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iPad Q&A - Updated May 23, 2014

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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)

External Differences

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 is available 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 support a 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.

Internal Differences

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.

Identification Differences

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:

iPad

Model Number

iPad Wi-Fi (Original/1st Gen)

A1219

iPad Wi-Fi/3G/GPS (Original/1st Gen)

A1337

iPad 2 (Wi-Fi Only)

A1395

iPad 2 (Wi-Fi/GSM/GPS)

A1396

iPad 2 (Wi-Fi/CDMA/GPS)

A1397

iPad 2 (Wi-Fi Only, iPad2,4)

A1395

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.

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 and Android.

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, but the device does not provide support for all features.

Specifically, the iPad 2 fully supports all basic 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.

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.

For pricing details in dozens of other countries, please refer to the iPad specs page for the device of interest as well as EveryiPad.com's Global Original Prices section.

Comparison Chart

The major differences between the original iPad and the iPad 2 are summarized below for your convenience:

 
Original iPad

iPad 2
Display Size: 9.7" 9.7"
Resolution: 1024x768 1024x768
Processor Speed: 1 GHz 1 GHz
Processor Cores: One Two
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
Bluetooth: 2.1+EDR 2.1+EDR
Video Mirroring: Select Apps System-Wide
Cameras: No Yes (2)
A-GPS: No/Yes No/Yes
Digital Compass: Yes Yes
3-Axis Gyro: No Yes
Smart Cover: No Yes
Max Battery Life: 9-10 Hours 9-10 Hours
Color Options: Black Only Black or White
Original iOS: 3.2 4.3
Maximum iOS: 5.1.1 7 (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
Model Numbers: A1219/A1337 A1395/A1396/A1397
Intro Price: US$499-US$829 US$499-US$829

iPad Purchase & Repair Options

There are no shortage of businesses that offer the iPad itself as well as related services. 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. MegaMacs also has a used iPad selection at low prices.

In Ireland, site sponsor SmartSpot sells a variety of used original and iPad 2 models with free shipping. Affordable shipping is provided across the EU, too.

Site sponsor Mission Repair offers free diagnosis and 24-hour repair for cracked displays, dead batteries, broken buttons, and more for the original iPad and iPad 2 alike in the US and ships parts for self-replacement worldwide.

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).


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