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iPad 2, that was unveiled by Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs, has managed to draw vows and adulation from many quarters for how the company has gone beyond a mere cosmetic makeover to its hot-selling gadget.

There will be many Apple aficionados, fanboys and buyers galore who will tell you how iPad 2 has made the tablet nirvana far out of reach of the competition. If one looks at the complete experience and as a package, iPad 2 is likely to remain unchallenged for a while as the best tablet computing device, but it is far from perfect.

One may say the users’ expectation bar was set very high for iPad 2, fuelled by the rumours of what all Apple might put inside the neat, little machine. But iPad 2 has managed to disappoint them on a few fronts. Here is a list of what could have been, but did not: the seven things that Apple missed out on in iPad 2 .

 

It was widely speculated that iPad 2 may sport a bigger screen size than iPad. However, the second-generation iPad retains its predecessor’s screen size with 9.7-inch LED-backlit display. Also, it was widely believed that iPad 2 will get a high-resolution Retina Display, similar to the one in iPhone 4. However, Apple disappointed many on this too.

Retina Display is the name given by Apple to the high-resolution screen technology introduced on the iPhone 4 in June 2010. By increasing the number of pixels on screen, Retina Display offers 326 pixels per inch, which Apple claims is the same as the human eye and makes it impossible to distinguish individual pixels, leading to a much-higher definition image on the screen.

The new iPad comes sans SD card slot and USB port. Expectations were high that Apple may add an SD slot to the device and give users choice to pad up storage.

However, this should not be a surprise considering that Apple added SD slot to MacBooks years after the industry had made it a standard feature in PCs. Internet media was also abuzz with reports that iPad 2 will come with a USB port.

Another missing feature in the new iPad is NFC support. NFC is a technology that allows mobile users to use their devices as a digital wallet. The technology enables users to pay for retail goods or services such as transit rides by waving their handsets across a reader.

Earlier this year, reports emerged that Apple was working to bring the NFC technology to the next generation of the iPhone and iPad.

 

After Apple and Intel collaborated to bring the Intel-developed Thunderbolt technology on Apple’s new line of MacBook Pro laptop computers, speculations ran high that the new iPad too may come bundled with the technology.

Intel recently announced the availability of Thunderbolt technology, a new high-speed PC connection technology that brings together high-speed data transfer and high-definition (HD) display on to a single cable. Running at 10Gbps, Thunderbolt technology can transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds.

 

It is still unclear whether Apple has made RAM upgrade to its second-generation iPad. While few analysts claim that the company has boosted its RAM to 512MB, however, Apple website and press release doesn’t mention it.

With enhanced features like multitasking, wireless streaming of photos and music etc making its way in iPad with iOS 4.2 release, enhanced memory was top on iPad 2 wishlist. This is despite the fact that iPad’s competitors including Motorola Xoom, HP TouchPad and BlackBerry PlayBook boast of over 1GB RAM.

 

Finally the iPad 2 features both front-and rear-facing video cameras to enable video chat. According to Apple, the camera will record video, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio and still camera with 5x digital zoom.

However, Apple website does not mention how many megapixels iPad 2 cameras have. According to Web reports, rear-facing camera on the iPad 2 is mere 1 megapixel in comparison to Motorola Xoom’s 5 megapixels. Even RIM‘s BlackBerry PlayBook sports a 5 megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording capacity. Also, iPad 2’s front-facing camera is just VGA quality.

The iPad 2 also misses out the super-fast 4G wireless connectivity. This despite the fact that Motorola is soon planning to roll its Xoom tablet fully equipped with 4G LTE support. Apple left this out even though Verizon is 4G LTE ready. For now, iPad 2 will rely on AT&T’s and Verizon’s 3G cellular network.

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