How the iPad 2 Got Slimmer & Trimmer

The Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad 2 didn't have to choke down bottles of Dexatrim, sweat to the oldies or give Atkins a shot to get its new fit and trim look, but it does owe much of its sleeker figure and weight loss to a smaller battery, IHS iSuppli reveals in its latest teardown of the new tablet.

Overall, the iPad 2 is 34 percent slimmer and weighs 15 percent less than Apple's first tablet, but how did it get there?

According to an IHS iSuppli analysis, the tightening of the waistline comes from the iPad 2's battery subsystem, which, at 2.5 millimeters thick, is 59 percent thinner than the iPad 1's. This "major shift" involves Apple's decision to move from two thicker cells to three thinner ones, flattening out the entire battery structure, the firm said. The new battery system is also five grams lighter than its predecessor while giving about the same power lifetime.

The new device also got rid of a stamped sheet metal frame from the display, slashing the size of the display to 2.5 millimeters, down 17 percent. The iPad 2's touch-screen overlay is just 0.6 millimeters thick, a reduction of 25 percent. IHS iSupply speculates that Asahi Glass Co. of Japan is the supplier of the new, more durable glass.

Here's the side-by-side comparison:

Table 1:
Section iPad 1 (thickness in millimeters) iPad 2 (thickness in millimeters) % Decrease
Touch screen overlay 0.80 0.60 25%
Touch Screen 0.90 0.90 0%
Gasket/Adhesive 0.10 0.10 0%
Display 3.00 2.50 17%
Clearance 1.60 1.30 19%
Battery 6.10 2.50 59%
Enclosure 0.80 0.80 0%
Gasket/Adhesive 0.10 0.10 0%
Total Thickness 13.40 8.80 34%
Source: IHS iSuppli March 2011

Why this matters
One of the chief complaints about the iPad 1 was its thickness and heft, making it a chore for consumers to hold it up for prolonged gaming, video viewing and book reading sessions. The reduction in weight and thickness makes the iPad 2 a better on-the-go device.

Plus, the tablet war is on. Apple's new design helps keep it ahead of competitors on the design curve. "Other new tablets coming to market, all of which are about as thick as the iPad 1, now look fat in comparison to the iPad 2," said Kevin Keller, principal analyst for the IHS iSupply Teardown Analysis Service, in a statement.

For more
For more about the iPad 2 and its implications on the marketplace, check out:

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:10:18 PM
re: How the iPad 2 Got Slimmer & Trimmer

If we're going for dated cultural references, why not Jack LaLanne?

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:10:17 PM
re: How the iPad 2 Got Slimmer & Trimmer

Thank you for the photo link. Leg warmers. Wow.

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:10:17 PM
re: How the iPad 2 Got Slimmer & Trimmer

Good one. An opportunity missed, along with Jane Fonda. JB

millomar 12/5/2012 | 5:10:16 PM
re: How the iPad 2 Got Slimmer & Trimmer

Old pictures of Jack LaLanne, Richard Simmons or Jane Fonda.  Which one would you prefer to see?

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:10:15 PM
re: How the iPad 2 Got Slimmer & Trimmer

Make mine Fonda. But LaLanne still looked like a bad-ass when he was pushing 90+. JB


jobenso 12/5/2012 | 5:10:15 PM
re: How the iPad 2 Got Slimmer & Trimmer

Simmon, 1980s TV show... He was soo hot!

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