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Epic Fail: Top Five Missing iPad 2 Features

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Thinner, lighter, faster, more powerful and equipped with two cameras for FaceTime video calls, there’s much to like about the iPad 2. But much to critics’ chagrin, there are an equal number of new features that the second-generation iPad is also lacking. Here are five missed opportunities that Apple has yet to capitalize on.

Better Screen – Still 9.7 inches and the same resolution as the original iPad, there’s been no upgrade to the system’s screen, a glaring omission given the tablet PC’s focus on digital reading, multimedia and eye-catching apps. Having already given the iPhone 4 a boost with its Retina display though, which adds crispness and detail to on-screen graphics, we’d be surprised if this wasn’t an area of improvement in the near future.

4G Connectivity – With every major wireless carrier from AT&T to T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon quickly embracing next-generation high-speed cellular networks, it’s surprising that the tablet PC doesn’t tap these services’ faster data transfer rates. We’d be surprised if future iterations or add-on devices don’t address this need, as 4G broadband speeds become more commonplace.

Near Field Communications (NFC) – With this technology, already popular overseas, you can use your cellular phone to swap info with nearby objects over short distances, paying, for instance, for concert tickets just by swiping your handset by a poster. Given that an increasing number of gadgets like the Samsung Nexus S smartphone and operating systems such as Android 2.3 (“Gingerbread”) are offering such features, it seems a reasonable upcoming addition.

Higher Resolution Cameras – The iPad 2’s rear-facing camera reportedly tops out at about 1MP, or about what you’d have expected from a digital shooter circa 2000. Perhaps it’s a case of functionality, as tablets are more cumbersome than digital cameras, and likelier to be used for video filming or videoconferencing than snapping family portraits. Regardless, there’s plenty of room left to crank up image quality.

SD Memory Card and USB Port – Maybe it’s the desire to sell iPads at a higher price point by upselling innocent gearheads on additional hard drive space or hawk expensive dedicated accessories. Maybe Apple doesn’t feel there’s room to cram in the mini-USB format, or like what doors it opens to unlicensed third-party hardware manufacturers. Either way, there’s significant room for expansion here.

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