Review: Revive your Apple iPad 2 Wifi/3G

Why read this review?

After the steep price drop on the iPad 2 (since 3 and 4 got released), I’m sure many of you must be considering buying the iPad 2. It’s been over two years since I bought the iPad 2 – 3G (16GB). I won’t get into the specs and other details readily available online. There are other very informative reviews on the iPad 2 already, so why would you read a late review? Here’s why:

  1. My iPad had always been used outdoors. This review is for those want to know how well it’s built and what kind of abuse it can and can’t take.
  2. It will help audio professionals who have one lying around and want to revive it.
  3. Audio professionals who are planning to buy one get an idea of how you can put it to work.
  4. Because it isn’t time to throw it out yet! The iPad 2 can run the latest iOS 8 without much fuss. (Yes, it’s a little slow but it’s bearable.)

To begin with, I’ve always been an Android person because of the flexibility it offers. It took a lot of convincing to buy an Apple iOS product. The other Apple products I own are an iPod Classic 120 GB which I’ve had forever and a MacBook Pro 2012. I must say – they always worked. The iPad 2 also impressed me with its build quality and well-executed minimalist software that runs it so smoothly.

 

Wifi only or 3G?

Well, I went to pick up the Wifi version but instead, I picked the iPad 2 3G – a decision I thank myself for ever single day. I often tour with bands and I’m usually outdoors at gigs. Being connected is probably the most important part of any smart deice you can buy today. I’m glad I spent the extra for a 3G version that I use well, instead of a Wifi version that can’t be put to much use outdoors! I’ve met many people who don’t carry or use their iPad only because they don’t have 3G on it. I must say the buying the 3G version has paid off very well, I can’t imagine having an iPad without it.

 

Build Quality


I can’t say enough about the build of the iPad- I use it outdoors all the time. And when a touring sound engineer says outdoors, it means sun, rain, dust, unreliable power, drops and falls, etc. If the iPad lasts over a year, it has to be good. I have dropped a few times, and except for a few very minor scratches, it’s perfect. After a few falls, I used a silicone jacket case on it and use it with the Leather Smart Case from Apple.

A small note on the smart cover- it’s a great accessory. I bought the slightly more expensive leather case. It feels good and has served me well. I tired a few non-Apple cases and didn’t like them at all.

 

Battery

The battery life has always been good. It has not depreciated over time. It lasts about 10 hours with 3G on and with constant use. I charge it maybe once every few days and sometimes, it goes weeks without charging.

 
Sync, Backup and Charging

To sync and back up, you should install iTunes on your computer. This can get a little annoying but it is a good idea to back up your device, especially for updates and stuff. Older laptops and PC’s won’t probably charge your iPad, because they can’t provide enough power. There is driver that ASUS makes for charging iPad. It worked on my old Windows laptop but it charges very slowly and I still prefer using the adapter to charge. It charges fine on my Macbook Pro for those who want to know. It can sync with iTunes on your laptop wirelessly over Wifi but can get extremely slow. I disabled it after trying it out for a few days.

 

Accessories

When it comes to accessories, you get what you pay for. Try and stick to known brands and avoid cheap replicas of various accessories. There are tons of reviews on various accessories and most of them are priced very economically after the newer iPad’s were launched. The Apple Smart Cover is a great accessory to have. They have two versions which includes a Leather one which is priced higher – I recommended that one.

 

Is the iPad 2 enough?

Absolutely! The iPad 2 can handle all apps that you would use for productivity. When it comes to gaming, I’m not sure because I’ve never looked in to that part. But for every other work apps and normal apps, it works just as fine as it would on any other iPad.

 

Do I need an iPad?

Well, only  you can decide for yourself. What I can do for you is, list a few things you can do with an iPad. For a full list of apps I use and their function, please read this post with a detailed list of apps for the iPad.

Briefly:

  1. Measurement tool for audio
  2. Email
  3. News and social media
  4. Use it as a musical instrument
  5. Create music – Multi-track recording and arrangement with virtual instruments
  6. Create Music – use the ipad as Midi Keyboard (Pianist Pro App)
  7. Use the iPad a midi controller/trigger
  8. Browse the internet
  9. Use it as an extended monitor for you laptop (AirView, DisplayPad)
  10. Remote for your Audio Console’s or DAW software
  11. Monitor various systems (amp, speaker management system, console etc.) that come with apps
  12. Remote access to your desktop or laptop
  13. Remote for you medial players while watching movies on your laptop or desktop

These are just a few that I have discovered. I’m sure if you look around, there are more function you would come across.

 

Conclusion

The iPad is a great tool to have at your disposal. If you were hesitant to spend a big sum on a gadget you’re not sure about, this is the time to experiment with one. With deals on new and used iPad 2’s and 3’s, you won’t lose much, just in case you decide it’s not for you and want to sell it. I can assure you that once you get one and spend time on getting the right apps for you, you will wonder how you managed without one for so long. And if you have one lying under a pile of books, this read should be a reason enough to pull it out, revive it and be amazed all over again.

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