Monday, April 4, 2011

iPad 1 vs. iPad 2 - What are the Differences?

The most common question I get concerning the iPad 2 is, "What is the difference between the iPad 1 and the iPad 2?" The second question asked is, "What has changed from the iPad 1 to the iPad 2?"

While people are calling the iPad 2, the iPad 1.5; there are some notable changes. Here’s a quick rundown of what has changed, and what hasn’t changed.

Model Number - UPDATED

This is offer unknown, this is like the "fine print" of a contract or commercial - you might miss it unless someone points it out. The original iPad's model number is A1337. The new model number gracing the iPad 2 is A1395.

Dimensions - CHANGED

While the overall footprint of the iPad 2 is the same as that of the iPad, the thickness has gone down from 13.4mm to 8.8mm. The weight is also down for all models (WiFi model down from 680g to 601g while the WiFi + 3G is down from 730g to 613g for the AT&T model and 607g for the Verizon model.

Battery - UPDATED

The iPad 2's battery; A 3.8V, 25 Watt-hour unit. That's just a hair more than the original iPad's 24.8 Watt-hours, so any improved battery performance can be attributed to software and other hardware improvements.
Also listed on the battery is a capacity of 6930 mAh, which may appear to contradict the already mentioned 25Wh at 3.8V ((25Wh/3.8V)*1000=6579 mAh), but 3.8V is the listed nominal voltage, not the average voltage. The average voltage of the battery over a full charge/discharge is closer to 3.6V leading to a more accurate calculation ((25Wh/3.6V)*1000=6944 mAh). Although the battery is slightly changed in Watt-hours, the 10-hour battery life is the same as the original iPad, but it's impressive considering the device is also thinner and lighter.


No change here - The iPad 2 makes use of the same 9.7" LED-backlit glossy Multi-Touch display with IPS technology(1024 x 768) screen as the original iPad.

At this point one unknown relating to the screen is what graphics processor Apple has used. The original iPad used a PowerVR SGX 535 chip. We’ll have to wait for the teardowns to find this out.

Processor - UPDATED

Out with the old 1 GHz Apple A4 single-core processor, and in with a 1 GHz Apple A5 dual-core processor.

Memory - UPDATED

The original iPad had 256 MB of RAM. The iPad 2 has 512 MB of LPDDR2 RAM.


The options for storage remain the same - 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB internal storage capacity.

Radios - UPDATED

While WiFi and Bluetooth remain the same (802.11 a/b/g/n and 2.1 + EDR respectively) the cell radio in the updated iPad has been updated. The original iPad featured EDGE plus triband HSPA while the iPad 2 features EDGE plus quadband UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz) and GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) for the AT&T versions and CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz) for the Verizon model. The Wi-Fi board is powered by a Broadcom chip, a BCM43291HKUBC. This is the same part Apple used in both the first iPad 1. Obviously the biggest change here is that there are now Verizon versions of of the iPad 2 3G models.


The price remains unchanged for all models - iPad 2 starts at $499 for the 16 GB WiFi-only model.

New Features

There are a few features completely new to the iPad 2. Here’s a rundown:

HD (720p) Rear-facing camera
VGA Front-facing camera
New cover (optional) that is attached by magnets and features a microfibre under surface.
HDMI output dongle (optional).

New Included Software
FaceTime - Video calling from the iPad 2 to other iPad 2 device, plus iPhone and Mac users.
Photobooth - Take whacky photos and share them.

If you want to check out the iPad internals, here are some photos from

  • IPad 1 Wi-Fi Teardown
  • iPad 2 Wi-Fi Teardown
  • iPad 2 3G GSM & CDMA Teardown

    By Carl W. Brooks

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