Smooth with a capital 'Smooth'
Games will run at higher frame rates on the iPad 2 than they did on the first iPad, but I really noticed the change when I opened books in iBooks - you get to the text more quickly, because the initial pagination process takes less time - and long lists of covers in Comixology scroll smoothly where before there was a vague jerkiness as the CPU reached the limit of its ability to keep so many on-screen objects composited and moving evenly.
Dual-core chippery makes for a more fluid UI
Of course, it's only these extreme cases where there's any appreciable difference in UI fluidity. It's tempting when moving around home pages or scrolling through the multi-tasking bar's icons, to think the iPad 2 is quicker, but the truth is the iPad's 1GHz A4 was well able to take the iOS UI in its stride.
Well, until software developers make use of the extra processing power of the A5, and the older chip shows its limits. But then that's the story of personal computing since there was personal computing: older kit outperformed by the new.
For now, though, the original iPad stands up well, but here's where the iPad 2 really improves the proposition: it's a darn sight more comfortable to hold. For a tablet - any tablet - that's a crucial point.
Next page: Top of the form-factor
Cue "but...but...but!" speech from fandroids
No I don't have a tablet. Watching the two fanboi camps slinging mud at each other is amusement enough, and it's free!
I agree with an earlier poster unless you have used one it is difficult to say what will I use it for. I love technology and took a punt and bought an ipad late last year and for me it has been a game changer. I have worked in IT as a Unix sys admin for 20 years now and at long last I am actually in the paperless office, the ipad comes to meetings with me, i display presentations, docs etc on it and write notes, both typing and with one of the pens you can buy in an app called noteshelf. I really didn't expect this to happen, but I have sold my old sony laptop which was a great piece of kit but to be honest was never truly mobile, it had all the connections I thought I would need, sd card. usb etc but never actually used and all my true mobile needs are met by the device and access to dropbox and other online storage
Would like to try an android device but lets all be honest with one another there isnt one out there worth buying yet (and I meet yet I am sure they will come)
And I'll get flamed for trying to answer the question. It's use cant really be explained, you just have to live with one for a while to really get it.
Just look at all the comments, people who don't have them hate them, people who do love them, it's all there between the lines.
the 3.5mm jack
Yes, the semi-exposed jack does look odd.
But the alternative you suggest (sinking it further in) would constrain the different types of jack that could plug in - the jack on my Sennheisers has a 1/4-inch adaptor, and the plastic boot at the back of the 3.5mm jack goes flush with that. Do Apple want a 1/4-inch cut-out in their shiny bevel?
Despite what many will probably say, I think this is a nice bit of kit. I've used the original iPad and it is very nice. For most people browsing, emails and looking at pictures is all they'll use it for, so it fits the bill nicely. So do others, but not as well as this :)
If I had the cash I'd buy one.