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Apple: Largely Glowing Reviews For iPad 2

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Apple (AAPL) shares are down $4.02, or 1.2%, at $348.35 in early trading on the heels of what are generally very favorable reviews in the major media outlets for the iPad 2, which goes on sale on Friday, starting at 5 pm, Eastern. (Or probably earlier than that if you’re ordering online.)

The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg says the device “moves the goal posts, by being slimmer and lighter, boosting speed and power, and holdings its price advantages.” The best tablet for “average consumers,” he writes. He notes the cameras are so-so, and that the battery life was a little less than he’d gotten in similar tests with iPad 1.

David Pogue with The New York Times writes that despite the coming onslaught of tablets from competitors, “The iPad will still dominate the market, because it dominates in all the most important criteria: thinness, weight, integration, beauty — and apps.” Pogue finds the improvements to the size and weight to be meaningful, writing, “Just that much improvement in thinness, weight and speed transforms the experience. We’re not talking about a laptop or a TV, where you don’t notice its thickness while in use. This is a tablet. You are almost always holding it. Thin and light are unbelievably important for comfort and the overall delight. So are rounded edges, which the first iPad didn’t have.”

Engadget’s Joshua Topolsky writes, “the iPad 2 is as good as it gets right now. And it’s really quite good,” and “the iPad 2 isn’t just the best tablet on the market, it feels like the only tablet on the market.” Topolsky is more critical than Mossberg or Pogue on the camera side. “In short, it feels like the iPad 2 has a serious photon deficiency.” Topolsky offers much praise for the new GarageBand software for iPad. “Overall, this is a groundbreaking piece of software for tablets,” he writes. In contrast to Mossberg, Topolsky writes that the battery tests he ran on iPad 2 delivered on Apple’s 10 hours claim, and even beat it a bit.

USA Today’s Ed Baig writes the iPad 2 is “second to none” in the “ever evolving state of the art” of tablet computers, despite not having everything on one’s wish list. He also found the the battery life claims of roughly 10 hours was not exactly what he experienced.

I would note that the Associated Press’s Peter Svensson this morning writes that the iPad 2′s price “hobbles” the efforts of rivals to break the company’s hold on the market, writing, “It’s rare for prices to start low and stay low, yet it looks as if that’s exactly what Apple intended. “

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily