Consumer Reports: iPad 2 “More Than Competitive” w/Android Tabs

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Apple’s iPad 2 is “more than competitive” with competing tablets based on Google’s Android operating system, according to noted iPhone critic Consumer Reports. In a first look piece posted by the magazine, the iPad 2’s pricepoint, size, and Smart Cover (Apple’s optional case) were all praised, while the magazine found the rear-camera on the Motorola Xoom to be superior to the one on the iPad 2.

“We found the new version to be an improvement over the original iPad—without any increase in price,” Jeff Fox wrote for CR. Those improvements were specified as the smaller size, a display that matches the original iPad, and the addition of front and rear-facing cameras.

The magazine also said that while the new A5 dual-core processor is touted as being faster, testing of tasks such as Web browsing and e-mail didn’t show “any significant speed improvement.” CR also said that there may not yet be any games on the App Store that can take proper advantage of the significant boost in graphics processing in the iPad 2.

On the slightly more negative side, the first look found that the Xoom’s 5-megapixel camera has a higher resolution than the .7 megapixel camera iPad 2 uses. Apple hasn’t specified what that resolution is (though it does specify it on the iPhone 4), listing only “720p” in the device’s spec — 720p is technically only 960×720, which is about .7 megapixels.

In any event, the report also cited the Xoom’s camera flash (none on the iPad 2), and on-screen controls to beat the options available on the iPad 2.

That one area notwithstanding, CR’s look at Apple’s newest iPad was very favorable, noting: “By keeping iPad 2 prices the same as those of the original iPad, Apple has kept its market-leading tablet more than competitive with the small-but-growing field of Android-based tablets. The Motorola Xoom seems to be the iPad 2’s chief rival for now, but it’s pricier than a comparably configured iPad 2, and it’s thicker and heavier as well.”

In addition to the written report, CR also posted a video look at the device, which you can see below.

Consumer Reports Video First Look at iPad 2

Comments

Lee Dronick

I wish that Dean had showed how the Smart Cover acts as a stand, but otherwise it wasn’t a bad review.

prl53

What Android tabs are we talking about? The one that’s just been released and still hasn’t been around long enough to know if it will last? Come back CR when you actually have something to compare the iPad to before saying it’s just ok.

brian

...and after further review, although highly reviewed, consumer reports feels it can not recommend the new ipad 2.  when asked why, consumer reports notes that when an operator’s magnetized ring is placed over the right side of the device, it inexplicably turns off.  those experiencing the issue are referring to it as marriagate.

Jamie

All I can say is ‘iMovie’, and ‘Garageband’. These apps are amazingly stunning and fun, and I feel confident saying both regular joe consumer and seasoned pro are going to have a blast screwing around with them. If this is the future, I want some more, please. smile

mhikl

I refuse to look at CR until they begin an Apple report with “We’re Unworthy!”

sflocal

How convenient for CR to leave out the reports that the image quality of the XOOM’s camera was inferior to the iPad2.  I guess they can cherry-pick whatever sections they want.

Just goes to show that megapixels doesn’t trump better optics.

Jamie

OK, so maybe the rear camera on the iPad2 isn’t a Leica, but the pix I’ve seen posted online don’t look all that bad. Seems a tad nit-picky to me, CR.

davebarnes

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/electronics/2011/03/ipad-2-video-first-look.html

Did I miss the link in the article?

Jamie

Had to add this: competitive with what Android tabs, exactly? If they are referring to Xoom, wouldn’t that be ‘tab’? To the best of my knowledge the marketplace isn’t exactly flooded with Android tablets at present.

Marcel Pavel

Apple could have made the ipad 2’s cover as a keyboard, so you can use it as a cover and as a keyboard if you’d like.

chiva2k

my gtablet has a camera,sd slot,usb port and it has flash and it works in all the websites that the ipad does not work on and I paid less than $400.00 thats what it all comes down to.

Lee Dronick

Apple could have made the ipad 2?s cover as a keyboard, so you can use it as a cover and as a keyboard if you?d like.

That isn’t a bad idea and someone may do that.

DeveloperScott

Actually, there are countless Android tablets on the market, but more are rather ‘bla,’ such as Archos and several Chinese makes.

The two ‘real’ contenders are the Galaxy Tab and the Motorola Xoom. Now the Tab can’t really be compared with the iPad because of it’s much smaller size, although if one wants a smaller form-factor, it is a terrific device with many advantages (good cameras, and it is actually a phone in the European models).

The fairly new Motorola Xoom, however, is an amazing device. It is just a hair thicker than the iPad 2 (.15 inches or so thicker), a bit heaver (by .3 pounds), but is superior or equal in every other technical measurement. Once the ‘latent’ features are available (Flash, SD Card slot working, 4G), it will loom large.

I haven’t objectively compared the camera results, but I have used the Xoom for taking pictures and I am happy with the quality.

Anyway, CR’s review reads to me like many others: they essentially gave Apple a pass on releasing a “not the best” device, chiefly for two reasons: the price is [relatively] good, and there are more apps tailored for the large screen on iOS than Android [at present].

cb50dc

Mr. Chaffin: “noted iPhone critic Consumer Reports.”

Have you forgotten? Or did you never read the ample documentation showing that CR ranked the so-called “antennagate” iPhone NUMBER ONE, above the “Recommended” iPhone 3G.

What about that obvious and hard reality do you NOT get?

And likewise for the obvious implications.

Similar principles apply here as you continue mischaracterizing CR, certainly in a biased, propagandistic way, which they have NOT done to Apple.

cb50dc

I refuse to look at CR until they begin an Apple report with ?We?re Unworthy!?

mhikl, after the fun of invoking Wayne’s World, keep in mind the larger fact: in the majority of cases, CR ranks almost all of Apple’s products highly, and often in the top slots ? the most notable recent example being the “antennagate” iPhone 4, which took #1.

That should provide a rational context for understanding the trivial nature of what others (NOT CR)have exaggerated into “antennagate.”

It confuses me how so many people fail to grasp the concrete, objective, indisputable significance of that phone taking the #1 slot in CR’s rankings: CR loves it.

furbies

my gtablet has a camera,sd slot,usb port and it has flash and it works in all the websites that the ipad does not work on and I paid less than $400.00 thats what it all comes down to.

And it weights more, is thicker (like you ?) and has a lower resolution screen, and how many apps (read: trojans) ?

Hmmm. I know which one I’d choose!
Oh yes I did. An iPad!

zach

Always funny to see the fanboys taking technology reviews as personal insults, as if the idea of someone making a better product than Apple is somehow damaging to their egos.

SolarSaves

mhikl said:I refuse to look at CR until they begin an Apple report with ?We?re Unworthy!? mhikl, after the fun of invoking Wayne?s World, keep in mind the larger fact: in the majority of cases, CR ranks almost all of Apple?s products highly, and often in the top slots ? the most notable recent example being the ?antennagate? iPhone 4, which took #1.
That should provide a rational context for understanding the trivial nature of what others (NOT CR)have exaggerated into ?antennagate.?
It confuses me how so many people fail to grasp the concrete, objective, indisputable significance of that phone taking the #1 slot in CR?s rankings: CR loves it.

Where have you people been?
Even ranked as #1, CR did not recommend buying the iPhone4.
They tested it as the best smart phone out there and they would not recommend buying it, because of the antenna attenuation problem. Yet they don’t seem to test attenuation on any of the other smart phones that they tested…

cb50dc

funny to see the fanboys taking technology reviews as personal insults

Agreed, Zach. Other products do offer features that the iPad doesn’t, and those particular things matter to a lot of people. It’s a question of what best fits each person’s needs and tastes.

mhikl

DeveloperScott: Please share your knowledge with us. Name these gods of the tablet world.

chiva2k. Go join the the eXoom forum. I did. It’s a mad party of complainers. There you can see the soiled undies of the eXooma disillusionda (latin for those who are disillusioned with their eXooms).

cbsofla: Don’t confuse me with the facts. I want it all. All the glory to Apple, and the rest ground to dust in every issue of CR.

zach: You’re stupid and your mother knows.

SolarSaves: Remember to ‘spit’ after thinking, saying or hearing CR (spit) mentioned.

This party would be complete if only Bosco would join in and start his fuming.

Now, my wife’s got my jacket zipped so it’s off to the doctor.

RonMacGuy

Yes, chiva2k, I am looking for a gtablet for a good price with all the features you are referring to.  Please tell me the brand name of the tablet so that I may purchase one for under $400.

cb50dc

Even ranked as #1, CR did not recommend buying the iPhone4.

SolarSaves, if you’d like a summary of the objective data, and clarification of CR’s “Recommended” label (the presence or absence of which does NOT mean what most people here mistakenly believe it does), email me separately.

Meanwhile, if you know of a ranking higher than #1, please share it. grin

We now return you to the regularly scheduled reviewing of the iPad 2, with John Madden on the field…

cb50dc

Don?t confuse me with the facts. I want it all. All the glory to Apple, and the rest ground to dust in every issue of CR.


LOL (Literally) Hey, it’s good to meet an honest man.

So, um, should I cancel the CR lifetime subscription I just bought for you? Well, you bought it; I hacked into your bank account. :-O

Thanks for putting it all into perspective. Now please pass me some more of that Apple-flavored Kool-Aid… :D

mhikl

In the Android field there is a ranking higher than #1, csofla. It’s called the brown eye in Australia and a moon, in America; both require one to remove his drawers.

cb50dc

. It?s called the brown eye in Australia and a moon, in America; both

Thank you for sharing.

I think this thread is done. Or at least I am.

I hope grin

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