What has Apple changed with the iPad 2?

The iPad 2 is finally available but how does it compare to the original iPad? More importantly, do you need one and is it worth at least £400 if you’ve already bought the original? We compare the two so you can see what’s been upgraded with Apple’s latest must-have gadget…

Felicity Hannah: Shops were disrupted, it sold out within hours and one person even queued for more than a day and a half to get one. So what is so special about the iPad 2 – and if you already own an iPad, is it time to upgrade?

Unlike the original, the new iPad comes in black or white, along with a multicoloured choice of covers.

It’s 15% lighter, than the original and 33% thinner, with more rounded sides. Despite that it’s still faster, thanks to its dual-core A5 processor. It means that apps load faster and it’s easier to multitask without the tablet’s performance getting jerky.

The much improved graphics performance will also be welcome to gamers.

Unlike the original incarnation, the iPad 2 has both front and rear-facing cameras, means you can use Apple’s FaceTime video calling service but also shoot film and take pictures.

The battery life is the same, at 10 hours, but that is pretty impressive given that it’s smaller, lighter and faster.

This might sound crazy, but my favourite thing about the iPad 2 is the new cover. They’re sold separately but they are just so clever.

You could buy protective covers for the old gadget but they were functional and boring and just not very… Apple.

The covers come in a variety of colours and double up as a stand. You can use it to proper up the iPad like a screen or raise it slightly like a keyboard. This makes it easier to use in a variety of different situation.

It’s cleverly magnetic, meaning it snaps on really easily.

There’s no doubt at all that this is going to be a big hit with the country’s Apple fans and, if you’ve been putting off buying an iPad to wait for the new launched, then you won’t be disappointed.

But if you already have an iPad then you’ll need to think very carefully about whether the new developments are important to you. The new iPad 2 is definitely better, but just a year later is it worth spending £399 at least on.

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