iPad 2 Early Tests: Screamingly Faster than First Generation iPad, iPhone 4 and Android

While many expected the iPad 2 to be ‘only’ somewhat faster than its predecessor, early tests show that the device is actually a lot more powerful than expected. According to an article posted by the UK branch of CNET, in some cases, the iPad 2 performance proved to be more than four times higher than what the iPad 1 can currently deliver. The CNET journalists managed to obtain these results by running JavaScript-based benchmark tests on iPad 2s right after the iPad 2 announcement keynote that occurred at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco last Wednesday. The test – SunSpider – is a great way to check the device’s raw hardware performance, as well as the performance optimizations made on the software side. This test is balanced between different areas of the JavaScript language and different types of code, to measure how well both hardware and software perform under stress.

The impressive performance boost can be explained by several factors: the new Apple A5 dual-core processor, up to twice as powerful as the A4 featured in the original iPad, the additional – and faster – memory sported by the device, as well as the new version of the Javascript engine featured by the upcoming iOS 4.3, dubbed ‘Nitro JavaScript engine’. Overall, the iPad 2 performed extremely well, leaving top Android phones and tablets in the dust: for instance, the Galaxy Tab and the Nexus S proved to be more than three times slower than the iPad 2. As for ‘older’ iOS-powered devices, the move to iOS 4.3 will offer a significant performance boost as well, as iPhone 4 and original iPad will see their JavaScript performance increase by almost three times once updated to the new iteration of iOS, slated to be released next Friday. [Infographics: CNET]