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Powell "Classic Cherry" Jewelry Armoire
Powell "Classic Cherry" Jewelry Armoire
Offered by Cymax
Price: $168.95
8 used & new from $168.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Damaged Upon Arrival, March 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Item arrived very well packed, but with several large gouges and scratches. Aside from the cosmetic issues the item appeared to be as shown in the pictures. Due to the damage we didn't put it together as we are sending it back for replacement. Will post update once replacement arrives.


Kobalt 32 Piece Double-drive Screwdriver Set
Kobalt 32 Piece Double-drive Screwdriver Set
Offered by E Plus
Price: $38.99
5 used & new from $31.95

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Go To Lowes, December 2, 2012
These are $20 at Lowes right now. Regular price $25. Picked up a couple of them and they're alright. If you're going to need to use some serious torque I'm not sure how well these will hold up, but for most daily uses they seem to work as advertised. The switch to redirect the gear in the drive is plastic, be interesting to see how well that lasts repeated use. The larger screwdriver has room in the handle for the bits, but then you have to dump them all out, pick one, and put them all back. The little one doesn't open so you're limited to just using the organizer for bit storage (which really works better imo anyway).

Since this is a review of the product and not the listing, I gave it 4 stars due to the plastic and somewhat cheap feeling to the tool. As long as you keep your expectations reasonable it's a very useful screwdriver and worth adding to your box. Definitely don't pay more than the $20-$25 at Lowes in store or online though.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 8, 2013 7:16 PM PST


BestDealUSA New KES-450A KEM-450AAA Laser Lens Replacement Parts with Deck for Sony PS3 Slim
BestDealUSA New KES-450A KEM-450AAA Laser Lens Replacement Parts with Deck for Sony PS3 Slim

5.0 out of 5 stars PS3 Rescued, December 2, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Like most folks who come across this product, my PS3 wasn't loading games reliably, or playing back game and bluray movies consistently. This replacement has worked perfectly for me. Rather than spending $100 or more to have someone else replace the drive, or send it to Sony for even more, this solution was affordable and simple. A word to the wise, you'll need a special screwdriver to remove some of the screws on your PS3 device. There are three Torx T8H Tamperproof screws on the front that a regular screwdriver isn't going to be able to get out. I found one on Amazon for pretty cheap Torx T8H T8 Tamper Proof Screwdriver Security Torx Driver for XBOX 360 Wired and Wireless Controller Or PS3 Slim Disassembly CR-V Steel but didn't realize I'd need it until I went to replace the drive.

Once opened up, the inside of a PS3 isn't terribly complex. The whole process took about 15 minutes from start to finish. There are some videos online showing the process, but really it is pretty intuitive.

I gave this product 5 stars because it does exactly what it should do, was priced well, and shipped quickly. Oddly, Amazon has this rating associated to the product as if it was a game, clearly it isn't that, but it's made playing games and movies fun again on a system that had become increasingly frustrating with a dead laser.


Indiana Medium Jones Pet Costume
Indiana Medium Jones Pet Costume
Offered by Great Price Fast Service
Price: $8.73
8 used & new from $1.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hello Dr. Jones, December 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Like all dog costumes, you have to know your dog to know if there is any hope of it staying on or not. Our dog was content to have the costume on, didn't even mind the hat tied to his head. That being said, without his service vest on to pin the costume to he was walking out of it pretty easily just due to the design. I'd suggest a second strap to go around the dogs chest, behind the legs, would be helpful to prevent this. You could easily do this yourself, just be aware that it might be necessary if you intend to have your dog lead you on adventures for any length of time more than a quick photo shoot.

If not for the ease of the costume unintentionally coming off I would have given the costume 5 stars. It seems well made, will be usable again next year, and looks awesome on our dog.


Apple iPad 2 MC755LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi + Verizon 3G, Black) 2nd Generation
Apple iPad 2 MC755LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi + Verizon 3G, Black) 2nd Generation
Offered by TechGiant
Price: $380.00
57 used & new from $214.60

8,237 of 8,386 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Step Closer, March 15, 2011
For anyone out there who is considering whether or not to make the leap and purchase the iPad 2, this review is for you. If you're still debating between the iPad 1 and the iPad 2 check out my review of the first generation iPad right here on Amazon to see a discussion of its strengths and weaknesses with a number of people commenting (both positively and negatively) over the past 11 months.

Let me begin by saying this upfront, I don't work for Apple, I don't own Apple Stock, and whether you buy an iPad, Xoom, a laptop or a pad of paper and pencil I don't get anything for writing this. I'm not an Apple "fanboy" although I can give credit where credit is due and lately Apple has deserved a lot of credit for some of their products.

Physical Characteristics
The iPad 2 is absurdly thin. More importantly than it's thinness is its tapered edge which feels more natural in your hand. One of the biggest complaints about the original iPad was it really wasn't tremendously comfortable to hold for long periods at a time. For a tablet device designed to be held, that's a pretty big deal. Apple really has done an amazing job of cramming everything into an even smaller space than before and the difference is really noticeable when you're holding the device. In addition to the tapered edge, Apple managed to reduce the overall weight of the iPad 2. That might not seem like a huge deal to most, especially when you consider the weight difference isn't tremendous when you're already under 2 pounds, but I spend a good part of my day holding the iPad in my hands and the weight difference is surprising by the end of the day. The first generation isn't heavy by any means, but the iPad 2 outshines it.

New and "Improved"
Apple doubled the RAM in the iPad 2 from 256MB to 512MB. What does that mean? For most casual users, probably not a whole lot. There is a performance bump that everyone will see the effects of in things like loading times for webpages that are open in the background, but 256MB was sufficient for most daily use and games. If you're planning to use your device for some of the more graphically intense games the iPad 2 does offer a better method of graphics processing that'll help deliver faster images with fewer jerky movements. If you're just playing Angry birds and reading e-mail you're not going to know the difference.

The screen is the same for all real purposes. It is technically a "new" part in that it isn't identical to the old, it's a bit thinner and more efficient, but it's the same resolution. The Glass is thinner though, and this amounts to a fair bit of the weight loss from one generation to the next. In playing with the device it seems surprising but despite feeling lighter it actually feels more sturdy in your hands. I still wouldn't suggest dropping it, but if it were to fall the iPad 2 certainly feels like it might stand a better chance to survive. Try not to drop it though.

The addition of 2 cameras was expected. Some were a bit surprised to see the first generation released without the cameras. Whether it was for a price point consideration, or a means to get people to upgrade, Apple held off until iPad 2. The cameras do a reasonable job, but they're not going to replace a dedicated digital camera, or really even the camera on your phone for most still images. The cameras do a substantially better job with video, and FaceTime is probably one of the best reasons to get the iPad 2 over the original iPad. For those who might not be familiar, FaceTime is Apple's face to face conferencing system, kind of like Skype, or if you'd rather, kind of like the Jetson's TV/Phone. With the push of a button you can be having a face to face chat with a loved one just about anywhere in the world (provided they're on a wireless network at the time). FaceTime doesn't work over 3G natively (it can be used over a wifi connection created by a 3G device however) so you're not going to be able to use it in your car anytime soon. This is probably a good thing though. It is incredibly easy to use and if you know other people with an iPad 2, iPhone 4, or Mac it's a lot of fun.

Smart Covers aren't really "smart" but they're really very useful. Not only do they provide a stylistic enhancement of the device, but they serve a practical and functional purpose of doubling as a screen protector and stand in 2 configurations. You can find them in a variety of colors and from third market suppliers, and it's a safe bet that more will be out soon to capitalize on the magnetic sensors in the iPad 2. It's unfortunate that this same feature can't somehow be retrofitted to the iPad 1, I wouldn't have thought a case would be a compelling reason to consider a product over it's competitor, but these covers are really so useful it's hard to understand why they've not been there since the beginning.

Multitasking Support
One of the biggest knocks against the iPad when first released was the lack of native multi-tasking support. Jailbreakers added the feature quickly and Apple soon realized it would be a requirement for any future device's success and released an OS update that included the feature. The iPad 2 capitalizes on that progress and takes it a step further with the increased RAM enabling more open applications to be suspended at once, and the time to open or close an application has improved as well. That said, even the first generation managed to open and close apps faster than most people would be used to on their computers, so while this is an improvement it's more akin to showing off.

Apps
One thing that Apple has clearly the advantage in for the moment is app availability. The App store has close to 70,000 iPad specific Apps, all of which will work on the iPad 2. The new cameras will undoubtedly see this list expand rapidly, as will the inclusion of a gyroscope for gaming and motion based uses. There are also a substantial number of professional applications ranging from document creation to photo editing and vector drawing. Chances are if you can dream it, there's an App for that (and if not you might want to get started on one to fill in the gap). The Android market is making a strong showing, and ultimately it'll likely be a strong competitor, for now it still has a ways to go, but any potential buyer should consider the strength of the application market before buying a tablet.

Pros:
Weight. Seriously. The minimal weight of this thing is by far the most impressive feature about it in my opinion. It seems to defy physics and logic that so much could be in such a small space working that hard for that long.

Battery Life. From full to dead my iPad 2 went just over 11 hours with the movie Robin Hood showing twice during that time, the screen at half brightness, wifi turned on, an Angry Birds marathon and a good portion of a book in ibook. That's better than a work day and that's constantly on.

Books. This is definitely a Pro, but reading itself could go either way. The great benefit to the iPad is having access to Google Books, ibook, Nook, and Kindle. This allows for some comparison shopping and price competition (although for the most part they're all usually about the same). Reading in the evenings in bed is great as the back light means you don't have to worry about keeping others awake, but the glass screen causes some glare trouble when trying to read outside or near a sunny window. If you're an avid outdoor reader the Kindle might still be your best bet.

Cons:
Still no dedicated USB support. While there is a camera add-on that allows for certain USB devices to be used there is no option for mass storage. Some of the Android Tablets allow for this and if you find yourself wanting to use your tablet as a standalone storage device this might be something to consider. The device can read from certain flash drives though, but is largely limited to photo and video files. Jailbreaks offer solutions to this, but those come with their own issues as well.

Still no dedicated SD card slot. This is troublesome on two fronts. First, if you want to import pictures from your camera you have to have an adapter which is just one more thing to carry around. Second, the lack of expansion means you're limited to what you purchase in terms of storage. I purchased a 32GB iPad last time and never filled it up completely, so for me capacity wasn't an issue. If you want to be able to have your entire movie collection with you though... you may want to consider whether the iPad 2 can meet your space requirements.

HDMI output. Really this is a Pro and a Con. The iPad does allow for HD output over HDMI but again it requires an adapter. All of these adapters are additional purchases for features that some tablets offer built in. This can be a pain, but then again if you're not likely to ever use HDMI Output then you're not paying for something you won't use.

No Flash Support. This is becoming less and less of an issue as the internet and web developers are moving away from Flash for many websites, but there are a lot still out there relying on Adobe's Flash to run properly (including a lot of web based games). Before you pick a tablet consider what kind of websites you frequent and try and determine if they are Flash driven or not. If they are you may really want to consider something from the Android offerings as it is expected that they'll have at least some Flash support.

If you're in the market for a tablet device the iPad 2 should definitely be on your short list. If you're uncertain it is always best to go and play with these things hands on first if you can. Best Buy is a good place for that, so are Verizon Stores since they have the Xoom and 3G iPad. Don't get pulled into the hype and mania that comes with an Apple release. They're exciting and new, and they're impressive enough to warrant some excitement, but it will die down and there will be other products that prove a strong competitor to the iPad 2. If you're looking for right now though, this is probably your best bet. I gave the device 4 stars, as I did the iPad 1. I did this in contemplation of the features offered by competitors that are absent from the iPad, most notably the requirement for adapters for USB/SD/HDMI. While these features are there, they aren't as convenient as in other tablets. With that in mind I firmly believe that the iPad more than makes up for this in usability, reliability, and design and in those areas far exceeds its current competitors.
Comment Comments (148) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 13, 2014 7:33 PM PDT


No Title Available

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Step Closer, March 15, 2011
For anyone out there who is considering whether or not to make the leap and purchase the iPad 2, this review is for you. If you're still debating between the iPad 1 and the iPad 2 check out my review of the first generation iPad right here on Amazon to see a discussion of its strengths and weaknesses with a number of people commenting (both positively and negatively) over the past 11 months.

Let me begin by saying this upfront, I don't work for Apple, I don't own Apple Stock, and whether you buy an iPad, Xoom, a laptop or a pad of paper and pencil I don't get anything for writing this. I'm not an Apple "fanboy" although I can give credit where credit is due and lately Apple has deserved a lot of credit for some of their products.

Physical Characteristics
The iPad 2 is absurdly thin. More importantly than it's thinness is its tapered edge which feels more natural in your hand. One of the biggest complaints about the original iPad was it really wasn't tremendously comfortable to hold for long periods at a time. For a tablet device designed to be held, that's a pretty big deal. Apple really has done an amazing job of cramming everything into an even smaller space than before and the difference is really noticeable when you're holding the device. In addition to the tapered edge, Apple managed to reduce the overall weight of the iPad 2. That might not seem like a huge deal to most, especially when you consider the weight difference isn't tremendous when you're already under 2 pounds, but I spend a good part of my day holding the iPad in my hands and the weight difference is surprising by the end of the day. The first generation isn't heavy by any means, but the iPad 2 outshines it.

New and "Improved"
Apple doubled the RAM in the iPad 2 from 256MB to 512MB. What does that mean? For most casual users, probably not a whole lot. There is a performance bump that everyone will see the effects of in things like loading times for webpages that are open in the background, but 256MB was sufficient for most daily use and games. If you're planning to use your device for some of the more graphically intense games the iPad 2 does offer a better method of graphics processing that'll help deliver faster images with fewer jerky movements. If you're just playing Angry birds and reading e-mail you're not going to know the difference.

The screen is the same for all real purposes. It is technically a "new" part in that it isn't identical to the old, it's a bit thinner and more efficient, but it's the same resolution. The Glass is thinner though, and this amounts to a fair bit of the weight loss from one generation to the next. In playing with the device it seems surprising but despite feeling lighter it actually feels more sturdy in your hands. I still wouldn't suggest dropping it, but if it were to fall the iPad 2 certainly feels like it might stand a better chance to survive. Try not to drop it though.

The addition of 2 cameras was expected. Some were a bit surprised to see the first generation released without the cameras. Whether it was for a price point consideration, or a means to get people to upgrade, Apple held off until iPad 2. The cameras do a reasonable job, but they're not going to replace a dedicated digital camera, or really even the camera on your phone for most still images. The cameras do a substantially better job with video, and FaceTime is probably one of the best reasons to get the iPad 2 over the original iPad. For those who might not be familiar, FaceTime is Apple's face to face conferencing system, kind of like Skype, or if you'd rather, kind of like the Jetson's TV/Phone. With the push of a button you can be having a face to face chat with a loved one just about anywhere in the world (provided they're on a wireless network at the time). FaceTime doesn't work over 3G natively (it can be used over a wifi connection created by a 3G device however) so you're not going to be able to use it in your car anytime soon. This is probably a good thing though. It is incredibly easy to use and if you know other people with an iPad 2, iPhone 4, or Mac it's a lot of fun.

Smart Covers aren't really "smart" but they're really very useful. Not only do they provide a stylistic enhancement of the device, but they serve a practical and functional purpose of doubling as a screen protector and stand in 2 configurations. You can find them in a variety of colors and from third market suppliers, and it's a safe bet that more will be out soon to capitalize on the magnetic sensors in the iPad 2. It's unfortunate that this same feature can't somehow be retrofitted to the iPad 1, I wouldn't have thought a case would be a compelling reason to consider a product over it's competitor, but these covers are really so useful it's hard to understand why they've not been there since the beginning.

Multitasking Support
One of the biggest knocks against the iPad when first released was the lack of native multi-tasking support. Jailbreakers added the feature quickly and Apple soon realized it would be a requirement for any future device's success and released an OS update that included the feature. The iPad 2 capitalizes on that progress and takes it a step further with the increased RAM enabling more open applications to be suspended at once, and the time to open or close an application has improved as well. That said, even the first generation managed to open and close apps faster than most people would be used to on their computers, so while this is an improvement it's more akin to showing off.

Apps
One thing that Apple has clearly the advantage in for the moment is app availability. The App store has close to 70,000 iPad specific Apps, all of which will work on the iPad 2. The new cameras will undoubtedly see this list expand rapidly, as will the inclusion of a gyroscope for gaming and motion based uses. There are also a substantial number of professional applications ranging from document creation to photo editing and vector drawing. Chances are if you can dream it, there's an App for that (and if not you might want to get started on one to fill in the gap). The Android market is making a strong showing, and ultimately it'll likely be a strong competitor, for now it still has a ways to go, but any potential buyer should consider the strength of the application market before buying a tablet.

Pros:
Weight. Seriously. The minimal weight of this thing is by far the most impressive feature about it in my opinion. It seems to defy physics and logic that so much could be in such a small space working that hard for that long.

Battery Life. From full to dead my iPad 2 went just over 11 hours with the movie Robin Hood showing twice during that time, the screen at half brightness, wifi turned on, an Angry Birds marathon and a good portion of a book in ibook. That's better than a work day and that's constantly on.

Books. This is definitely a Pro, but reading itself could go either way. The great benefit to the iPad is having access to Google Books, ibook, Nook, and Kindle. This allows for some comparison shopping and price competition (although for the most part they're all usually about the same). Reading in the evenings in bed is great as the back light means you don't have to worry about keeping others awake, but the glass screen causes some glare trouble when trying to read outside or near a sunny window. If you're an avid outdoor reader the Kindle might still be your best bet.

Cons:
Still no dedicated USB support. While there is a camera add-on that allows for certain USB devices to be used there is no option for mass storage. Some of the Android Tablets allow for this and if you find yourself wanting to use your tablet as a standalone storage device this might be something to consider. The device can read from certain flash drives though, but is largely limited to photo and video files. Jailbreaks offer solutions to this, but those come with their own issues as well.

Still no dedicated SD card slot. This is troublesome on two fronts. First, if you want to import pictures from your camera you have to have an adapter which is just one more thing to carry around. Second, the lack of expansion means you're limited to what you purchase in terms of storage. I purchased a 32GB iPad last time and never filled it up completely, so for me capacity wasn't an issue. If you want to be able to have your entire movie collection with you though... you may want to consider whether the iPad 2 can meet your space requirements.

HDMI output. Really this is a Pro and a Con. The iPad does allow for HD output over HDMI but again it requires an adapter. All of these adapters are additional purchases for features that some tablets offer built in. This can be a pain, but then again if you're not likely to ever use HDMI Output then you're not paying for something you won't use.

No Flash Support. This is becoming less and less of an issue as the internet and web developers are moving away from Flash for many websites, but there are a lot still out there relying on Adobe's Flash to run properly (including a lot of web based games). Before you pick a tablet consider what kind of websites you frequent and try and determine if they are Flash driven or not. If they are you may really want to consider something from the Android offerings as it is expected that they'll have at least some Flash support.

If you're in the market for a tablet device the iPad 2 should definitely be on your short list. If you're uncertain it is always best to go and play with these things hands on first if you can. Best Buy is a good place for that, so are Verizon Stores since they have the Xoom and 3G iPad. Don't get pulled into the hype and mania that comes with an Apple release. They're exciting and new, and they're impressive enough to warrant some excitement, but it will die down and there will be other products that prove a strong competitor to the iPad 2. If you're looking for right now though, this is probably your best bet. I gave the device 4 stars, as I did the iPad 1. I did this in contemplation of the features offered by competitors that are absent from the iPad, most notably the requirement for adapters for USB/SD/HDMI. While these features are there, they aren't as convenient as in other tablets. With that in mind I firmly believe that the iPad more than makes up for this in usability, reliability, and design and in those areas far exceeds its current competitors.


No Title Available

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Step Closer, March 15, 2011
For anyone out there who is considering whether or not to make the leap and purchase the iPad 2, this review is for you. If you're still debating between the iPad 1 and the iPad 2 check out my review of the first generation iPad right here on Amazon to see a discussion of its strengths and weaknesses with a number of people commenting (both positively and negatively) over the past 11 months.

Let me begin by saying this upfront, I don't work for Apple, I don't own Apple Stock, and whether you buy an iPad, Xoom, a laptop or a pad of paper and pencil I don't get anything for writing this. I'm not an Apple "fanboy" although I can give credit where credit is due and lately Apple has deserved a lot of credit for some of their products.

Physical Characteristics
The iPad 2 is absurdly thin. More importantly than it's thinness is its tapered edge which feels more natural in your hand. One of the biggest complaints about the original iPad was it really wasn't tremendously comfortable to hold for long periods at a time. For a tablet device designed to be held, that's a pretty big deal. Apple really has done an amazing job of cramming everything into an even smaller space than before and the difference is really noticeable when you're holding the device. In addition to the tapered edge, Apple managed to reduce the overall weight of the iPad 2. That might not seem like a huge deal to most, especially when you consider the weight difference isn't tremendous when you're already under 2 pounds, but I spend a good part of my day holding the iPad in my hands and the weight difference is surprising by the end of the day. The first generation isn't heavy by any means, but the iPad 2 outshines it.

New and "Improved"
Apple doubled the RAM in the iPad 2 from 256MB to 512MB. What does that mean? For most casual users, probably not a whole lot. There is a performance bump that everyone will see the effects of in things like loading times for webpages that are open in the background, but 256MB was sufficient for most daily use and games. If you're planning to use your device for some of the more graphically intense games the iPad 2 does offer a better method of graphics processing that'll help deliver faster images with fewer jerky movements. If you're just playing Angry birds and reading e-mail you're not going to know the difference.

The screen is the same for all real purposes. It is technically a "new" part in that it isn't identical to the old, it's a bit thinner and more efficient, but it's the same resolution. The Glass is thinner though, and this amounts to a fair bit of the weight loss from one generation to the next. In playing with the device it seems surprising but despite feeling lighter it actually feels more sturdy in your hands. I still wouldn't suggest dropping it, but if it were to fall the iPad 2 certainly feels like it might stand a better chance to survive. Try not to drop it though.

The addition of 2 cameras was expected. Some were a bit surprised to see the first generation released without the cameras. Whether it was for a price point consideration, or a means to get people to upgrade, Apple held off until iPad 2. The cameras do a reasonable job, but they're not going to replace a dedicated digital camera, or really even the camera on your phone for most still images. The cameras do a substantially better job with video, and FaceTime is probably one of the best reasons to get the iPad 2 over the original iPad. For those who might not be familiar, FaceTime is Apple's face to face conferencing system, kind of like Skype, or if you'd rather, kind of like the Jetson's TV/Phone. With the push of a button you can be having a face to face chat with a loved one just about anywhere in the world (provided they're on a wireless network at the time). FaceTime doesn't work over 3G natively (it can be used over a wifi connection created by a 3G device however) so you're not going to be able to use it in your car anytime soon. This is probably a good thing though. It is incredibly easy to use and if you know other people with an iPad 2, iPhone 4, or Mac it's a lot of fun.

Smart Covers aren't really "smart" but they're really very useful. Not only do they provide a stylistic enhancement of the device, but they serve a practical and functional purpose of doubling as a screen protector and stand in 2 configurations. You can find them in a variety of colors and from third market suppliers, and it's a safe bet that more will be out soon to capitalize on the magnetic sensors in the iPad 2. It's unfortunate that this same feature can't somehow be retrofitted to the iPad 1, I wouldn't have thought a case would be a compelling reason to consider a product over it's competitor, but these covers are really so useful it's hard to understand why they've not been there since the beginning.

Multitasking Support
One of the biggest knocks against the iPad when first released was the lack of native multi-tasking support. Jailbreakers added the feature quickly and Apple soon realized it would be a requirement for any future device's success and released an OS update that included the feature. The iPad 2 capitalizes on that progress and takes it a step further with the increased RAM enabling more open applications to be suspended at once, and the time to open or close an application has improved as well. That said, even the first generation managed to open and close apps faster than most people would be used to on their computers, so while this is an improvement it's more akin to showing off.

Apps
One thing that Apple has clearly the advantage in for the moment is app availability. The App store has close to 70,000 iPad specific Apps, all of which will work on the iPad 2. The new cameras will undoubtedly see this list expand rapidly, as will the inclusion of a gyroscope for gaming and motion based uses. There are also a substantial number of professional applications ranging from document creation to photo editing and vector drawing. Chances are if you can dream it, there's an App for that (and if not you might want to get started on one to fill in the gap). The Android market is making a strong showing, and ultimately it'll likely be a strong competitor, for now it still has a ways to go, but any potential buyer should consider the strength of the application market before buying a tablet.

Pros:
Weight. Seriously. The minimal weight of this thing is by far the most impressive feature about it in my opinion. It seems to defy physics and logic that so much could be in such a small space working that hard for that long.

Battery Life. From full to dead my iPad 2 went just over 11 hours with the movie Robin Hood showing twice during that time, the screen at half brightness, wifi turned on, an Angry Birds marathon and a good portion of a book in ibook. That's better than a work day and that's constantly on.

Books. This is definitely a Pro, but reading itself could go either way. The great benefit to the iPad is having access to Google Books, ibook, Nook, and Kindle. This allows for some comparison shopping and price competition (although for the most part they're all usually about the same). Reading in the evenings in bed is great as the back light means you don't have to worry about keeping others awake, but the glass screen causes some glare trouble when trying to read outside or near a sunny window. If you're an avid outdoor reader the Kindle might still be your best bet.

Cons:
Still no dedicated USB support. While there is a camera add-on that allows for certain USB devices to be used there is no option for mass storage. Some of the Android Tablets allow for this and if you find yourself wanting to use your tablet as a standalone storage device this might be something to consider. The device can read from certain flash drives though, but is largely limited to photo and video files. Jailbreaks offer solutions to this, but those come with their own issues as well.

Still no dedicated SD card slot. This is troublesome on two fronts. First, if you want to import pictures from your camera you have to have an adapter which is just one more thing to carry around. Second, the lack of expansion means you're limited to what you purchase in terms of storage. I purchased a 32GB iPad last time and never filled it up completely, so for me capacity wasn't an issue. If you want to be able to have your entire movie collection with you though... you may want to consider whether the iPad 2 can meet your space requirements.

HDMI output. Really this is a Pro and a Con. The iPad does allow for HD output over HDMI but again it requires an adapter. All of these adapters are additional purchases for features that some tablets offer built in. This can be a pain, but then again if you're not likely to ever use HDMI Output then you're not paying for something you won't use.

No Flash Support. This is becoming less and less of an issue as the internet and web developers are moving away from Flash for many websites, but there are a lot still out there relying on Adobe's Flash to run properly (including a lot of web based games). Before you pick a tablet consider what kind of websites you frequent and try and determine if they are Flash driven or not. If they are you may really want to consider something from the Android offerings as it is expected that they'll have at least some Flash support.

If you're in the market for a tablet device the iPad 2 should definitely be on your short list. If you're uncertain it is always best to go and play with these things hands on first if you can. Best Buy is a good place for that, so are Verizon Stores since they have the Xoom and 3G iPad. Don't get pulled into the hype and mania that comes with an Apple release. They're exciting and new, and they're impressive enough to warrant some excitement, but it will die down and there will be other products that prove a strong competitor to the iPad 2. If you're looking for right now though, this is probably your best bet. I gave the device 4 stars, as I did the iPad 1. I did this in contemplation of the features offered by competitors that are absent from the iPad, most notably the requirement for adapters for USB/SD/HDMI. While these features are there, they aren't as convenient as in other tablets. With that in mind I firmly believe that the iPad more than makes up for this in usability, reliability, and design and in those areas far exceeds its current competitors.


No Title Available

34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Step Closer, March 14, 2011
For anyone out there who is considering whether or not to make the leap and purchase the iPad 2, this review is for you. If you're still debating between the iPad 1 and the iPad 2 check out my review of the first generation iPad right here on Amazon to see a discussion of its strengths and weaknesses with a number of people commenting (both positively and negatively) over the past 11 months.

Let me begin by saying this upfront, I don't work for Apple, I don't own Apple Stock, and whether you buy an iPad, Xoom, a laptop or a pad of paper and pencil I don't get anything for writing this. I'm not an Apple "fanboy" although I can give credit where credit is due and lately Apple has deserved a lot of credit for some of their products.

Physical Characteristics
The iPad 2 is absurdly thin. More importantly than it's thinness is its tapered edge which feels more natural in your hand. One of the biggest complaints about the original iPad was it really wasn't tremendously comfortable to hold for long periods at a time. For a tablet device designed to be held, that's a pretty big deal. Apple really has done an amazing job of cramming everything into an even smaller space than before and the difference is really noticeable when you're holding the device. In addition to the tapered edge, Apple managed to reduce the overall weight of the iPad 2. That might not seem like a huge deal to most, especially when you consider the weight difference isn't tremendous when you're already under 2 pounds, but I spend a good part of my day holding the iPad in my hands and the weight difference is surprising by the end of the day. The first generation isn't heavy by any means, but the iPad 2 outshines it.

New and "Improved"
Apple doubled the RAM in the iPad 2 from 256MB to 512MB. What does that mean? For most casual users, probably not a whole lot. There is a performance bump that everyone will see the effects of in things like loading times for webpages that are open in the background, but 256MB was sufficient for most daily use and games. If you're planning to use your device for some of the more graphically intense games the iPad 2 does offer a better method of graphics processing that'll help deliver faster images with fewer jerky movements. If you're just playing Angry birds and reading e-mail you're not going to know the difference.

The screen is the same for all real purposes. It is technically a "new" part in that it isn't identical to the old, it's a bit thinner and more efficient, but it's the same resolution. The Glass is thinner though, and this amounts to a fair bit of the weight loss from one generation to the next. In playing with the device it seems surprising but despite feeling lighter it actually feels more sturdy in your hands. I still wouldn't suggest dropping it, but if it were to fall the iPad 2 certainly feels like it might stand a better chance to survive. Try not to drop it though.

The addition of 2 cameras was expected. Some were a bit surprised to see the first generation released without the cameras. Whether it was for a price point consideration, or a means to get people to upgrade, Apple held off until iPad 2. The cameras do a reasonable job, but they're not going to replace a dedicated digital camera, or really even the camera on your phone for most still images. The cameras do a substantially better job with video, and FaceTime is probably one of the best reasons to get the iPad 2 over the original iPad. For those who might not be familiar, FaceTime is Apple's face to face conferencing system, kind of like Skype, or if you'd rather, kind of like the Jetson's TV/Phone. With the push of a button you can be having a face to face chat with a loved one just about anywhere in the world (provided they're on a wireless network at the time). FaceTime doesn't work over 3G natively (it can be used over a wifi connection created by a 3G device however) so you're not going to be able to use it in your car anytime soon. This is probably a good thing though. It is incredibly easy to use and if you know other people with an iPad 2, iPhone 4, or Mac it's a lot of fun.

Smart Covers aren't really "smart" but they're really very useful. Not only do they provide a stylistic enhancement of the device, but they serve a practical and functional purpose of doubling as a screen protector and stand in 2 configurations. You can find them in a variety of colors and from third market suppliers, and it's a safe bet that more will be out soon to capitalize on the magnetic sensors in the iPad 2. It's unfortunate that this same feature can't somehow be retrofitted to the iPad 1, I wouldn't have thought a case would be a compelling reason to consider a product over it's competitor, but these covers are really so useful it's hard to understand why they've not been there since the beginning.

Multitasking Support
One of the biggest knocks against the iPad when first released was the lack of native multi-tasking support. Jailbreakers added the feature quickly and Apple soon realized it would be a requirement for any future device's success and released an OS update that included the feature. The iPad 2 capitalizes on that progress and takes it a step further with the increased RAM enabling more open applications to be suspended at once, and the time to open or close an application has improved as well. That said, even the first generation managed to open and close apps faster than most people would be used to on their computers, so while this is an improvement it's more akin to showing off.

Apps
One thing that Apple has clearly the advantage in for the moment is app availability. The App store has close to 70,000 iPad specific Apps, all of which will work on the iPad 2. The new cameras will undoubtedly see this list expand rapidly, as will the inclusion of a gyroscope for gaming and motion based uses. There are also a substantial number of professional applications ranging from document creation to photo editing and vector drawing. Chances are if you can dream it, there's an App for that (and if not you might want to get started on one to fill in the gap). The Android market is making a strong showing, and ultimately it'll likely be a strong competitor, for now it still has a ways to go, but any potential buyer should consider the strength of the application market before buying a tablet.

Pros:
Weight. Seriously. The minimal weight of this thing is by far the most impressive feature about it in my opinion. It seems to defy physics and logic that so much could be in such a small space working that hard for that long.

Battery Life. From full to dead my iPad 2 went just over 11 hours with the movie Robin Hood showing twice during that time, the screen at half brightness, wifi turned on, an Angry Birds marathon and a good portion of a book in ibook. That's better than a work day and that's constantly on.

Books. This is definitely a Pro, but reading itself could go either way. The great benefit to the iPad is having access to Google Books, ibook, Nook, and Kindle. This allows for some comparison shopping and price competition (although for the most part they're all usually about the same). Reading in the evenings in bed is great as the back light means you don't have to worry about keeping others awake, but the glass screen causes some glare trouble when trying to read outside or near a sunny window. If you're an avid outdoor reader the Kindle might still be your best bet.

Cons:
Still no dedicated USB support. While there is a camera add-on that allows for certain USB devices to be used there is no option for mass storage. Some of the Android Tablets allow for this and if you find yourself wanting to use your tablet as a standalone storage device this might be something to consider. The device can read from certain flash drives though, but is largely limited to photo and video files. Jailbreaks offer solutions to this, but those come with their own issues as well.

Still no dedicated SD card slot. This is troublesome on two fronts. First, if you want to import pictures from your camera you have to have an adapter which is just one more thing to carry around. Second, the lack of expansion means you're limited to what you purchase in terms of storage. I purchased a 32GB iPad last time and never filled it up completely, so for me capacity wasn't an issue. If you want to be able to have your entire movie collection with you though... you may want to consider whether the iPad 2 can meet your space requirements.

HDMI output. Really this is a Pro and a Con. The iPad does allow for HD output over HDMI but again it requires an adapter. All of these adapters are additional purchases for features that some tablets offer built in. This can be a pain, but then again if you're not likely to ever use HDMI Output then you're not paying for something you won't use.

No Flash Support. This is becoming less and less of an issue as the internet and web developers are moving away from Flash for many websites, but there are a lot still out there relying on Adobe's Flash to run properly (including a lot of web based games). Before you pick a tablet consider what kind of websites you frequent and try and determine if they are Flash driven or not. If they are you may really want to consider something from the Android offerings as it is expected that they'll have at least some Flash support.

If you're in the market for a tablet device the iPad 2 should definitely be on your short list. If you're uncertain it is always best to go and play with these things hands on first if you can. Best Buy is a good place for that, so are Verizon Stores since they have the Xoom and 3G iPad. Don't get pulled into the hype and mania that comes with an Apple release. They're exciting and new, and they're impressive enough to warrant some excitement, but it will die down and there will be other products that prove a strong competitor to the iPad 2. If you're looking for right now though, this is probably your best bet. I gave the device 4 stars, as I did the iPad 1. I did this in contemplation of the features offered by competitors that are absent from the iPad, most notably the requirement for adapters for USB/SD/HDMI. While these features are there, they aren't as convenient as in other tablets. With that in mind I firmly believe that the iPad more than makes up for this in usability, reliability, and design and in those areas far exceeds its current competitors.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2011 1:33 PM PDT


No Title Available

3,818 of 3,924 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A leap in the right direction, April 3, 2010
I've now spent the better part of a day playing with the new iPad, and while it excels in many things there are still some things anyone considering buying one should probably keep in mind.

First the good sides:

This thing is very fast, opening and closing applications is quick, the screen is incredibly responsive, there is no lag while typing, and the built in Safari browser does a great job of quickly loading even graphic intense pages.

The not so good sides:

As has been thoroughly pointed out, there is not presently much in the way of multitasking within the iPhone OS, but with most expectations pointing towards a summer release of OS 4.0 this might be remedied by mid summer, and almost certainly by a generation 2 release. That said, it should be kept in mind that on such a little screen being able to view multiple applications at once will likely never be something you'll use, and the speed by which you can open and close applications makes this less a headache than you might think. It isn't as fast as moving between open apps, but it isn't a deal breaker by any means. The lack of a camera in this generation is a little surprising, while I've purchased my iPad already, I honestly believe that with the number of competitors expected over the course of 2010 we're probably going to see a generation 2 by Christmas with a camera. It's still an amazing device, but the ability to video chat with it would definitely put it over the top, that's a feature worth waiting for. The lack of Flash support isn't as irritating as I expected it to be, but still something to consider. Many major sites have evolved to html5, or are in the process of doing so. This allows for full viewing by the Safari browser, and where it exists, it works great. The remaining sites still using Flash show up with annoying little boxes looking for a plugin that is likely never going to exist. If you spend a lot of time on flash heavy sites it really probably is worth considering holding out to see how the Slate/Android Tablets look in a few months, but if you're mostly just e-mailing and checking facebook (no Farmville) the lack of Flash support probably won't bother you too much.

As a laptop replacement:

The inclusion of the iWorks utilities gives this device a little bit of a laptop personality. Don't let that persuade you into believing that you don't need a computer though. You might be able to get away with ditching a laptop if all you really do is e-mail or very light word processing, but if you do anything more than that you'll like the freedom and ease a full computer offers for more complex tasks. That said, this device is a tremendous leap towards a future tablet style device that may very well be a replacement for your computer, but for now it is more of a casual use device than something you can really expect to do substantial work with. I have put together a presentation in keynote, which was easy enough to do, but pages isn't as intuitive as I'd have liked, and taking lengthy notes or writing long letters/e-mails/reports will probably make it worth considering buying either the keyboard dock or the wireless bluetooth keyboard.

Battery life seems to live up to the claims, I managed to get about 7 hours before getting the 20% remaining battery life indication, which puts it about right for 10 hours or so of total use. One very important thing to realize about charging the device is that presently (at launch) there is some issues with charging via USB from many computers. The iPad is different than other iPod products, it requires a bit more power to charge up, and unfortunately most USB ports aren't set up to support that higher power draw. This is something that may be fixed in a firmware update to allow for a slower charge, or it may simply be that you'll need to either rely on a new Mac (seems like they can handle the power issue) or rely on the wall charger. Just don't be surprised if you plug it into your computer and it doesn't show that it is charging.

All in all, the iPad is an impressive device that might make for a reasonable replacement of a netbook for casual users. For people who need something to really do a lot of work on, you may find that for the price that a netbook or laptop still offers the better value for your needs. Future generations of this device will probably transition into fitting that market better than this first generation. However, if you're an avid reader, casual gamer, music fan, who doesn't do much more on the web than check a few sites, and e-mail. This thing is definitely worth considering! If you're on the fence, nothing about this product is so incredible as to justify running out and buying one right now, but it is worthy of your consideration if you're thinking you might like a tablet style device. I definitely would encourage you to go play with one at best buy or an apple store to get a feel for it. With a number of competitors due out over the next few months we're likely to see some price movement, or a second generation release, so it may be worth it to wait it out a little while.

One final note, the screen is absolutely gorgeous while it is turned on. It is crisp, bright, and very easy to see from any angle. But when you turn it off, every finger print and swipe is suddenly very visible (while it is on the light is bright enough you don't see them fingerprints). If you are a neat freak, or just hate finger prints on your devices you'll have to invest in some microfiber cloths or get used to using your shirt sleeve!

In conclusion, it's a lot of fun, and I'm not the least bit sorry to have bought one. It does many things, and over the next months will do many more. If you think you want one, go play with one, and if you don't want to wait for a next generation this one is definitely awesome. If you have specific needs that aren't really addressed in this generation or by apple, don't let the hype or peer pressure bully you into this one, there are a number of devices coming with great potential, one of those might be a better fit.
Comment Comments (132) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 22, 2013 4:27 AM PST


Samsung Omnia i910 Phone, Silver (Verizon Wireless)
Samsung Omnia i910 Phone, Silver (Verizon Wireless)

88 of 89 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect, December 6, 2008
Pros: The haptic feedback is very responsive, the business card reader works fantastic (take a picture of a business card and it stores it as a new contact), the etiquette mode (face down the phone doesn't ring) is really nice too. Easy sync with e-mail.

Cons: I really didn't like the widget interface, but thankfully it is easy to change and aftermarket options like SPB are great alternatives. It is pretty crucial to remap the task switcher to a key so you can kill programs, otherwise windows slows down.

Summary: I have been a long time Treo user, and my last one ran windows mobile instead of the palm system. Windows mobile is really very functional but it tends to leave programs running in the background regardless of what phone you use. Dell addressed this in their PDAs with a task switcher, and I'm very glad to see a similar program employed on the Omnia. Remapping the keys on the side is very simple and makes pulling up the task switcher very easy and keeps windows running smoothly.

Before I go into details on some of the various qualities of this phone I want to emphasize a couple of things. First, while this phone is advertised as having GPS abilities, these are strictly tied to Verizon's Navigator Service, if you're looking to replace your stand alone GPS with a phone and don't want to pay $9.95 a month this phone currently locks you from using any other navigation service. Accordingly the "GeoTagging" feature for photos that is available on the unlocked version of this phone isn't currently available on the Verizon version. I say right now because it is always possible that Verizon will release a firmware update down the road that allows some of these features, but you should know before you buy just what you're getting. That said, still a pretty awesome phone!

The size and weight of the phone is great, it isn't heavy, doesn't weigh down your pockets, but it has some heft to it so you don't feel like you're playing with a toy or something easily broken (that said, I don't think this phone would do well being dropped much). It fits comfortably in my pocket, no bulge. There is an available holster case for it, but personally I've never liked having my phone on my waist.

Typing --
This was where I really expected the most trouble with the phone. I'm used to real keys and so the touch screen keyboard worried me. It's not as effective or quick as my Treo, but I think speed will improve with some practice. That said, typing in portrait mode is very difficult and it is almost a requirement to turn the phone to landscape to type any message. You can change the type method from keyboard to a T9 style number pad which does help vertical typing considerably.

Call Quality --
After all, this is a phone. Calls came through very clearly, and the people on the other end had no trouble hearing me. The speaker phone is loud enough to be heard over ambient noise and does a good job of picking up voice too. The listener on the other end did say they could hear a lot of background noise when on speaker phone so it might be better used in an office setting or someplace where you can limit the amount of noise around you. Still, for as often as anyone uses speakerphone it is more than adequate.

The interface --
I have to give credit to Samsung for their widget interface. I personally don't like it, but I am a creature of habit and know where stuff is on my old phone and just wanted to recreate that. My girlfriend loved the widgets, they were simple enough to her to be able to be comfortable navigating the phone in about half an hour. They might not be the first choice for more serious users, but they do a good job making windows mobile a bit more finger friendly.

Battery Life --
Well this depends... I've enjoyed playing with my phone pretty much nonstop since I got it, and that screen does seem to kill the battery pretty quick. I haven't made it all the way through the day without needing to plug it in, but I've found that if I plug it into my computer while at my desk, or into my car while I'm driving it will do very well staying fully charged. Wouldn't wander off without a power source for more than a day though.

The stylus--
I seriously doubt anyone will use this thing, it might have been a nice addition had they been able to build it into the body of the phone instead but putting it on a little leash just makes it impractical.

The Camera--
I haven't fully explored all of the built in options as far as editing goes, but so far it seems pretty good. The flash isn't a flash in the traditional sense you might be used to. It is a very bright LED that does a good job for subjects that aren't more than maybe 4 or 5 feet away, but you're not going to light up a room with it or anything, keep your expectation reasonable and you'll be pleasantly surprised with it's effectiveness. (The flash also doubles as a flashlight which is an interesting feature). The downside to the LED flash is that I'm having trouble with Red Eye, but that is so easy to edit these days that it's hardly worth mentioning.

All in all... If you're looking for a multimedia phone with smart phone abilities this is a great phone. If you're looking primarily for a phone to handle e-mails then you might find the touch keyboard on this a little aggravating. If you're a seasoned windows mobile user the phone is exactly what you're used to but better, if you're a cross over from Blackberry, or this is your first foray into the smart phone world the widget interface is simple enough you should be comfortable within half an hour or so. The phone has put an emphasis on media playback, and if you're looking for a phone that can handle e-mail but really serves as an mp3 player, decent camera, web-browsing, and occasional video watching, this is about as good as they come.

I would absolutely recommend this phone to anyone looking for a good all in one sort of phone, with the caveat that long e-mails aren't as easy as they might be on other devices. It's still windows, it still slows down some, and it is almost impossible to respond to messages one handed (which I suppose you shouldn't be doing anyway) and I kind of wish they had built in a stylus (could have even made it the FM's ant. since to use that feature you have to plug something else in). All those things in mind I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Hope my review helps. Happy Holidays!
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 18, 2009 6:08 AM PDT


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