iSmashPhone iPad 2 Review – Is This the Post-PC Era?


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Our iPad 2

iSmashPhone didn’t receive a review unit of the iPad 2. Instead, we went out on launch to pick one up, and rather than try to meet the rush, we used it for a couple of weeks. This is a device you are going to be using for at least a year, you have to know what it feels like and how it functions before making a final decision. With that in mind, iSmashPhone decided that it was best to go ahead and hold onto our impressions until we’d had enough use to know how the iPad 2 works with real world use.


The Reviews

Taking a look at the iPad 2 review mix, you will see that most of the reviewers, with the exception of Pogue focused on the specs and what‚Äö√Ñ√¥s new. That‚Äö√Ñ√¥s nice, because specs can be important. Perhaps they matter to a company or developer, because they want to know about the hardware. However, for the end user, what truly  matters is whether the product delivers, ‚Äö√Ñ√∫Does the iPad 2 work for me?‚Äö√Ñ√π


Apple’s Post-PC Era

During the official announcement, Apple mentioned the “Post-PC Era.” That term brought in a lot of attention, and blogs and websites dissected it and turned three words into lengthy essays about what this “Post-PC Era” actually is. The workflow experience with the iPad is unlike that of a PC. Microsoft recently said that they were unsure of whether or not tablets are a fad or if they are here to stay, so we don’t know that anyone’s entirely sure about Post-PC.


What is the Post-PC Era?

The truth is, you can ask 100 different people, and you will probably get 100 different definitions of what the term actually means. For some, it began with their first Palm Pre–those people no longer had to run to their computer to check email or reply. For others, it was their first BlackBerry smartphone, or their first iPad.  iSmashPhone thought about this over the course of the month, and we read essays from others on what they thought it meant. We realized that we should write iPad 2 review while keeping in mind just what that ‚Äö√Ñ√∫Post-PC Era‚Äö√Ñ√π is.


The Casual User

We tend to use the Mom or Dad example when we talk about what we call the “casual” computer user. Dad uses his computer for simple things: email, Facebook, YouTube, news or just to check photos of his grandkids. He has a five-year-old computer that he feels it’s time to replace. For his use, the iPad is sufficient, and it’s now about as close to a computer as he ever needs. That’s the Post-PC Era.

Remember when people were buying netbooks? The little laptops that practically fit in your pocket and ran about $200-$300. They were designed for simple media consumption. Again, email, Facebook, YouTube, etc. They’ve given way to the tablet. That’s the Post-PC Era.



The Shopper

As we said before, specs are important, but to end user it’s about what does the job the fastest. Looking at specs for a typical computer can mean looking at several numbers and trying to weigh various factors: price, performance, memory, features, etc. For some of us, that’s a time-consuming process of weighing our options between a select few computers we have our eyes on. The specs for a simple laptop can be a page long with processor numbers, memory, video card, HDD size and a number of other factors.


Traditional computers often have pages with specs and drop downs:

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The iPad has simplified that for the less seasoned computer user with a simple button that says “select” you pick the one you want and move on:

  This image described by Apple, iPad 2, PC, Computer, netbook, Laptop, post-pc era, Screen shot 2011-03-30 at 1.18.18 PM



Buying is becoming easier. That’s the Post-PC era.



For Media Consumption

It’s about being able to easily jump between applications with the tap of a finger. Applications like the USA today and the New York Times feel a lot more like a classic paper and less like navigating a website. It’s great for books. We wouldn’t say it’s an ereader on par with the Kindle, but it’s a device that does more overall. Nice for those who want something that does a bit of everything. It’s light, it does a bit of everything, and we don’t need a fancy setup to make it do what we like. That’s the post-PC era.


For Media Creation

The iPad, strangely, isn’t yet the most idea for simple stuff like word processing, unless you have a keyboard attached to it. However, it’s an amazing device for editing video. It’s blazing fast when if comes to crunching those numbers, even when compared to our MacBook Pro. Given, our MacBook Pro is a bit older, but we aren’t worried about an upgrade yet, because this version of iMovie is more than enough for our short video reviews and importing to YouTube. That, again, is the post-PC Era.


In conclusion

So far, we’ve been loving our iPad 2. Sure, it has the higher specs that make it faster than the original iPad. We’ve read that the screen is on par with an iPhone 4. Yeah. That’s cool, and it was all expected. What really counts is that it feels faster, and after editing together several video reviews and using our iPad to connect remotely to our computer rather than having a hot laptop on our legs for an hour. We have to say, it’s been a nice experience and overall improvement over the iPad 1.

But the fun part is that we can say with 100 percent certainty that no matter what you are going to use your iPad 2 for, you will figure out your workflow and it will find permanent place in your home.  The most important thing we can say is that if you’re going to love it, and when you use it, specs won’t be as important as functionality, and that’s the post-PC era.



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