Beating Up The Joneses

It’s 7:30 in the morning, Tuesday and I’m standing on a street corner shaking in the cold. The light rain tickles and creates a slick layer on everything, skin, coats, sidewalk, and shoe bottoms. None of us know when the supply is coming and we don’t talk and the others in line likely wouldn’t as the most common language is Cantonese and they’re on the clock. People watch the “vendor’s” doors to see if there’s going to be enough for everybody. 

At 9 am the doors open. At 9:05 a little old Chinese man runs by with a white bag. Then another, and then a woman. 

iPads are flying into an Acura with low rumbling sub woofers and a young man, smokin’ and  at the driver’s seat, looks over receipts and hands cash to the line-waiters. As the old couple behind me begin bickering over which of brand new,  still sleeved Bank of America check cards is for who, I realize I’m not in a line at the apple store. I’m a defect in the gray market’s conveyor belt, interrupting and partially occluding a greater system than the end user. The numbers over the last couple days say that 50-60 percent of this consumer crack will be on a plane to Hong Kong by weeks end. The growing consumer class there will pay up to 300 percent above sticker for the tablet.  Whatever your thoughts on trade and untaxed labor, this is a damn fascinating process. And it’s the process I went through to bring you this pretty short ipad 2 review. 

And don’t sweat, this is the last iPad post until something really significant happens. 

Right to it. The slimness is other worldly. I think of the way my parents looked at the iPad mark 1and it makes me enthusiastic for the weird shit my kids will hand me when I’m in my 50’s. It’s fast and everything looks good on it. Hands down.

Here’s a minor tragedy: if the iPad 2 could have somehow come out 1 year ago with the current specs, I would suspect stolen alien technology. After the 1st version, we all kind of got a chance to exclaim our disbelief at how cool it actually was and then expect the same level of surprise the second time around. That said, the new iteration is still impressively slimmer and quicker than the previous, but we’ve already read that from Pogue’s take.

Since I love the thing so much (I got the 64GB, Verizon because the wifi only’s and ATTs are the most desired on the international gray market) and have already kissed some serious Apple ass in the last post, I’m gonna whine a little about the new model.

(rear camera)

(front camera)

The rear camera doesn’t have to suck so much. I don’t even need the flash from the iPhone, just gimme that sensor. Not that I plan on grabbing the pad for photos, but if I’m in the middle of using it on set and something awesome comes outta the oven, or if Tony Bourdain punches a tourist, I want that access. I’m jazzed that my Hipstamatic pictures are good enough to use as desktops at home and I expect more. 

(magnets just ain’t holding it)

Smart cover: Alright, it is cool as hell, keeps everything slim and neat. But it’s floppy as an old man on a nude beach. Because of the ribbing that helps it Origami itself into a stand, the thing flails loosely when held by the spine side. As cool as it is to turn sleep on and off by closing the cover, not having background downloading combines with this to screw up a common iPad scenario for me: I just bought a bunch of comics or magazines and they are downloading, I close the cover during the down load to make everything snug and dark while I sleep. Minor hiccup, maybe I’m crazy. 

See, what I liked about the old cover was that although it wasn’t beautiful and did cover up a cool looking piece of hardware, it kept my iPad safe from the few questionable, 3 foot falls it sustained. To understand what going on here besides the Dieter Rams design influence, look at the back of the iPhone 4. Glass. While the hottest looking and most forward design firm, Apple’s under-the-breath boardroom question seems to be “but is it slippery and glassy enough that 80 percent of the customers that break it will replace it?” Screen break-ability conspiracy aside, the screen viewing angle quality is improved this time around, but I notice a strong magenta tint and a bit of bleeding in low light. I expect that shit from an HP netbook, but I’d like Apple to stop being sloppy in this department. We’ll see if the glue dries and the problem remedies itself.

That’s about it. If anyone out there notices anything else they haven’t seen in reviews or getting enough mention, send it on over. I’m curious

Sent from my iPad 2

05:39 pm, BY zpzwatercooler[76 notes]

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