Some of the first speed tests coming in show that hardware and software improvements in the iPad 2 are giving it decent performance gains over its predecessor -- and over rival devices.
CNET found initially that the iPad 2 is up to four times faster than the original iPad, but not all this speed improvement is down to the upgraded hardware. The speed advantage dropped to a 1.5x boost when CNET updated the original iPad's OS to a beta version of iOS 4.3 that it happened to have lying around. This could be good news for anyone who wants an original iPad just for web surfing. Heavy discounting to clear stock means you can pick one up for $100 less than this time last week, a bargain if you don't want the cameras and other goodies that the iPad 2 brings.
The other good news is the boasting rights this will give you over owners of rival Android hardware; iPad 2 cleaned the clocks of the Galaxy Tab (3x faster) and the Google Nexus S smartphone (also 3x faster). Since it will also be getting the iOS 4.3 update, the iPhone 4 will be 2.5x faster.