, is up to twice as fast! Makes sense.

Let's say the GPU has gone dual-core too. So performance would be twice as fast as well. Let's suppose this is a better gpu (per core) , 100% faster which is already a generous assumption. We're still not going to see performance greater than 400% (4 times as fast) compared to the iPad, right?

So where does that 9x claim come from ?? Is it possible they are using 3 or 4 GPU cores? Or is it a dual-core solution but each core is 4 times as powerful as the one on the iPad, somehow (higher clock + enhanced architecture?)

I am intrigued!

As for outpacing both Nintendo and Sony...

The 3DS is roughly equivalent to a PSP - with a few tweaks here and there. It's already obsolete in that sense !

The NGP will hold its own for at least a couple of years after it is released given what we know about it. In the extremely optimistic scenario where it costs $250 that still makes it a "winner" in that respect (doesn't mean sales will follow, but you see what I mean)

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Nous
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Mystery

So it appears we still don't know much about the GPU in the iPad 2 ... so let's wait and see if that 9x claim is anywhere near accurate!

Also .. as a sidenote, it's still somewhat POSSIBLE that an iPad 3 could be announced before xmas ...

Possible reasons for no "retina" display in iPad2: battery, memory, production problems of display, no need as competition is lacking.

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Bill Loguidice
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Tablets
Nous wrote:

So it appears we still don't know much about the GPU in the iPad 2 ... so let's wait and see if that 9x claim is anywhere near accurate!

Also .. as a sidenote, it's still somewhat POSSIBLE that an iPad 3 could be announced before xmas ...

Possible reasons for no "retina" display in iPad2: battery, memory, production problems of display, no need as competition is lacking.

I am convinced that we will NOT see the iPad 3 until 2012. There are several reasons for this. Apple made the clear point that 2010 was the year of the iPad 1 and that 2011 is the year of the iPad 2. That's a subtle, but distinctive dismissal of the idea that they'll release new hardware again this year. Another reason of course is that it's clear that what they did with the iPad 2 in combination with the absolute sluggishness and downright bungling of the competition that they won't need anymore than that to maintain their dominate market position. By the time the competition starts to gain momentum (IF they gain momentum) it will be 2012 and the buzz can start in on iPad 3 and Apple can trump the competition yet again. They're in an enviable position, having defined the category, having an insurmountable (for the medium term) apps lead, and having their competition still struggling to get out first generation products.

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Chris Kennedy
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Competition
Bill Loguidice wrote:

By the time the competition starts to gain momentum (IF they gain momentum) it will be 2012 and the buzz can start in on iPad 3 and Apple can trump the competition yet again.

I am absolutely amazed that is has taken this long for other companies to churn out a competitive product, and those that have have struggled to compete in the features/price area.

Though I want flash, be free of Apple restrictions, etc, I honestly think the iPad 2 is a safe buy at the moment as we wait on these other companies to figure things out, drop prices, and get their app stores populated.

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Bill Loguidice
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iPad 2 versus everyone else
Chris Kennedy wrote:

Though I want flash, be free of Apple restrictions, etc, I honestly think the iPad 2 is a safe buy at the moment as we wait on these other companies to figure things out, drop prices, and get their app stores populated.

Though some would like to believe otherwise, I really did have my heart set on an alternative tablet. Maybe not webOS or the Playbook or a Windows tablet (all still pending), but certainly a Honeycomb tablet. I love diverse technology and I really don't like the idea of being so tied into one ecosystem since I already have an iPhone 4. However, as you say, there are SO MANY variables on even iPad's main competitor, Android/Honeycomb tablets, that it doesn't make sense to go in that direction if you really have your heart set on a tablet. It's been YEARS since I've gone against the grain in my technology purchases (my most high profile example being the Amiga, but I've also done things like favored the Lynx and Game Gear over the GameBoy, etc.). I just don't have the energy I once did to want to mess with a device to get it to do the things I want or do without because it's not the market leader. If you go with the market leader - and in the case of tablets, the market DOMINATOR in the iPad - you're guaranteed that 98% of the time, your platform will be the one targeted by developers, accessory makers, etc.

Little things also make a big difference. For instance, there's no Netflix app on Android/Honeycomb and there may not be for some time and only for certain devices (something to do with no on-chip DRM). I'm sure I can root an Adroid/Honeycomb device and use some clever hack to get Netflix working eventually, but do I really want to go to that kind of trouble when there's an official free app that works beautifully on iOS devices? Some do, but not me. Not anymore. My time is precious and I just don't want to get involved in hacks, possibly messing up my device, etc. I just want it to work.

Now, that's the situation for the forseeable future, but it doesn't mean it will always be that way. I believe my first tablet will be an iPad 2. It doesn't mean that after that tablet runs its course there won't be actual viable alternatives. That's quite possible. It's just not something that will happen in any reasonable time period, so right now and for the rest of the year, it's clear to me that there's only one choice.

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TripHamer
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I'm Sold

At least you don't have to wait for a price drop as that's never going to happen. :)

So when I'm ready, I'm going to pick one up.

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Matt Barton
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I'd definitely pick one up if

I'd definitely pick one up if I could afford it. Unfortunately, this is strictly a luxury item for elites at the moment, pretty much like all of Apple's products. No doubt that's a big part of their appeal--if they were cheap, they wouldn't have that chic factor.

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Nous
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Cheap Cheap Hurray
Matt Barton wrote:

I'd definitely pick one up if I could afford it. Unfortunately, this is strictly a luxury item for elites at the moment, pretty much like all of Apple's products. No doubt that's a big part of their appeal--if they were cheap, they wouldn't have that chic factor.

But they ARE cheap(er than anyone else) !

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