The Lack of 4G

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The Lack of 4G

As Verizon Wireless, AT&T and other prominent mobile carriers continue to talk up the benefits of 4G, Apple has seemingly decided to turn its back on that technology for the time being. The iPad 2 does not come equipped with 4G connectivity. Instead, users will be stuck with WiFi or 3G. Considering that competitors, including the Motorola Xoom and RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, will come with 4G connectivity later this year, consumers hoping for more high-speed browsing options might take issue with Apple's latest tablet.

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Wheres the Larger Screen?

Apple's iPad 2 comes with a 9.7-inch display, which in 2010 was the biggest display in the tablet market. But in 2011, that's not the case. The Motorola Xoom has a 10.1-inch display, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will come with a larger screen too. Larger displays afford more entertainment and productivity on a tablet. It would have been nice if Apple acknowledged that and released an iPad 2 with a bigger display.

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A Retina Display Would Have Been Nice

Speaking of displays, iPad 2 customers will be disappointed to find that the device doesn't come with the high-quality Retina Display found in the iPhone 4. Although some might not worry too much about that, consider this: The iPhone 4 comes with 326 pixels per inch. The iPad 2 offers just 132 pixels per inch—and, of course, the more pixels, the higher the quality. It would have been nice if Apple invested more in the iPad 2's display.

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Poor-Quality Cameras

One of the biggest complaints iPad 2 owners have voiced relates to the device's cameras. The rear-facing camera is especially an issue. The component features less than a 1-megapixel resolution. The iPad 2's chief competitor, the Motorola Xoom, has a 5-megapixel camera. Simply put, snapping pictures on the iPad 2 has been a disappointment, to say the least.

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FaceTime Isnt Working So Well

After getting their hands on the iPad 2, customers have been taking to the Web, saying that the FaceTime integration on the device has been less than ideal. They say that the video gets hung up from time to time. Others have found a frozen image from the last chat session even after the app is restarted. The problem can likely be fixed with a simple software update, but it's an annoyance for now.

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The OS Seems Outdated

Although Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" has been catching fire from critics, who say that the platform wasn't ready to be released when it was, it features several important improvements, including the ability to engage in full, tabbed browsing as one would on the desktop. Its multitasking is improved. From a general productivity perspective, it's far more appealing than other operating systems. Apple's iPad 2, on the other hand, runs iOS 4.3, an operating system that's far more effective on a smartphone than a tablet. Let's hope iOS 5 does a better job of delivering a more robust experience to customers.

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Odd Quirks

Aside from the aforementioned FaceTime bug, iPad 2 owners are experiencing all kinds of odd quirks. They report some trouble with the iPad 2's backlight "bleeding" from the edges of the screen. The tablet's microphone performance is seemingly better on the WiFi version than the 3G models. Some users have claimed their screens display an unwanted yellow tinge. There are even complaints about the device's speakers. Admittedly, no product is perfect. But given the range of complaints about the iPad 2, Apple might want to speak up sooner rather than later.

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Its Out of Stock for Weeks

Even with all the issues surrounding the iPad 2, it's clear that it's one of the more coveted products on the market. The problem is trying to buy it is extremely difficult. The device sold out in its first weekend of availability, and if customers order it online, they will need to wait weeks to receive it. If anything is disappointing, it's that Apple didn't accurately predict demand for its tablet.

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Its Really the iPad 1.5

When consumers get the iPad 2 home and start playing with it, they're going to quickly realize one thing: Calling it the iPad 2 is a bit of a misnomer. Is the tablet an upgrade over the original iPad? Sure. But those updates are incremental, at best. The iPad 2 is simply an update to a device that was becoming more obsolete as competitors passed it by. The iPad 2 is certainly more capable than the first iPad, but to say it's a major update over the previous version is downright wrong. This is the iPad 1.5.

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Why Not Offer a Modest Price Cut?

Considering the iPad 2 should really be called the iPad 1.5, it's rather disappointing that Apple kept the same pricing model for this latest release. Yes, the iPad 2 comes with more features, but the additional components are much cheaper to acquire this year than they were last year. And the device's main improvements are a new, dual-core processor and two cameras. It's Apple's policy to offer a new device at the old price, but why shouldn't it offer a new device at a slightly cheaper price when such a move is justified? In this case, it certainly seems that selling the iPad 2 for, say, $50 less would have been the best move.

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