Our sister site Engadget has spent the past week playing around with its iPad 2 review unit, and Engadget's review is now live. (We'll just assume Apple meant to send one to TUAW, but it got lost in the mail ... along with all of our event invitations.) Engadget gives the iPad 2 a score of 9/10, citing the iPad's speed, design and addition of cameras as its strongest points.
Engadget's review isn't entirely glowing, however. Reviewer Joshua Topolsky was unimpressed with the quality of the iPad 2's cameras, and after viewing the gallery of photos taken with the iPad 2's camera, I agree with him. Topolsky also wished the display had received a resolution increase from the first-gen iPad's 1024 x 768 resolution, something I was also hoping to see. It's been rumored that Apple actually wanted to debut a double-resolution 2048 x 1536 display in the iPad 2, but high cost and production difficulties meant the company had to reserve that feature for a future model.
The money quote from Topolsky's review, which you can expect to see re-printed many times over the next few days: "It might frustrate the competition to hear this, but it needs to be said: the iPad 2 isn't just the best tablet on the market, it feels like the only tablet on the market." So much for the Motorola Xoom saving us from an eternity of white tracksuits.
To me, the part of Engadget's review that truly caught my eye was the iPad 2's Geekbench results. The iPad 2 scored 721 in Geekbench, a vast improvement over the original iPad's 442 score. For comparison, Geekbench's baseline score of 1000 is the score for a single-core, 1.6 GHz PowerMac G5. The iPad 2's score puts it roughly on par with the performance of a 1.5 GHz 12" PowerBook G4, which says to me that these little tablet computers are quickly on their way to becoming much more than a supplement to a traditional computer.