The source of the amusement this time round is CrunchGear, who picked up on a thoroughly ridiculous concept: the iPad Tactical Pants.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good set of pants – particularly if they’re festooned with a variety of pockets – but there is practical limit to just how much gear you can reasonably tote around with you before you risk hurting yourself, or worse, your favourite gadgets.
The pair of Tactical Pants pictured above is a model known as “Kitanica.” And as the image shows, trying to pocket your brand new iPad 2 in this $160 garment (and then subsequently performing the ill-advised act of sitting) could easily lead to a $500 replacement bill. Yikes.
But it’s not all bad news for those of you who are determined to keep your tablet pal with you at all times. The team at TacticalPants.com have identified several other models of pants that are better suited to iPad-totage, namely the Genuine Gear variety which appears to offer a somewhat saner side-pocket location.
So with Father’s Day rapidly approaching, you now have one more option to show dear ol’ Dad how much you love/love-to-mock him.
It’s almost tragic. The iPad 2 has proven yet again that Apple’s “magical” device is still magical – at least as far as sales are concerned. The line ups for the latest Apple tablet in the U.S. have been unprecedented, and perhaps predictably, have led to shortages across the country and online where wait times are now pegged at 4-5 weeks.
And while many who have shown up at their local Apple store have been turned away disappointed and empty-handed, it has now come to light that still others who successfully acquired the much sought-after device are also disappointed – but for a very different reason.
Apple’s online support forums are slowly filling with complaints from iPad 2 buyers regarding a backlight leak problem.
Light leakage is a problem that can happen with any back-lit device. It occurs when the glass of the screen isn’t completely adhered to the chassis of the device – often a result of uneven or inadequate adhesive during the manufacturing process.
When this happens, blotchy pale areas can appear on the edges of the screen. Typically, it’s only noticeable when the screen is trying to show very dark background colours – effectively “blocking” the backlight. But because light is managing to escape around the edges, it becomes visible as a localized “halo” effect.
A lot of people might never notice the problem. Some that do might not be bothered by it. But if you are the kind that notice it and dislike it, it can be a huge frustration – especially if you just spent 24 hours in line to drop $499 USD on a new gadget.
Now I have no doubt whatsoever that Apple will do the right thing for these customers and replace the defective units. But given the supply problems in the U.S., it’s hard to say when that replacement will come.
My advice to you if you are determined to be first in line for Friday’s Canadian launch of the iPad 2, is to ask your sales associate to let you open the box and turn the device on before leaving the store. Given the insane crowds the stores will be faced with, this won’t be a popular request. But the good news is that you should be able to tell if your unit has the problem almost immediately.
The start-up screen on i-devices is black, with the silver Apple logo in the middle. The start-up sequence takes about 15 seconds. During that time take a good look around the edges of the screen. Even in the bright store lights, you should be able to detect a bad leak as a slightly pale area on the otherwise dark screen, near the edge.
Good luck, and happy shopping!
For some reason, as obsessed as some of us are with the latest shiny gadgets from Apple, there are still others out there obsessed with destroying them for our amusement/horror.
To highlight this phenomenon I give you two very different videos. Each goes about rendering a brand new iPad 2 – the same device that people are currently waiting weeks to receive in the U.S. – completely and utterly useless. Of course each goes about the process in very different ways. The first video gives us a highly stylized and somewhat John Woo-inspired treatment which renders the destruction almost poetic. The second is just a clown stuffing the device into a blender.
No need to thank me.
Once again, and despite being on medical leave from Apple, Steve Jobs took the stage to debut the latest iteration of the iPad – the device that single-handedly started a gadget category which it has since come to dominate.
Our very own Marc Saltzman was at the event and got some hands-on time with the iPad 2. Here’s his initial impressions:
And here’s the rundown on what was announced at the event in San Francisco today:
” iPad 2″ officially announced (starting at $499 USD avail. March 11 for U.S., March 25th for most other countries including Canada)
- A5 dual-core processor
- “Dramatically faster” says Jobs
- 2x faster CPU
- 9x faster Graphics
- front and rear cameras with the same specs as the iPod Touch (VGA front, 720p rear)
- same gyroscope as the iPhone and iPod Touch
- 8.8 mm thick – that’s thinner than an iPhone 4, 1.3 lbs vs. iPad 1’s 1.5 lbs
- comes in white and black (yes white is actually available this time)
- same price points as first iPad
- optional HDMI accessory that enables 1080p output. Good news is that this cable is apparently compatible with a host of iDevices and not just the iPad 2.
- specially designed magnetic case available which has a microfiber inner lining to clean the screen. Also sleeps and wakes the iPad 2.
- Faster web browsing
- Improved home sharing
- AirPlay improvements: Photos get all slideshow options, audio and video can be done from all apps and websites too.
- Personal hotspot for iPhone 4 users
- Lock switch can be customized: rotation lock or mute function
- New PhotoBooth software for camera-equipped devices
- FaceTime now supports the iPad 2, iPhone 4, iPod Touch and any Mac with an isight/facetime camera
- available March 11
– iMovie for iPad ($4.99, March 11)
– GarageBand for iPad ($4.99 March 11) lets you plug in a guitar and turns your iPad into an 8-track recording studio. It also has a wild selection of virtual instruments you can play, most of which have “magic” options that help you out if you don’t know how to play a single note.
There you have it. Now for some initial impressions while we wait for some hands-on video from Marc…
Is this a must-have upgrade for current iPad owners?
No. In typical Apple fashion, the iPad 2 represents a logical yet incremental set of improvements on an already very well thought-out device. Making it thinner, lighter and faster were must-have improvements in order to make sure that anyone thinking of buying a competing product would keep the iPad at the top of their wish list. Same thing with the dual cameras. Given that every other tablet maker has these features, Apple had to ante-up. But none of these improvements should be driving current iPad owners to list their devices on eBay. Instead, the iPad 2 should be seen as the iPad for those who decided to hold off on the whole tablet space when the original iPad was announced.Here in our office, there was a lot of consensus that the lack of cameras was a problem on the initial iPad. Now that they’re included, I think a lot of people who didn’t buy in the first round and have been quietly envying those who did, can now jump on the bandwagon and smugly declare “See? I told you you should have waited” while current owners can equally say “Yeah, yeah, I’m waiting for the iPad 3.” which, given the pervasive rumours, might just be the next big thing from Cupertino.
Interestingly, the original iPad is no longer for sale on Apple’s U.S. site. Yet you can still buy one in Canada and the prices have dropped: It’s now $419 for the base 16GB Wi-Fi model
Curious how the iPad 2 stacks up in the specs department compared to its closest competitors? Engadget has you covered.
What about iOS 4.3?
As a current iPad / iPhone 4 owner, this announcement is almost more exciting. I’ve known for a while that the new OS will enable personal hotspotting on the iPhone – something which I have been eager for. See, I decided to buy the Wi-Fi only iPad, based on the logic that I would be using it mainly at home or at the office, both places where I have Wi-Fi. But there have been times when I’ve regretted that decision. Now, all I need to do is turn on the hotspot on my iPhone and voila – instant connectivity for my iPad or any other Wi-Fi device. Nice! I am however a little confused by Apple’s press release on the enhancement: “The new Personal Hotspot feature in iOS 4.3 lets you bring Wi-Fi with you anywhere you go, by allowing you to share an iPhone 4 cellular data connection with up to five devices in a combination of up to three Wi-Fi, three Bluetooth and one USB device.” I’ll have to check this out when it gets released to see if this really means only 3 Wi-Fi connections. Most other devices that have this feature including the Palm (HP) Pre 2, allow up to 5 Wi-Fi connections.
Also, letting apps and websites run audio and video through AirPlay is a huge improvement. AirPlay lets you stream content from your iOS device to your Apple TV, but until now, the only apps that could do this were the embedded audio, video and photos apps. Want to stream any other app? You were out of luck. Great improvement here.
We sincerely hope we’re not just spreading an unsubstantiated rumour here, but we just can’t resist: The next Apple iPad will be given its formal unveiling at an event slated for March 2.
Our source is none other that the Wall Street Journal, specifically Kara Swisher reporting for her column Boomtown. In her article she claims the information comes from “multiple sources.” Is this news you can take to the bank? Probably – the tech blogosphere certainly seems to think so. My own “sources” tell me that Apple has been discretely asking tech journalists about their availability and willingness to travel around March 2, and while that’s no proof of a second iPad, it means something is going down.
What are the pundits expecting Apple to announce? Here’s the laundry list of possible enhancements to the world’s favourite tablet:
- A faster processor
- thinner, lighter frame/chassis
- dual cameras (front and rear-facing)
- support for both HSPA+ and CDMA networks in the 3G model
- SD card slot
- built-in video-out capability via a micro DisplayPort or micro HDMI
- higher resolution screen (possibly based on the Retina display technology that Apple debuted in the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch last year)
Personally I think the odds are very good on the cameras as these have become standard on every tablet to emerge since the first iPad. Thinner and lighter would be good bets as well. I would LOVE to see an SD card slot, but I’m on the fence as to whether I think Apple will deliver on this. The least likely feature in my opinion is the higher-resolution screen. It was bad enough that Apple made developers re-code their apps to make them iPad-friendly the first time, and then again on the iPhone 4. Another resolution change will drive them nuts. That said – if Apple does add some kind of built-in video output, it wouldn’t surprise me if they enabled 720p playback via this port. The current iPad is limited to 540p via the dock connector and Apple’s component cable. Here’s hoping that if they do go this route, they use HDMI as the interface and not DisplayPort. DisplayPort is ideal for running external monitors from a laptop or desktop PC, but the iPad isn’t being used for that. It’s a movie, web and YouTube device and as such, it needs a consumer standard for audio and video. regardless how Steve Jobs feels about HDMI – it’s the standard everyone runs at home.
So readers, are you excited by this news? Couldn’t care less? And which features are you hoping for on the next edition of the iPad?
Update, Feb 23, 5:50 p.m.: Well now there’s no doubt is there? Invitations have officially gone out. Here’s the teaser… complete with an iPad reference…