Still no Flash, USB, or expandable memory
When the iPad came out, customers were seriously disappointed by the absence of what we've come to view as very basic features: a USB port for device-to-device communication, Flash support for a richer web browsing experience, and an SD card slot for expandable memory (these days 64GB, the largest iPad memory capacity, can only go so far).
These absences were quite roundly criticised on all corners of the globe; Apple could hardly fail to be aware of it. So when the iPad 2 specs were announced, the continued lack of support for Flash, USB and SD was more than a little conspicuous.
In a few months, the tablet market is going to be flooded; the much-hyped Motorola Xoom, BlackBerry PlayBook, HTC Flyer, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and LG Optimus Tab are expected to hit Aussie shelves. If you don't have a tablet computer yet, a little longer isn't going to kill you to wait and see if the competition measures up.
No retina display
Purchasers of the new iPhone and iPod Touch were delighted by the crispness of the retina display, and it was more or less assumed that the new iPad would receive the same facelift. Instead, it's the same old 1024x768 resolution, which means that anyone who was looking forward to watching their TV shows in mind-blowing HD would be better off waiting for the Xoom.
Upgrades? What upgrades?
The changes announced for the new iPad are disappointingly few. There's a new dual-core processor, which makes it a bit faster; two cameras, one front-facing, one rear (we're baffled by the rear camera; who's going to walk around taking photos with an iPad?); a new OS with a few tweaks; and a slimmer, lighter frame. Oh, and it comes in white as well as black.
The original iPad has dropped in price now quite significantly, so if you really want an iPad experience, you can save a few shekels by purchasing the older model; and you probably won't even notice the missing new features.
Apple likes to update every year, so you know there will be another iPad this time next year. And likely it will be slimmer again, lighter, include that better screen, and faster yet. And who knows, maybe if enough people skip the iPad 2, Apple will open its resolutely closed ears and introduce Flash, USB and SD support... though don't hold your breath.
If you'd like to see the other side of the coin, head on over to our Five reasons to buy an iPad 2.