Love searching for rare and elusive gadgets? Chalk up Apple’s iPad 2 on your list of must haves, specifically the newer model introduced alongside the iPad 3. (What?!) The iPad model number of 2,4 (as seen above) is the newer, more affordable $399 iPad released alongside the new iPad 3, and is lust worthy for the fact that it sports a smaller, more efficient A5 processor based off of Samsung’s 32nm process instead of the original iPad 2′s 45nm variant. Because the 32nm chip is clocked identically to the older 45nm one, the only real result is improved battery life. According to this article over at Anandtech, who put the newer 32nm A5 through a few benchmarks, we’re looking at ~15% better better battery life compared to the 45nm iPad 2 and up to ~19% compared to the iPad 3.
For example, 720p H.264 video playback on the 45nm equipped iPad 2 will run roughly 13.3 hours while the newer 32nm equipped iPad 2 will push onwards to the 15.7 hour mark. For gamers, the 45nm iPad 2 can only muster ~6.77 hours of continuous digital joystick action where as the shrunken down 32nm variant goes much further — 8.82 continuous hours — in Anandtech’s Riptide GP test. For the rest of you web browsers out there, the 10.1 hours of continuous internet trolling will now seem insufficient thanks to the 32nm iPad’s (2,4). 11.7 hours.
All in all, the latest iPad model 2,4 is the one to get. The only problem: It’s impossible to tell which one you have by looking at the box alone; you have to open it up, turn it on and check out the Settings > About screen. Also, according to Anandtech they had a difficult time finding a second iPad 2,4 model. (The particular model they used came from a local Best Buy.) Of course, seeing as how this is the new go-to standard, it’s really only a factor of time until the newer models grow in numbers on shelves. Would anyone pass on an iPad 3 for this slightly improved iPad 2 starting at $399?