Fritz Nelson at InformationWeek:
The latest one-upmanship centers on size. While I don’t care whether the iPad 2 or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a couple of sheets of paper thinner than the other, that Samsung would go through such a redesign so quickly shows what’s at stake here. Samsung’s spokesman said the company doesn’t enter a market where it doesn’t intend to be No. 1. In response to the pictures directly below (the iPad 2 is the device on the left), there was really no official Samsung response other than to say that the specifications are 8.6 mm. He was at a loss for words. I’ll bring my calipers on June 8; meantime, these pictures will have to suffice, at least for those who care about these quibbles.
In the photos that Nelson is referring to, the iPad 2 without a doubt looks thinner. The iPad 2 is the tablet to beat and I don’t think it is impossible. Far from. The iPad 2 uses a 9.7-inch LCD module with the casing all around the LCD panel and the backlight unit. Apple slid just the LCD panel and the BLU into a module-less unibody aluminum display chassis in the new 11.6-inch MacBook Air. Apple shaved millimeters off the thickness of the MacBook Air. This same trick can be used to make the already thin iPad 2 even thinner in the next iPad.
And then there’s something else: the cover glass and the LCD isn’t even optically bonded, so there is a small air gap between the two. By optically laminating the two Apple could make the iPad 3 even thinner. The crazy thing is that Apple has already been working on the iPad 3 for quite some time now. Doesn’t bode well for competitors.