There are costs. The controls are now mounted into curved surfaces not flat ones. That doesn't matter for the buttons, but being able to see part of the 3.5mm jack on the end of your heaphones' cable is a rare - for Apple - design snafu. Why not bore a deeper hole, with a wider entry so the jack fits right in?
The curves make for tricky docking - and the speaker's weak too
You'll want to use headphones with the iPad 2 because, despite its large, cool-looking pinhole-matrix grille, the tablet's speaker is as poor as before. Early rumours of a more beefy sound system have proven false.
But the big problem with the curved edges lies with the dock slot. Before, you could just drop you iPad down on a cradle or speaker dock and connecting the two would be entirely trouble free. Getting the iPad 2 onto a Philips Fidelio DS9000 was a right royal pain in the posterior. The tablet would not dock, the curved edge pushing the speaker's spring-loaded connector out of the way.
Upgraders, be prepared to consider fresh accessories. But then that's long been the case with Apple's mobile offerings.
Jack boot: an exposed 3.5mm connector is sloppy design
Apart from the shonky cameras - it's good to have a webcam, but who needs a stills'n'video camera on a tablet? - the iPad 2 matches the original. There's the same 9.7in, 1024 x 768 IPC LCD screen - exactly the right aspect ratio for a gadget you can use in both portrait and landscape mode. Widescreen looks fine in landscape, but is just plain too narrow in portrait.
Once again the display is banded with shock-absorbing rubber that has saved my iPad's bacon on a number of sudden-drop instances.
Next page: Making the upgrade?
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.