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What are all the differences between the original iPad (1st Gen/iPad 1) and the iPad 2?
Please note that the original iPad models (1st Gen/iPad 1) and iPad 2 models both have been discontinued, but this Q&A has been updated with the latest on iOS support and more. It is particularly useful for anyone considering either line on the used market.
It would be easy to mistake the original iPad models -- the iPad (Wi-Fi) and iPad (Wi-Fi/3G/A-GPS) -- and the iPad 2 models -- the iPad 2 (Wi-Fi), iPad 2 (Wi-Fi/GSM/A-GPS), iPad 2 (Wi-Fi/CDMA/A-GPS), and iPad 2 (Wi-Fi, iPad2,4) -- with a quick glance as both lines look similar and have a great deal in common as well. However, there also are notable differences in physical size, technical details, performance, capabilities, and iOS support that merit in-depth evaluation.
Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. (Original iPad)
Externally, the original iPad and iPad 2 models share the same 9.7-inch (1024x768, 132 ppi) multitouch "glossy" LED-backlit IPS display, and width and height are similar (9.56 inches by 7.47 inches for the original iPad and 9.5 inches by 7.31 inches for the iPad 2), but the depth is notably different as the original iPad is 0.5 of an inch thick and the iPad 2 is 0.34 of an inch thick. The iPad 2 is lighter as well, around 1.3 pounds (which varies slightly depending on network capability) compared to 1.5 pounds for the original line.
The original iPad only was offered in black whereas the iPad 2 was offered in black or white. Both lines have aluminum backs (with a black plastic area on the top rear of the device for models equipped with 3G). The iPad 2 models also were the first support a then new magnetic "Smart Cover" -- available at additional cost -- that protects the screen when not in use and automatically wakes up the iPad 2 when the cover is removed and puts it to sleep when the cover is attached. The Smart Cover is not compatible with the original iPad line.
Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. (iPad 2 and Smart Cover)
In a major point of external differentiation, the original iPad line lacks cameras entirely whereas the iPad 2 models have front and rear mounted cameras. The rear camera supports HD video recording (720p up to 30 FPS with audio), and functions as a still camera as well, although Apple does not specify megapixels. The front mounted camera, designed to be used for video conferencing in conjunction with Apple's provided "FaceTime" software over a Wi-Fi network, takes VGA quality photos and video up to 30 FPS.
Both the original iPad models and the iPad 2 lines have 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB capacity options, have 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, an accelerometer, an ambient light sensor, digital compass, a speaker and a built-in mic. 3G-equipped models from both lines -- the original iPad (Wi-Fi/3G/A-GPS) as well as the iPad 2 (Wi-Fi/GSM/A-GPS) and iPad 2 (Wi-Fi/CDMA/A-GPS) have 3G networking (GSM for the original model and a choice of either GSM or CDMA for the iPad 2) in addition to A-GPS capability. The iPad 2 models also have a three-axis gyroscope and support system-wide video mirroring and up to 1080p video out.
The original iPad models are powered by a custom ARM-based 1 GHz Apple A4 and have 256 MB of RAM and the iPad 2 models are powered by a faster, dual core 1 GHz Apple A5 and have 512 MB of RAM. Both lines have an estimated battery life of 10 hours of use over Wi-Fi and 3G-capable models are estimated to provide 9 hours of runtime over 3G.
If the devices are side-by-side, the iPad 2 models can easily be identified and differentiated from the original models by the cameras.
However, as subsequent iPad models all have cameras as well (and the iPad 2 GSM and CDMA models are externally identical), it is useful to be able to reference the Model Number on the back of each tablet toward the bottom:
The original iPad and iPad 2 models can be differentiated by other identifiers as well, such as the Order Number, which can be located by selecting the Settings app and pressing General > About and scrolling to what is specified as "Model" within the iOS. For example, the Wi-Fi only configurations of the original iPad in black with 16 GB of storage is MB292LL/A.
To pinpoint a specific iPad by a variety of different identifiers -- including Serial Number -- see EveryiPad.com's Ultimate iLookup website feature as well as the EveryMac app available for iOS 5 or later, Android, and Kindle Fire.
iOS Support Differences
The original iPad models shipped with iPhone OS 3.2 (subsequently renamed the iOS), and are capable of running a maximum version of iOS 5.1.1. They are not supported running iOS 6 or later versions of the operating system.
The iPad 2 models originally shipped with iOS 4.3 and are fully supported running iOS 5 and iOS 6, with the exception of Siri and Panorama. The iPad 2 models also can run iOS 7, iOS 8, and iOS 9 but the device provides only minimal feature support. They cannot run iOS 10 at all.
Specifically, the iPad 2 fully supports all basic iOS 7 functionality -- Control Center, Notification Center, and Multitasking, as well as Safari and iTunes Radio -- but it does not support AirDrop, Filters in Camera, Filters in Photos, or more advanced photo functionality that Apple calls "square and video formats and swipe to capture." Siri and Panorama still are unsupported, too.
For iOS 8, the iPad 2 models can run the operating system, but the major features -- AirDrop, Panorama, Siri, Health, Apple Pay, and Continuity -- are not supported at all.
For iOS 9, the iPad 2 models can run the basic operating system, but don't support Multitasking (Split View, Slide Over, and Picture-in-Picture) or any other advanced features.
Original Pricing Differences
Introductory pricing for the original iPad and iPad 2 models is the same and there was no price premium for black or white on the iPad 2 models, either:
|Capacity:||16 GB||32 GB||64 GB|
|Price with Wi-Fi:||US$499*||US$599||US$699|
|Price with Wi-Fi, 3G & A-GPS:||US$629*||US$729||US$829|
* On March 7, 2012, Apple discontinued the 32 GB and 64 GB configurations of the iPad 2 and lowered the price of the 16 GB configurations. The Wi-Fi only 16 GB configuration was US$399 and both the GSM and CDMA 3G-equipped models were US$529. This 16 GB configuration was discontinued on March 18, 2014.
The major differences between the original iPad and the iPad 2 are summarized below for your convenience:
|Processor Speed:||1 GHz||1 GHz|
|Processor Type:||Apple A4||Apple A5|
|RAM:||256 MB||512 MB|
|Storage:||16, 32, 64 GB||16, 32, 64 GB|
|Data Networks:||Wi-Fi/Wi-Fi & 3G||Wi-Fi/Wi-Fi & 3G|
|Video Mirroring:||Select Apps||System-Wide|
|Max Battery Life:||9-10 Hours||9-10 Hours|
|Color Options:||Black Only||Black or White|
|Maximum iOS:||5.1.1||9 (Partial)|
|Dimensions (In):||9.56 x 7.47 x 0.5||9.50 x 7.31 x 0.34|
|Weight (Lbs):||1.5||1.33, 1.35, 1.34|
|Intro Price (US):||US$499-US$829||US$499-US$829|
iPad Purchase & Sale Options
There are no shortage of businesses that offer the iPad. However, purchasing from a quality company with extensive Apple knowledge -- and after sales support -- will provide the best experience and save you money and time, too.
In the US, site sponsor PowerMax sells used original and iPad 2 models -- as well as new ones -- free of sales tax. If you need to sell an iPad, PowerMax accepts trade-ins on older iPads toward the purchase of a newer iPad or anything else they sell and BuyBackWorld will buy your older iPad directly for fast cash.
Please also see EveryiPad.com's Ultimate iComparison feature to dynamically compare any iPad to any other iPod, iPhone, or iPad (new or old alike).