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What are all the differences between the iPad 2 and the original iPad?
Please note that on March 7, 2012, Apple discontinued the 32 GB and 64 GB configurations of the iPad 2, but continues to sell 16 GB configurations. The original iPad models have been discontinued, but this Q&A has been updated with the latest on iOS support and more.
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 is available 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 a camera 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.
In the short-term, the iPad 2 models can easily be identified and differentiated from the original models by the cameras, but as subsequent iPad models 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 numbers on the back toward the bottom of each device.
The original iPad (Wi-Fi) is model number A1219 and the original iPad (Wi-Fi/3G/A-GPS) is model number A1337, whereas the iPad 2 (Wi-Fi), iPad 2 (Wi-Fi/GSM/A-GPS), and iPad 2 (Wi-Fi/CDMA/A-GPS) have model numbers A1395, A1396, and A1397, respectively.
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 down 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.
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 capable of running the current version of the iOS.
Introductory pricing for the original iPad and iPad 2 models is the same and there is no price premium for black or white on the iPad 2 models as well:
|Capacity:||16 GB||32 GB||64 GB|
|Price w/ Wi-Fi:||US$499*||US$599||US$699|
|Price w/ 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 now is US$399 and both the GSM and CDMA 3G-equipped models are US$529. Naturally, the original iPad models cost less on the used market, too.
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|
|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|