In our previous lab report on the iPad 2 that tested battery life and GarageBand performance, we asked for suggestions on tests you'd like us to run with new tablets. And you responded--as a result we have iPad 2 results in tests involving photo imports, iMovie, and GLBenchmark. We also have an update on our battery testing.
To give a better sense of how the iPad 2's processor stacks up, we compared the iPad 2 to the original iPad whenever possible. In some tests, we also included the iPhone 4.
Some readers asked about importing raw photos into the iPad 2's Photo application. The iPad 2, which took 45 seconds to import 20 raw images from an SD card, was much faster than the original iPad, which took 63 seconds (40 percent longer). I found similar performance differences when importing 20 JPEG files, with the iPad 2 taking 20 seconds, and the original iPad taking 29 seconds (45 percent longer).
Some readers were also confused as to what exactly happens when you import a raw photo to an iPad 2. As explained in our first look of the iPad Camera Connection Kit, the raw file is copied to the iPad, but not opened. The iPad uses a JPEG thumbnail when you view the photo, so testing how long it takes to open an image file wouldn't illustrate any performance gains. (I've yet to figure out whether or not the iPad creates this JPEG preview image).
iMovie for iOS
With iMovie for iOS now available for both the iPad 2 and iPhone 4, I tested to see how performance differed between the two devices. (Dadly, the original iPad isn't supported by iMovie.)
In this test, I opened a new iMovie project and imported a 76-second clip from my iPhoto library. I applied fade in and fade out transitions and added some music. I then exported the new iMovie project to the Camera Roll. The iPhone 4 took 87 seconds, while the iPad 2 took 56 seconds, which is 36 percent faster than the iPhone 4.
I ran four GLBenchmark 2.0.3 tests on the iPad 2, iPhone 4, and the original iPad. The tests use two different scenes, one named Egypt, and the other named Pro that uses a prehistoric 3D setting. I ran the tests using full screen anti-aliasing turned on and again with full screen anti-aliasing off.
In these tests, the iPad 2's graphics screamed past the older iOS devices. The iPad 2 posted frame rates of over 45 frames per second in the Egypt tests and 57 fps in the Pro tests. By comparison, the original iPad was only able to eke out 8.1 fps in the Egypt test with full screen anti-aliasing off, and 6.4 fps with full screen anti-aliasing on. The original iPad fared a little better in the Pro tests, scoring 17.6 with full screen anti-aliasing off, and 13.6 with full screen anti-aliasing on, but the iPad 2 still was three times faster than the original iPad in the full screen anti-aliasing off tests and four times faster with full screen anti-aliasing on.
The iPhone 4 performed better than the original iPad, but only by a couple of frames per second in each test. It was no match for the iPad 2.
In the previous article, I mentioned that the iPad 2 recharging seemed faster than that of the original iPad, but that I hadn't timed it. Some of you asked for specific results, and I'm glad you did.
It turns out that the iPad 2 was faster, but only by a hair. It took 4 hours, 10 minutes for the iPad 2 to charge from a completely drained battery to a full charge. The original iPad took 4 hours, 16 minutes (2.4 percent longer). The charge time may have seemed longer to me due to impatience on my part--I was waiting for it to finish so I could start a second battery test before leaving for my son's birthday party.