Initial thoughts on the iPad 2

SAN FRANCISCO - MARCH 02:  An attendee holds t...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

I saw this story today and couldn’t resist sharing:

[Apple’s] focus this week has been to troubleshoot all the iPad 2s that customers are returning to the stores. One iPad came back with a post it note on it that said “Wife said no.” It was escalated as something funny, and two of the VPs got wind of it. They sent the guy an iPad 2 with a note on it that said “Apple said yes.”

I’m sure the guy who received his new iPad will find the experience matches mine. I won’t bore you with details: I love it. It’s hard to explain, really, considering I already had the first generation iPad. But the new one is noticeably thinner, not so much by looking at it, but when you hold it in your hand. It just feels…better. It’s lighter, too. Again, not so much that you really feel it; it’s more like you notice that it doesn’t seem quite as heavy after you’ve been holding it awhile.

These are the biggest changes, at least for me. The speed does seem quite improved. The speakers are louder. The camera is nice to have, but I don’t use it that often. (It should be noted that you can look only one of two ways when you hold up something as big as an iPad to take a photo or a video: either like an idiot, or someone who is trying to say, “Look! I’ve got an iPad 2 and it has a CAMERA!” In either case, you kinda look like an idiot.)

And then there’s the cover, with which I have a love/hate relationship. I love it’s form factor. It’s very well designed and does, somehow, keep fingerprints off the screen. I love the way it folds to become a stand that is much sturdier than Apple’s previous case. And I love the self-aligning magnets that magically grab right where they’re supposed to. But I hate that it doesn’t do anything to protect the back of the iPad. I’m sure Apple will tell me not to worry about it, but I do.

Oh, and there’s this other thing… The way the hinges on the cover work, they tend to rub on the back side of the iPad. This has removed the finish from the hinges (which isn’t a big deal), and it’s removed the finish from the back of the iPad (which is a big deal.) True, it doesn’t do anything to affect the usability. Everything still works perfectly. But to see those two little smudges on the back like ugly blemishes of abuse… It’s very frustrating. Especially since I’ve been exceedingly careful not to abuse the thing. Still, it’s a very small thing in the overall scheme. This generation exceeds the original in every way.

What’s the one question Rainn Wilson doesn’t want you to ask?

We watched the SXSW world premiere of SUPER starring Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon last night. The movie seems to be unlike much of anything that has come before it (that I’ve seen, anyway). It has this odd way of being strange, insightful, darkly funny, tragic, and heartbreaking all at the same time.

When writer/director James Gunn was asked about it afterward, he said the concept for the film grew out of this idea that we have all seen and talked about Batman, and Batman essentially is a guy that goes out and beats up bad guys. He wondered what that would look like if you tossed a bucket of cold reality on it, and the result is SUPER.

Wilson was great as Frank, the every-day protagonist short-order cook turned hero, but for my money, Ellen Page (of Juno fame) absolutely stole the show.

Following the screening, the three of them hopped up on stage to answer questions. And–wouldn’t you know it?– the first question asked was the one that Rainn is soooo sick of hearing. Here’s what that looked like from our seats:

SUPER from Jim Cota on Vimeo.

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