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iPad 2: Nice, Not Magical

The more I use the iPad 2, the more I find myself bumping up against its shortcomings. Which is a shame because at the same time, the more I use it the more I feel that with a bit of flexibility on Apple's part this really could be the end of the consumer PC.

My argument against the original iPad remains intact. It's too big to carry around comfortably, even in a case it's a burden and putting it in a bag to carry removes the spontaneity from it's use.

Apple could easily fix this by releasing a 7" version. But they aren't going to do that.

I'll add in another problem that I've found with the iPad 2 which didn't affect the original: it's painfully uncomfortable to hold. The thin edge of the device dogs into the palm of your hand, concentrating all that weight into a small point of contact. The only solution I've found has been to ditch the Smart Cover and get a folio style case which covers that uncomfortable corner in padded leather.

On the operation side there are still shortcomings, but a lot of these will have been addressed by the iOS 5 system upgrade, when it arrives.

Glaringly, Adobe's Flash remains a sticking point. The iPad can't function as my sole browsing device without it.

Finally, the iPad 2 doesn't feel like a personal device. Whereas I'm loath to share my smartphone or Galaxy Tab with friends our colleagues, because I have an emotional attachment with them - I've no such qualms with the iPad 2.

On the other hand, it's a beautifully made piece of equipment, there's an awful lot of really high quality software available for it (iWork and Flip Board in particular) and you'll never be short an accessory.

Yet I still can't help but feel that this is going to be an device which ultimately fails to provide satisfaction.


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