Believe it or not, nearly two weeks after the iPad 2 launch (release date was March 11), many Apple stores are still out of the iPad 2! Or, more correctly, they are getting them in in dribs and drabs, with long lines queueing starting at 6:00 a.m. (!), and any new supply of iPad 2s selling out within minutes of the Apple store opening 3 hours later. Here is our experience being in the Apple line, and getting our iPad 2, and our first thoughts and observations on the iPad 2, the “Smart Cover” (hate it!), and the iPad 2 case that we love.
First, here is the line that had started at a little before 6:00 a.m. at the Apple store in Boulder, just two days ago:
Apple store employees arrive at around 7:30 or so, even though the store doesn’t open until 9:00, so that they can check in any new stock (such as, say, any iPad 2s that have come in overnight). They are nice enough to stick their head out the door as soon as they’ve checked in the new stock, and tell those waiting in line whether or not they did in fact get any iPad 2s in. On this day, they announced that they had gotten some in, including 3G AT&T models, which is what we wanted. So, in line we stayed. We were, in fact, 6th from the front, as one of us is an early riser, and got there at about 6:01 a.m..
The Apple store had thoughtfully put out a large thermal urn of Peet’s coffee, and some cups, which was an awesome touch, and very much appreciated!
At 9:00 a.m. on the dot, the doors to the Apple store opened, and instead of the headlong rush into the store that we’d expected, an Apple employee came out and went down the line asking each of us what model we wanted. Then they handed each of us claim tags for the model of iPad 2 we’d been waiting to purchase. The tags had an expiration date of 2022, which we thought was pretty darned reasonable of Apple, although we didn’t believe for a minute that they would really hold an iPad 2 for us for 10 years (and even if they would, just how obsolete would it have been by then?)
Then, one by one, Apple store employees came out to the line, and were paired up with those waiting in line, so that we each got our own personal escort to take us through the iPad 2 acquisition process. Which to us seemed kind of unnecessary, as we knew exactly what we wanted, but it was probably nice for anyone who needed some guidance.
Now, there are tons of iPad 2 reviews already up online, so we aren’t going to duplicate those. Instead we are going to cut right to the chase and tell you what we love most, and hate most, about the iPad 2.
Here are the two things we love most about the iPad 2:
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1. The cameras, front and back, rock. For what they are, the quality is really decent, and there is a powerful on-screen zoom included (for the still camera, no zoom for the video camera).
2. Facetime. Being able to have real-time video calls really *really* rocks. And, it’s just plain fun. A great boon to loved ones who are separated by miles.
And here are two things that we hate about the iPad 2:
1. The bevelled edges. Really, they make finding the power button awkward, and plugging the charging cable in even more awkward. And they are completely unneccesary.
2. The so-called “Smart Cover”. For people who rarely want to use their iPad to, you know, type on, it may be fine. Oh sure, it can do that cute parlour trick of instantly waking your iPad 2 up for you, and putting it to sleep, to save you the hassle of trying to access the power button on that silly bevelled edge (see above). But rolling it just right so that you can have it slanted to type on comfortably is just a plain hassle. And it doesn’t really even protect your iPad 2 all that much (stick it in a backpack or purse and any object can easily slip the cover away from the screen, creating a demand and secondary market for sleeves in which to put your already ‘covered’ iPad 2).
That said, we found a case that we absolutely love, not the least of which because it works exactly like the original Apple iPad case that we had for our first generation iPad. The Case Crown Faux Leather Stand Case is awesome. It stands up for watching movies, it lays at an angled slant for easy typing, the cut outs for the cameras are perfectly aligned, and best of all, it’s on sale for only $17 and change!
Here’s more info and a link to the Case Crown iPad 2 case on Amazon:
Here is a picture of the first generation iPad, and the iPad 2, side by side. Can you tell which is which?
By the way, if you don’t want to stand in line, and you don’t want to wait the 4-6 weeks that Apple is quoting to order through them online, you can buy the iPad 2 on Amazon.
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