iPad 2 Hardware & Software Features

iPad 2
image credit: Apple Inc.

Introduced: March 2, 2011
On sale: March 11, 2011
Discontinued: March 2012 (but remained on sale through 2013)

The iPad 2 was Apple's follow up to the unexpectedly huge success it had with the original iPad. While the iPad 2 wasn't a revolutionary upgrade, it introduced a number of valuable improvements. 

The key differences between the iPad 2 and its predecessor come in three areas: processor speed, camera, and size and weight. The iPad 2 was built around an Apple A5 processor, an upgrade over the original's A4. It was the first iPad to offer a camera—two in this case—and sported a thinner, lighter enclosure than the first-generation model.

Another new feature was the introduction of a second provider of 3G service for the device. Like the iPhone, the 3G-enabled models of the original iPad could only use AT&T's cellular network. With the iPad 2, customers could also choose to use Verizon. Again like early iPhone models, a Verizon-compatible iPad didn't work on the AT&T network and vice versa.

iPad 2 Hardware Features & Specs

Dual-core 1Ghz Apple A5


Screen Size
9.7 inches

Screen Resolution
1024 x 768, at 132 pixels per inch

Front: VGA video and still images
Back: 720p HD video, 5x digital zoom

Bluetooth 2.1
802.11n Wi-Fi
3G cellular, both CDMA and HSPA, on some models

Digital Compass
Assisted GPS on 3G model

U.S. 3G Service Providers

Video Output
1080p, via HDMI accessory (not included)

Battery Life
10 hours on Wi-Fi
9 hours on 3G
1 month standby

Dimensions (in inches)
9.5 tall x 7.31 wide x 0.34 thick

1.3 pounds for WiFi only
1.35 for WiFi+3G on AT&T
1.34 for WiFi+3G on Verizon


$499 - 16 GB Wi-Fi only
$599 - 32 GB Wi-Fi only
$699 - 64 GB Wi-Fi only
$629 - 16 GB Wi-Fi+3G
$729 - 32 GB Wi-Fi+3G
$829 - 64 GB Wi-Fi+3G

iPad 2 Reviews

Like the original model, the iPad 2 was greeted with very positive reviews by the technology press:

  • Dan Nations, the Lifewire iPad Expert, gave the tablet 4.5 stars, saying "the iPad 2 is a no-brainer."
  • In giving the tablet an 8.3 out of 10, CNET said "the iPad 2 refines an already excellent product."
  • Macworld awarded 4.5 stars while saying "the iPad 2 is a triumph."
  • Engadget rated the iPad 2 as a 90 out of 100 while calling the device "as good as it gets right now."

iPad 2 Sales

The original iPad was a surprise hit, selling over 15 million tablets in its first year. For a product category that didn't meaningfully exist when the iPad was released, this was a tremendous success. But that success was dwarfed by the sales performance of the iPad 2.

Between the March 2011 introduction of the iPad 2 and April 2012 (the next date for which there are good numbers), the iPad line sold an additional 52 million units, totaling almost 70 million iPads sold. All those sales weren't the iPad 2—the original was still on sale for part of that time, and 3rd gen. iPad debuted in March 2012—but while the iPad 2 was the top of the line, sales more than doubled, which is pretty impressive.