Ars Technica reviews Apple iPad 2: Big performance gains in a slimmer package

“After having sold 15 million [iPads] in nine months last year, Apple has now refined its design with the introduction of the iPad 2,” Jacqui Cheng reports for Ars Technica.

“The iPad is now particularly attractive to new buyers—moreso than the original was. Apple has a better idea now of what the market wants and has made a move on what it thinks are the most important elements: size/weight, cameras (even if they aren’t the best), and overall performance,” Cheng reports. “The current device feels more refined than the original in almost every way, and it strives to offer a premium tablet experience via iOS.

“We were able to use the iPad 2 with WiFi on, e-mail checking in the background, and about 50 percent brightness nonstop for just about 12 hours (more like 11 hours and 58 minutes, for nitpickers in the crowd),” Cheng reports. “This was with video playing fullscreen for most of the time, with the occasional interruption to surf the Web, read an e-book, or do some benchmarks, and we didn’t let the screen turn off once during this entire period of time.”

“The iPad 2 has a significant increase in floating point performance vs. its predecessor. This was really pounded home by the LINPACK tests which showed the iPad 2 besting its predecessor with a 292% (~3x) improvement. We ran this rest on the Motorola Xoom running Android 3.0 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab running 2.2. The iPad 2 shows a surprising 336% improvement over the Motorola Xoom on its NIVIDIA Tegra 2 platform and a 724% increase over the Samsung Galaxy Tab’s 1GHz “Hummingbird ARM” processor.”

Linpack benchmark - iPad 2

Much, much more in the full review – recommended – here.

25 Comments

    1. I’m keeping my iPad1, as the Nitro version of Safari really is much faster. Garageband works well and now TimeWarner has a free app that sends HD tv to my iPad. Much better than my Sling app. I love that new functionality is constantly coming to the iPad for little to no cost.

        1. Yes, that is correct:

          If you’re using your Airport Extreme or another WiFi router in between your TimeWarner WiFi cable modem and your iPad, the app will not work for you. Hopefully they’ll update the app soon to make it work with what’s likely to be quite a common setup.

          We have added that info to our article here.

    1. And who could argue with CR’s battery of torture tests?

      “While performing routine tasks such as Web browsing and e-mail in our tests, we didn’t notice any significant speed improvement.”

      Suck on that, LINPACK!!!

  1. I’m surprised MDN didn’t mention that Ars listed no Flash support under “The Ugly” section. Because, you know, we have so many examples of Flash mobile working well.

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