iPad 2: First Impressions

iPad 2 images via apple.com.

Many of you know that I’ve been chomping at the bit to get my hands on the new iPad 2, and so I have. This is my first experience

with an iPad…I didn’t buy the first version because history has taught me to never spend money on the first version of anything, technology-wise.

I’ve spent about a week with my 16GB, Wi-Fi only iPad 2, and have learned quite a bit about these devices even in this short time. I imagine this will be the fist of several posts on how the iPad 2 factors into my life as a fashion blogger, technophile, and all-around Curious Georg(oulakos).

What I love…

  • It’s tiny. But not too. It’s smaller than a sheet of notebook paper (!), but easier to surf on than a smartphone. Which means itreally is ultra-portable. No backbreaking laptop (that has to be lugged out at airport security) will be accompanying me on future trips. Have iPad, will travel.
  • It’s sexy. Seriously! If technology turns you on, iPad 2 most definitely will.
  • It’s convenient. How many times do Hubby and I Google something or pull up Fandango on our iPhones while sitting on the sofa in front of the TV? Um, too many to count. The iPad is a happy medium between running to your PC and Googling via the iPhone. It’s so much easier to do a quick Web search on the iPad.
  • The Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit. Totally worth the money. Easily transfer photos from your iPhone 4 to your iPad, from your SD card to your iPad, and from any camera (via USB) to your iPad.
  • Apple’s Smart Cover. It really is smart. Flip it open and your iPad automatically turns on. Close it and it turns off, all courtesy of magnets, which are also used to attach the cover to the iPad. It is as streamlined as you could possibly get. No bulk, and it can act as an easel too.

Of course, if a photo is worth a thousand words, video is worth many times that. So here is a little clip I shot using an iPhone 4, and edited using the iMovie app for iPad (totally want to wax philosophic about this fab little app and many others—and I will—in a future post). Forgive the tight cinematography…would loved to have had wider shots, but it’s kind of hard using one hand to record and the other to show off iPad 2!

PS: I know someone is bound to ask…I did my nails myself using Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Misbehaved. Pretty cool, huh?

What I’ve learned so far…

It may be a quasi-mobile device, but it’s not recognized as one.

This was a surprising discovery for me. Below are screen shots of my blog when accessed from my iPhone 4. You can see the Mobile Theme toggle button at the end of the standard display (on left), which gives users the option to view the mobile version of my blog (on right). Note: I use WP Touch for blog mobilization.

Grit & Glamour via iPhone—standard display on left, mobile display on right:


Grit & Glamour as displayed on my iPad:

Notice on the iPad, there is no option for a mobile display version? Is having the option for a mobile display on the iPad a big deal? Perhaps not, since the iPad interface is large enough to surf comfortably. But I wonder if, for the sake of speed and load time, a mobile version would be a benefit for iPad users. And for commenting and sharing. Read why below.

Tip: Wondering how to take a screen capture on an iPhone or iPad? Navigate to the screen you want a shot of. Hold down the Home button and On/Off switch at the same time. The shot will automatically be added to your photo gallery.

Safari doesn’t really like Disqus.

Safari, which is the default browser for Apple products, is the browser Web pages will automatically launch in on the iPad. I’m currently testing another browser, Terra, but will discuss any revelations I have about it in another post.

This past weekend, I was reading tweets via Hootsuite for iPad, and I jumped over to (adorable, brainy) Tony Wang’s post.fashionism after he sent out this tweet:

@thetonywang Mar 18, 6:41pm via TweetMeme
From 3-D content to tablet computing, here are my top fashion & technology trends for March 2011! What do you think? | http://bit.ly/exd8Pc


I typed up this long comment to leave on Tony’s post:

Astute realizations, Tony, but this is no surprise coming from you. Since I am commenting via my new iPad 2, I can attest to the fact that tablets are indeed changing the face of computing; I was never compelled to go the netbook route but tablets marry the ebook and mobile computing in a streamlined and totally portable way.

Anyway, I think your observations are excellent! The 3D stuff is here and doesn’t seem to be lessening in the least. Looking forward to your future posts on tech and fashion…yay!



Then I tried to submit my comment. Again and again…

But Disqus would have no part of it. I could never submit the comment—the system just froze, so I copied the comment and emailed to myself so I could share it with Tony later…and here with you all, as a lesson learned. Be warned: Disqus (on iPad) does not like wordy comments! Truth be told, I have actually commented successfully via Disqus while on my iPad, but it was a one-liner comment. Literally. So if you plan on leaving a long comment via Disqus while on your iPad, you may want to wait until you’re in front of your computer so you don’t risk losing your carefully crafted comment.

PS: Thank you, Tony, for allowing me to share this experience with others. You’re the best!

==A Sidebar on Blog Commenting Systems==
Not that long ago, several bloggers in my sphere asked about Disqus vs. inherent commenting systems in WordPress and Blogger vs. Intense Debate. This has been my experience: for WordPress specifically, the inherent commenting system spanks every other one for spam control, reliability, comment management, and the ability to comment via computer or mobile device. As a commenter, I have regularly experienced problems with Blogger’s system, Disqus, and my least favorite, Intense Debate. If you’re a WP-user, just because Disqus is offered as a plug-in doesn’t mean you should use it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I don’t think the battery really lasts 10 hours.

I have factory-setting brightness and use my iPad with Wi-Fi, not 3G. I feel like I’m getting about six hours out of a charge, maybe eight. And that’s just for everyday use—some emailing, tweeting, a little bit of video editing, moderate Web surfing.

When I uploaded the video above to YouTube straight from the iPad, my battery had only 16% of  full charge left. When the charge hit 10% and got a low battery notice, I plugged it in, terrified it would die in the middle of uploading and I’d have to do it all again. So I don’t really know exactly how much that kind of task saps battery life, but to drop that much indicates some pretty rapid battery consumption, especially for a video clip that’s barely over a minute long. Bear that in mind if you plan to use an iPad extensively, while away from a power source.

Downloading apps and charging takes longer than the iPhone.

I guess that’s the trade-off for a bigger display. If you think you can throw your iPad 2 on a charger and zip out with a full charge in an hour or so, think again. It takes several hours. But a built-in battery percentage indicator makes it easy to know exactly where you stand.

Apps do take a lot longer to download. And digital subscriptions? You better pack the fastest Internet downloading speed possible. I tried to download the March version of Elle magazine (I’m already a subscriber, so it’s free), and it took so long I finally quit. I imagine it would really chew up my paltry 16GB of space too. Good thing I prefer paper mags.

Overall first impression of iPad 2?

There are some limitations, yes. But all-in-all, iLike. 🙂


  1. Yeah…..I feel the same about the Disqus thing. I do like it, but sometimes it wants to work, sometimes it doesn’t. I just refrained from ever going there again.

    Your nails + the iPad 2 test-drive in that movie clip *drool*


  2. Once again, you’ve proven that you’re my most informative blogging friend! Thanks for the information.

    I’ve been toiling with the idea of getting an iPad and/or an iPhone and/or a Macbook — I’m REALLY going to need your help making that decision! If I had the money, I’d get all three, but I don’t, so I have to decide which to invest in first: the cheapest or most expensive? Which one will be worth it in the long run… which one is more important RIGHT NOW?

    You’re my techiest blogger friend… and probably my techiest friend period, haha. My friends love to stay up on the latest fashion trends, but when it comes to computers we’re all stuck in 2005. I have a feeling I’ll have to e-mail you so we can have a real conversation about this. I’ve thought about doing a post about it, too, and seeing what others have to say in the comments…

    Anyway, cute video, lovely hands!

    Twitter @theloudermouth
    Birthday Blog Event

  3. Hei sweets, this is such an interesting post, you are in a different league all toghether in terms of toys like this, but it sure looks fun! This is a great review, I enjoyed reading it and will share it with my brother. Hope all is well at your end. love, Anika

  4. Yet another gadget to add onto my growing list of tech-wants! I’ve played around on my brother’s iPad, 1st generation, and thought it was awesome, so I can just imagine how much better the iPad 2 is. Although I don’t know if I would actually have a real use for it – I don’t mind browing on my iPhone and my laptop is pretty much my third arm! 😉

  5. I have to say that except for the cameras, I don’t think the 2nd version has improved much. I heard that it’s slightly lighter but not that much. I am really happy with my 1st generation iPad so I’ll stick with it until they make some awesome impovements. 🙂

  6. This is great to read – the better half is hopefully getting his on Friday when they come out here in France. I am, of course,marginally excited myself – how much easier will it be to read all my favourite blogs?! So this is a great little insight for me – thanks! XX

  7. Thanks so much for this review! I have been torn: I want to purchase one, but they’re quite expensive. A friend of mine offered to sell me his iPad (original version) for $300, but this new one looks too good to pass up. When playing around with my friend’s iPad, I had the same experience with Elle magazine. Sometimes the app would shut down in the middle of perusing too, but I’m sure they’ve worked out kinks since I last tried it.

  8. Looks like this is going on my lust-list now! Thanks for sharing such in depth info… I was chuckling at the mention that this is one sexy piece of tech! I would never buy any 1st gen piece of technology either – so much room for improvement.
    I should imagine they’re a significantly more cheaper in the US… hmmm.

    Have a great week V! Love your nails as usual. I did my nails in Comic book stylee this week, – hot pink on all nails but one, with blue with white zig zag effect and a big fat ‘pow’ written in black.


  9. You write the best posts! I know when I come to Grit&Glamour I am in for good information. This is a great review. I’m not up for an ipad just yet but it sure is interesting learning about the technology and what you go through to post and comment. Sorry about the intense debate thing. For me > it is better than Blogger Comment system since I haven’t migrated to WordPress just yet.
    iPad2 sounds like a great little tool. I just can’t make the investment yet. Loved reading about it though!

  10. I have the first iPad and love it. It’s a great medium between the iPhone 4 and going for my MacBook, as you said earlier in your review. The iPad apps take longer to download not just because of the bigger screen, but because of the HD graphics and more complicated features of iPad apps. It’s kind of fun to download the iPhone version on your phone and then the iPad version and see how many more features are available to you on the iPad, especially when it comes to games. I really liked your review! It was super thorough and well though out. I’ll always come to Grit & Glamour for the inside info whether it be on blogging or reviews like this one. Superb!

    Lindsay Living

  11. Now, I thought I wouldn’t need to buy an ipad but now after seeing the video I think I now do. I thought having the iphone and the macbook pro would be enough and I wouldn’t need to buy anything that is in between. I certainly didn’t want to buy the first ipad. Like all mac products the first issue is always very limited as to what it can do so I always wait for the next upgrade. I am so happy I did this with the iphone and macbook pro. You would thing apple lovers would know this buy now and they always rush out to buy a first release. About the commenting thing, when you (grit and glamour) make a comment on my site I always need to approve it before it actually gets shown. Normally if I approve a first time commenter the next time they comment, it automatically appears in the comments field of my site without me actually having to approve it. Not sure why this is the case with G&G as you have commented many times on my site.


    1. Funny you mentioned that Lee I always have to approve V’s posts as well even though she has commented in the past.

      I’m already anticipating march 25th for the UK release. I’m so hoping they haven’t sold out when I get to the store after work. Especially as I’d love a white model. It looks fantastic and it was a stella review. The little video was almost like an ipad commercial with the funny music.

      One thing I will note, I know any sort of processor intensive work on a computer will rinse the battery. I use logic on my macbook and know if I didn’t have power cord plugged in it would eat through battery. Editing video is even more processor intensive as well.

      See how you get on with no video editing in terms of battery life.

      You’ve got me amped now to get my iPad 2 on Friday! 🙂

  12. I adore you V for your informative post like this one! I have been wanting an ipad and now ipad2, and you have answered so many of my questions in one great blog post, while teaching me a few things too! I have been using Disqus for about 6 weeks now, and I like it better than the regualr Blogger comments, because I can actually reply to my readers and such. However, I had never heard of Inherent, so I am going to have to look into it!

    Thanks V!

    Twitter: @ConsiderMeLuvly

  13. This is the post I was waiting for! Thank you for putting your thoughts on the iPad 2 together so succinctly. You know I was already coveting one of these, and your words above essentially reinforce what I have been hearing about the iPad 2.

    What do you think about the camera? I’ve heard the resolution leaves something to be desired, but I don’t know that I would really use the camera much.

    My only real choice is whether to BUY NOW or wait until the iPad 3, which rumors suggest may be released as early as Fall 2011 (although I imagine March 2012 is more likely)!

    P.S. LOVE the nails. I have on the denim Nail Effects right now and love them so far!

    1. B, thanks for your comment. The camera on the iPad does suck, except for Facetime or video conferencing. But seriously, I can’t see myself shooting photos or video with the iPad. This is why the iPhone 4 is genius. It actually has a pretty good camera and excellent video quality in decent lighting, and since it’s with me everywhere, it’s the only device that truly matters.

      If you can hold out for the next version of the iPad, go for it! I probably could have too. But after IFB Con, I felt like it was time to explore this technology, if for nothing else than to understand its limitations and practical application.

      PS: Thanks about the nails. I finally found Kitty Kitty and ordered it. Can’t wait! I’m sure you love your denim look. So fun.

  14. Amazing. I’m happy that you did this. Everyone in my office also uses an ipad, (for it’s portability), but I was uncertain about it, and wondering if I really needed it at all. It seems a great investment on the go, which I love! Your nails look so cute! -xxoo

  15. Thanks for giving us all the heads up on the iPad 2 – personal use cases are always so helpful to read! I’m definitely considering one of these and I am going to investigate ways to make this site more mobile friendly. Thanks!

  16. My sister just got it this weekend and she’s in love with it (so far!). I got a deal on a Netbook ($90!), so I got that instead a few months ago, which is part of the reason that we didn’t get an iPad right away (the other reason is one you gave, which is version 1 has the bugs, the next versions will have those worked out). It is very sexy, though, I will have to admit that. We’ll see if either myself or my husband will be tempted to get the iPad in it’s new incarnation.

    Thanks for the review, V!


    1. Thanks, Cyrillyn…at least you have one in the family, and a Netbook at your disposal. I’m sure they’ll only get better over time, so waiting a while longer can’t hurt.

  17. This is very cool! I think this is next on my list of technology to purchase. It looks so fun, and the idea of having something that I can put in my purse instead of lugging a laptop is so lovely.

  18. Ack, my comments didn’t come through! But thanks for the review V! It is a sexy device and we also wanted to wait until the latest incarnation before trying to see if we want one (moreso my husband than me).


  19. I love how in depth this is and it’s a great review however i’ll be opting for the HP touchpad as it has more capabilities and a better operating system plus a camera and more connectivity options. The HP also has flash which the ipad doesn’t. The only downside is that it has a slighter shorter battery life but I can live with that.

  20. Well that’s a bummer about Disqus! I’m on Blogger, so I use Disqus for the ability to reply to comments. Hopefully DIsqus will get the kinks worked out soon since it seems iPads will only get more popular. Oh, and congrats on your new baby! Enjoy it. 🙂

  21. I’m so jealous!! I totally want an iPad even though I really don’t need one. But they just seem so cool. I really appreciate that you were able to give the pros and cons of the device. I feel like often times people are either so excited or so letdown by a big purchase like this one that their review is quite slanted. I look forward to reading in the future (once you’ve had it a little longer and had the chance to utilize it more) how you think that the iPad has changed the way you blog (if it has at all.)

    xo, Ashley

  22. I’ve often considered purchasing an iPad and it’s so nice to have an honest, informative and well-rounded review. I giggled when I saw your tweet about your hubby worrying that you might sleep with it at night. I don’t blame him for being worried though because it sure is damn sexy! Thanks so much for covering this on your blog. You’ve given me a lot to think about. I love the video by the way. And your nails are amazing! xo

  23. Glad I didn’t get an iPhone. If the iPad is this user-friendly I’ll have to head that way. Thanks for this review, V. Love the Curious Georg(oulakos) quip!

    1. Hey doll, thank you. Gotta tell you that I’d be LOST without my iPhone, though. It’s one of the main ways I manage blogging when I can’t be in front of my PC. It is worth every penny! You still might consider one.

  24. Great review V..I have the first IPad….and I have to say, the battery lasts a LONG LONG time…..I also agree with it making sites look better on my IPAD then on my laptop…..Im sure the 2nd version has some newer features, but over all, I really do love me too:)

    1. Hey Collette, thanks! I imagine I ask a lot of my batteries. I think for regular use, it should be OK. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  25. Love this review V! The music in your video is so lovely, what is it?
    Funnily enough, I have never been one to buy the first of new technology. I prefer to watch and wait and see how it pans out for others before I spend my small pot of cash! I bought the second iphone and have been really pleased with it so I’m sure the second ipad would suit me too! ;P
    I can imagine sitting out in the sun in my garden browsing the internet. I was wondering if it had an adobe photoshop app so that I could plug in my tablet to draw on? that would be amazing!
    Since I have moved from blogger to wordpress it has been SO much less stressful as comments go. before when I was on blogger and had disqus so that I could reply directly to everyone, it would mess up so frequently that all i seemed to be doing on there is trying to fix it all the time, so I would definitely say people should stay away, until they fix their problems anyway!
    Can’t wait to see more of these posts, I love technology 🙂

    1. Thanks, Meg! Glad you’ve found the move to WP beneficial. That’s what I keep trying to tell everyone. It’s a smart platform!

      Oh, and the music in the video is the stock music for the Simple template in iMovie. I thought it was cute too. Total no-brainer!

  26. thank you so much for a very in depth review of the Ipad 2 I was drooling over the new sleek design and the cameras but I always think that Apple has some certain limitations, I have worked with them and over all the software and hardware components always changes but who would not love them, they are always fun to play around with…

    Thank you for this V, now I am thinking of having one…but I need a camera first hahaha!!!


    1. Thanks, Sweet! I agree, Apple does have some limitations, but generally, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. And yes, camera first! I actually desperately need a new lens myself.

  27. Gahhhh you’re one informed lady! I love that about you!

    Okay so here’s my question and it’s sooo not even relevant to the iPad haha BUT I want to know about Disqus. I added the plugin awhile back but I get what you’re saying about it. I just had problems with it today…AGAIN. Now, if I remove the plugin, will all my comments be gone. That’s what worries me about deleting the plugin. Let me know, you wise wise lady! 🙂

    1. Thanks Christina…glad that we got your question answered on Twitter. For those who may be wondering the same thing:

      @norcross Mar 22, 9:50pm via TweetDeck:
      @gritandglamour make sure the Disqus settings are set to also store comments in the actual database. then disabling should be fine

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