A Toy

I wanted to get a white iPad 2 because I had yet to see many people talking about how the white changes the user experience of the device, but after playing with one in the Apple store I am glad I didn’t get one.

Shawn Blanc and I talked a bit about this on our last podcast, but I wanted to make a point to mention it here. There are two things that really turn me off about the white version of the iPad 2.

  1. The white frame, unlike the black version, looks plastic. I suspect that this is because (to my eye) the white looks like it is closer to the surface than the black, or maybe it’s the reverse. What ever it is when you get finger prints on the white it makes the white look like cheap plastic and less like a cold sheet of glass. This gives the white iPad the over look of a toy. Again, this is really hard to explain with words, but after talking to a few people about it, I don’t seem to be alone.
  2. The iPad’s screen does not extend from edge to edge of the bezel — there is a very slight gap between where the white iPad frame ends and the screen’s display starts. You can see this depicted in the below image, circled in red:

[Image Source: Apple]

This is not a knock against Apple’s manufacturing, but it does contribute to a major problem. That problem is the screen on the white version looks to be set farther back from the glass. You don’t notice this same edge on the black iPad 2 as you can see in the below picture — it’s there, but harder to see:

[Image Source: Apple]

This only further contributes to the overall toy look to the white iPads.

What I am not trying to say is that you shouldn’t buy a white iPad 2 — rather you should see one in person first before you buy one. It’s not a bad device, it is still very good — but for me the look isn’t quite right.


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