Consumer Reports announced today that they have tested 10 tablets and identified the iPad 2 as best tablet available. The iPad 2 does not need this endorsement right now in my opinion, as it is still in very short supply. Now even more people will flock to the iPad 2 with Consumer Reports putting their reputation behind it.
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Consumer Reports tested tablets from Archos, Dell, Motorola, Samsung, and ViewSonic, as well as several models from Apple. Each tablet was evaluated on 17 criteria, including touch-screen responsiveness, versatility, portability, screen glare, and ease of use, and testers found several models that outperformed the rest. The Apple iPad 2 with Wi-Fi plus 3G (32G), $730, topped the Ratings, scoring Excellent in nearly every category according to Consumer Reports. The first-generation Apple iPad, $580, also outscored many of the other models tested but tied with the Motorola Xoom, $800.
The largest gap in performance among the 10 tested tablets was evident in Consumer Reports' battery-life test, measured by playing the same video clip continually on each tablet and timing how long it played until the battery ran down. The top-scoring iPad 2 lasted 12.2 hours, but the lowest-rated tablet, the Archos 70 Internet Tablet, $270, lasted just 3.8 hours.
The complete Consumer Reports Tablet ratings are available on their site (subscription).
About the Apple iPad:
Apple launched the first iPad on April 3rd 2010. Until the iPad came along Tablets never caught on. The iPad was a runaway success at launch that even surprised Apple. The company had to postpone the international launch of the iPad to satisfy demand in the United States.
The original iPad surprised everyone with a low entry price of $499. This low price proved to be the major hurdle for competitors trying offer a similar performing tablet at the same price.
Features of the first generation iPad include 1GHz A4 CPU, PowerVR SGX 535 GPU, 9.7-inch LED-backlit touchscreen display with IPS technology, 10 hour battery life, 16GB to 64GB Storage options, 256MB RAM, 802.11n Wi-fi and 3G option.
The original iPad has a weight of 1.5 pounds and it measures 9.56x7.47x.5 inches. The first iPad owners had to wait a very long time for multi-tasking until iOS 4.2 was released in November 2010. iPhone owners had that update months earlier.
Apple started selling the iPad 2 on March 11th in the United States. The new iPad 2 is about 1/3rd thinner than the first iPad and adds two cameras. Other new features of the iPad 2 include the new faster dual-core A5 CPU and the 9x faster PowerVR SGX543MP GPU. Measurements of the iPad 2 are 9.5x7.31x0.34 inches and the weight is 1.33 pounds. The iPad 2 is available in the United States as Wi-Fi only, AT&T 3G and new as a Verizon 3G version. Additionally the iPad 2011 is available in black and in white. The demand for the iPad 2 at launch led to long lines in stores even weeks after the sales started. Online orders of the iPad 2 take about one month to ship.
The prices for the Apple iPad models are $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model, $699 (US) for the 64GB model. The Wi-Fi + 3G iPad models will be available in April in the US and selected countries for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model.
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More important for the success of the iPad is the software. iOS still outshines other Tablet OSes in terms of ease of use. The Apple eco-system (iTunes) with music, movies and apps completes the experience that draws millions of consumers to the iPad. Get the latest iPad news in our Apple Hub.