The iPad 2's Real Secret Weapon: Efficiency

According to a teardown analysis performed by iSuppli, the iPad and iPad 2 compete and often best other tablets while using only half the memory as their rivals. The report argues that Apple's control over design and hardware results in greater efficiency.

As the table above shows, iSuppli had the first and second generation iPads go up against five of its fiercest competitors. While both iPads have half the RAM as their non-Apple cousins—at 256MB and 512MB, respectively—they both manage to keep up because they use what they have so efficiently. Apple controls everything from the operating system to the chips, so the resulting tablet is built to work at its best even with less. On the other hand, other manufacturers offer more power and speed on paper, but those capabilities are lost when used by an operating system that can't fully take advantage of them.

iSuppli believes that we'll start to see quad-core processors coming out by next year. RIM and HP already have a head start since they created their tablets in-house, but if manufacturers can develop ways of increasing efficiency with how their components and operating systems talk to each other, next year's teardown might look a lot different. [iSuppli, Image Credit: IHS iSuppli Research]